Head Over Heels
Chase and Olivia have been best friends ever since they were set up on a disastrous blind date. Now, they meet up after their respective bad dates and debrief, a kind of bad date survivors club. That’s all about to change, however, when a few things happen at once and life forces their hands. Chase needs a nanny for his five-year-old and Olivia happens to be a nanny in between jobs. When she agrees to move in and help out, things… progress in this friends-to-lovers tale from Serena Bell.
Olivia isn’t into romantic commitment. Emotional commitment to friends and to the children she cares for? All in. No questions there. But the happily ever after variety? Not so much. She was burned by her first love – a college boyfriend who behaved poorly – and has vowed to now only date men she knows are emotionally unavailable, thus ensuring herself a good time but no heartbreak.
Chase isn’t really into commitment either. The last woman he fell in love with dumped him after getting pregnant with his child. She was determined to raise the kid on her own, since Chase wasn’t – and these are my words – worthy of either her or her progeny. Chase tried his best to be a good dad, but the boundaries set by the ex were pretty strict. Fast forward a few years and the ex was killed in a car accident, leaving Chase a single father to five-year-old Katie.
As our story begins, Olivia is wrapping up one job and taking another out of state. She’s got a window between the two, however, and so when Chase is desperate for a live-in-nanny, she agrees to step into the breach until he can find someone new. It’s a fantastic arrangement. Chase is her best friend, Katie is a great kid, and helping them get ready for a full-time permanent nanny should be a breeze.
Problem? ‘Best friends’ quickly become best-friends-with-benefits under this enforced proximity and then starts to become something else that has our commitment-phobes emotionally running for the hills. They eventually confront their pasts and agree to forge ahead together, but not before we’ve experienced some angsty twists and turns.
This book essentially – as my Irish in-laws would say – does what it says on the tin. It’s a fun and flirty contemporary romance with a side of angst and a kid who isn’t cloying, wrapped up in a friends-to-lovers tropefest. I know that nanny romances are also a favorite of some folks, and this one seems to be a great example (I don’t read that many myself). All in all, Head Over Heels is an enjoyable read with a well-earned HEA that gave me happy book feels as I closed my Kindle.