Title: The Ex Talk
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo
Rating: Book Club It
Disclaimer: Mild spoilers.
*Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for a copy of The Ex Talk in exchange for an honest review.
Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers. (Goodreads)
We both read this book in the exact same day because we couldn’t help but devour it. So, if that tells you anything about The Ex Talk, basically we loved it!
I LOVE THE FAKE EXS TROPE! I didn’t even realize this was a thing I loved until I read The Ex Talk. Give. Me. More. Forget fake romance, fake exs is much more fun. And much more spicy.
I always love a good fake romance and enemies to lovers story and this book did them both so well!
The chemistry between Shay and Dominic is so on point and their banter from page one had me actually laughing. Did Shay’s insistence on pointing out she was a Millennial and Dominic’s constant mentioning that he went to Northwestern drive me crazy? Yes. But otherwise I loved both of these characters and genuinely rooted for them from the get go.
One point of contention I had. Shay has a bad best friend. Ameena, Shay’s best friend for her entire life, is honestly not a good person. She makes a big life decision based on Shay’s life situation and never tells her this. So then, she’s carrying this unfounded grudge against Shay for years and Shay doesn’t even know about it. They argue at the end about this and it’s infuriating. She demeans Shay throughout, basically tells her she’s a failure, and I just wish that Shay had stood up for herself more.
Also, this book is spicy, just saying. I enjoy when an adult romance doesn’t shy away from exploring the sexual nature of a relationship and this book is definitely not shy.
Overall this book was fun. It had chemistry, tension, a unique setting in radio, a fun plot, and I would genuinely recommend this to anyone who loves Contemporary Romance and wants something a little different than the norm.
If you were to look at my bookshelves, you wouldn’t find a lot of contemporary romance. That was something I wanted to change in 2020. While it was a dumpster fire in many ways, it was a year of contemporary romance. While I found some true gems, it can never replace my absolute love for historical romance. Nevertheless, I am glad I did it because it led me to this book!
When it comes to romance, enemies to lovers is high on my list of favourite tropes. I just love the tension it brings to the characters. However, I had no idea a fake exes to lovers was something I needed until I read The Ex Talk. Okay, you have my attention. It definitely brought a sweeter element to the enemies to lover trope that I didn’t know I was missing. I absolutely loved the chemistry between Dominic and Shay. The spice and steam was *chef’s kiss*. Folks, I read this in an evening. I pretty much peeled my eyes back (I swear, I barely blinked) and devoured the book.
Now, an interesting point for me is that I am the same age as Shay. So, maybe other readers won’t mind this, but the whole millennial thing bugged me. I mean, who looks at a younger person (or any person for that matter) and categorizes them by what generation they belong to? Is this something the “youths” are doing now? Am I out of touch? Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I found it random and weird. Almost out of place. The only time I am conscious of “generational divides” is at work…doing market research. So, having Shay think about this in terms of her love life was an odd thing for me. Also, go Shay. YOU GET THAT YOUNGER MAN. YOU ARE MY HERO.
Oh, if you have a friend like Ameena, please do not just walk away from clear issues that you have. Ameena trying to use Shay as an excuse for the choices she made is not okay. I wasn’t a huge fan of the simple reconciliation. Even people who have friends for years and years bump heads, and that’s ok. But to just shrug it off, nah. There are things that needed to be addressed. I am not saying I didn’t want them to be friends anymore, but there was more to be explored there.
Lastly, I really loved the setting. I know little to nothing about radio, so I definitely know little to nothing about public radio. If there is one side effect to reading this novel, it’s that you will undoubtedly record yourself to see if you have a radio voice. Once that’s done, you will progress to wanting to start a podcast.
I look forward to reading more from this author! If you are a contemporary romance lover, definitely pick up this book. It’s a fun read that will make your eye glasses (if you need those) fog up. *wink wink*
Are you planning on reading The Ex Talk? Let us know if you do, we’d love to hear your thoughts!