Mr. Wrong Number
Lynn Painter’s Mr. Wrong Number is the first in a new contemporary romance series. If you like the older brother’s best friend trope, this one will definitely work for you.
After setting her apartment on fire, being dumped by her boyfriend, and getting fired from her job Olivia has been having a rough couple of days. She arrives at her brother Jack’s apartment with only the clothes on her back and Jack reluctantly agrees to let Olivia (Liv) stay with him as long as she does one thing: Stay out of Colin’s, his roommate and childhood friend, way. This, however, proves easier said than done.
The trouble begins almost immediately. On Liv’s first night, she is trying to fall asleep when she gets a text from a wrong number asking “What are you wearing?” She texts back a snarky response and thus begins a hilarious, hot, and highly entertaining banter between Mr. Wrong Number and Miss Misdial. You can see where this is going to go and it does so wonderfully.
Meanwhile Liv has mini disasters happening all around her. She jams the printer, spills Colin’s expensive hair products, sneaks naps on Colin’s bed (after losing sleep on her air mattress) while hoping no one – i.e. Colin – will notice. Liv is sure Colin is an arrogant, nerdy jerk who, somewhat upsettingly, happens to be super hot. Painter is a very funny writer and Liv’s mishaps had me laughing out loud.
For his part, Colin remembers Liv as his brother’s annoying little sister but even though she’s kind of a roommate nightmare, he soon finds her so attractive that she takes his breath away. When he realizes that the wrong number he’s been flirt texting is Liv’s he has to decide if it’s better to tell her or ghost her. He is convinced that Jack would NOT take kindly to Colin’s hitting on his baby sis.
The chemistry between Liv and Colin is steamy and well done and I liked both leads. Liv, though she is a super klutz with a tendency to make bad choices, is fun loving and comes across as real. Both she and Colin have interesting issues with their families. Colin’s father wants him to take over the family law firm but Colin doesn’t want to do it – he loves his job in finance. Colin’s dad argues with Colin every time the two are in the same room – I felt genuinely sorry for Colin. I also felt badly for Liv – her mother is endlessly critical about Liv’s life choices despite the fact that Liv is just twenty-five and trying to figure out who she wants to be.
The first three quarters of the book are a gem. However, the last quarter of the book loses some of its charm. There are a couple of big misunderstandings that drag on too long and I wanted more closure with the ending. I am somewhat mollified because it looks as though we will see Liv and Colin again in the author’s next book, The Love Wager, Jack’s story.
Mr. Wrong Number is light good fun with some of the best banter I’ve ever read. Only the somewhat slow last quarter keeps this from being a DIK. Even with its flaws, it is still one of my favorite romances of this year.
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Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers. Follow her at: TikTok @kspoonerfish.