The Wake-Up Call
Grade : B+

I loved O’Leary’s The Flatshare and I was excited to read O’Leary’s new book, The Wake-Up Call. It is wonderful! This story features Izzy and Lucas, arch rival receptionists trying to save the hotel they love and their jobs. It’s a sweet, enemies to lovers romance that’s full of charm and low on angst. I loved it and I think most romance readers will too.

Last Christmas, a year ago, Izzy was crushing on Lucas. She wrote him a letter letting him know how much she liked him and that she hoped he might feel the same way about her. She asked if he’d meet her under the mistletoe, but something went wrong (we’re not sure what yet) and they did not become a couple. Now, a year later, they are competitive rivals at work and always trying to outdo the other. They do things to get a rise out of each other and I found their daily banter and antics really funny.

The family hotel where they work has been struggling and is in desperate need of renovation. It’s so run down that when Izzy and Lucas are discussing decorations for an upcoming wedding (Izzy wants more decorations, Lucas wants less) half of the ceiling falls down. Luckily no one is hurt, but the owners finally decide to make repairs. They raise extra funds by selling some antiques and ask Izzy and Lucas to help with odd jobs including cleaning out the lost property room. As they’re doing this, Izzy and Lucas find five wedding rings in the lost and found and Izzy decides they must find the owners.

Lucas is a handsome Brazilian who is serious about his work but gets grumpy, especially with Izzy. He has an uncle who helped out his family when his father died, but is pressuring Lucas, telling him he needs to work harder if he wants to be a success. Lucas is good with computers and spreadsheets but it’s hard for him to open up about his feelings plus he was seriously hurt by an ex-girlfriend who called him ‘cold hearted’. Luckily, Izzy thinks Lucas is pretty hot! Izzy is creative and caring and so upbeat, even while she is afraid of losing her job and close friends at the hotel. This romance has classic grumpy/sunshine action, which I loved.

My favorite part of the story is when Izzy and Lucas make a bet with each other that whoever returns the next ring gets to have things their way for a day. The upshot of this wager it had me laughing out loud. Along with the very funny humor, the chemistry between Izzy and Lucas is palpable. When they do finally act on their mutual attraction, the love scenes are spicy and add to the story.

If I have a quibble, it’s that the story was a little predictable but, overall, that didn’t really bother me. I just enjoyed the back and forth slow burn and wanted to see them happy together. There’s a group of colorful characters at the hotel and even a quick cameo from Tiffy from The Flatshare. There was a ‘big misunderstanding’ that I wished they had talked about sooner, but the ending is wonderful and pleasantly satisfying. This book will lift your spirits. I recommend it to readers looking for a happy and upbeat romcom with humor. The Wake-Up Call had me smiling the whole way through and I bet it will do the same for you!

Reviewed by Kayne Spooner

Grade: B+

Sensuality: Subtle

Review Date : September 26, 2023

Publication Date: 09/2023

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Kayne Spooner

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.
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