Andie J. Christopher’s latest contemporary romance, Not the Girl You Marry, is a gender-swapped, millennial revamp of rom-com classic How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But in this modern era of enlightened and equitable partners, the lovers’ tactics of sabotage stem from heavy personal baggage. Their ruse nearly gets away from them before they can get their hearts back on track.
Jack Nolan is a journalist at an internet media company who’s trying to get into harder hitting assignments, and Hannah Mayfield is an event planner at a prestigious firm who’s trying to prove she’s got the chops to move into the major leagues—weddings. Jack’s niche is How-To articles, and because he’s handsome, he has become the pretty face of the company. His boss is of the opinion that political reporters are a dime a dozen, so he encourages Jack to write a How-To article on how to get a girl—by showing readers the things that would make you lose her. But the problem is, Jack genuinely likes Hannah. And when Hannah has an opportunity to climb her corporate ladder by proving she could date someone for more than two weeks and thus understand the wedding market, she sweeps Jack along for the ride.
I enjoyed the portrayal of the struggles Hannah faces as a biracial woman, and many readers will see themselves in Christopher’s heroine. But I did find myself wishing that Jack and Hannah had struggled a little more in the beginning of their relationship rather than jumping into an instant attraction and regard for one another. Despite this flaw in believability, Christopher’s story comes full-circle and hits home when the truth is unveiled, because no healthy or lasting relationship can be built on lies.
There’s a lot of angst in this story about 20-something-year-old professionals, and if Cher had been either of their bosses she would’ve told them to just “snap out of it,” but don’t let the relative immaturity of the main couple turn you away from a promising new voice in romance.