4-star,  F/M

Love Lessons (Brooklyn #7) by Sarina Bowen

Expected release date: July 12, 2022

You could say that this is a perfect summer read. It’s light-hearted romance with a sizable part of the story taking place in Italy with sun, wine, delicious food, and shopping as a back-drop. There were definite shopping montage vibes à la Pretty Woman to this story, but without the prostitutes of course.

Synopsis: This is the story of Ian Crikey – an enforcer for the Brooklyn Bruisers and lover of sweats and worn-out t-shirts – and Vera – a fashion stylist who takes her job very seriously. After an unfortunate incident involving a loud party and an arrest, Ian needs an image makeover. And Vera, who’s trying to catch the eye of her ex, needs some coaching on seduction techniques. Luckily, not only are Ian and Vera neighbours, they have the perfect opportunity to help each other out during a vacation trip to Italy. It’ll just be summer fling. No need to get feelings involved.

Vera and Ian are opposites in all the ways. They bicker and disagree. But they have all the chemistry. And when they finally admit to their feelings, it’s super sweet.

This is a cute romance, no doubt about it, but I must admit that I had my doubts for a while. I hadn’t really reflected upon the title – Love Lessons – until an awkward section when the two MCs have arrived in Italy. To be honest, I wondered if Bowen had lost her touch. Vera was insecure, sure, but I still felt the whole thing about asking for help came out of nowhere and was quite out of character for her. And not to diminish such insecurities – or her o-problem – but I’m a bit over the whole inexperienced-maiden-needs-a-man-to-awaken-her-sexuality kind of trope.

Luckily, after that absolutely cringe-inducing section (second-hand embarrassment is a real thing), the story was super fun. Vera and Ian found each other in the best way. Even if it were only physical from the start.

Unfortunately, I found this story lacked some of the depth found in Bowen’s other books. Maybe it was because I felt Vera was painted out to be somewhat of a damsel. Or maybe it was because Vera’s job and the fashion angle of the story took up so much space and, despite her backstory, that gave the whole read a more shallow feel. I can’t say for sure, but Love Lessons was simply a more straightforward romance with fewer layers than I’ve come to expect from Bowen. That’s not a bad thing at all, and the read was entertaining as heck, but still, in my opinion that makes this book an outlier compared to her previous work.

So to me this is a regular 4-star. Not my favourite Bowen book, but great writing nonetheless.

* A free e-copy of this book was kindly provided by the author *


I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).