Hi and welcome to my blog tour stop for Ashley Herring Blake's Iris Kelly Doesn't Date! I've been loving the Bright Falls series and this is such a good conclusion.
Everyone around Iris Kelly is in love. Her best friends are coupled up, her siblings have perfect partners, and her parents are still blissfully married. And she’s happy for all of them, truly. Iris doesn’t want any of that—dating, love, romance. She’ll stick to her commitment-free hookups…Except no one will just let her be. Everyone wants to see her settled down, but she holds firmly to her no dating rule. There’s only one problem—Iris is a romance author facing an imminent deadline for her second book, and she’s completely out of ideas.
Perfectly happy to continue ignoring her problems, Iris goes to a bar in Portland and meets a sexy stranger, Stefania. A night of dancing turns into the worst one-night stand Iris has had in her life. To get her mind that terrible night, Iris tries out for the lead role in a local play, a queer retelling of Much Ado About Nothing, but comes face-to-face with Stefania, whose real name turns out to be Stevie. Desperate to save face in front of her friends, Stevie asks Iris to play along as her girlfriend.
Iris is shocked, but when she realizes the arrangement might provide her with some much-needed romantic content for her book, she agrees. As the two women play the part of a happy couple, lines start to blur, and they’re left wondering who will make the real first move....
[ID: Jess, a white woman wearing a blue sweater with embroidered flowers on its sleeve, holds the ebook in front of a screen painted blue & white with a pink flower on a panel.]
I’ve been such a fan of Ashley Herring Blake’s Bright Falls series & Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date offers more time with the wonderful group of friends we met in book 1 & in particular irrepressible, vibrant Iris.
But despite her passion & her confidence Iris can still be hurt & that’s something that’s definitely explored in this book, as Iris navigates expectations from her family & friends & meets & falls for Stevie, an actor who’s been struggling to get her big break & has problems with her own confidence.
Fake dating shenanigans followed by the leads trading lessons in sex & romance ensue & of course added to all of this is the fact that our leads are catching feelings for each other even as they’re starring in a play together.
There’s a nice amount of tension in this book as Stevie & Iris wrestle with those aforementioned expectations & how they butt up against their own desires, wants, & needs.
The steam is also balanced by the sweetness of their relationship, their moments of bravery balanced by their moments of vulnerability. Stevie’s Generalized Anxiety Disorder is also beautifully explored & something that as an anxious person I’m always excited to see.
Though I wish that at one later point of the plot Stevie takes more initiative, overall both leads end up taking a risk in this book & you love to see it. The ending wraps everything up very sweetly with this group of loving friends together again, doing what they do: being there for each other & appreciating each other.
4.25⭐️. Out 10/24.
CWs: Iris has some trauma surrounding an ex who lied to her about being married & having a family. She runs into that previous lover on page.
Have you read any other books in this series? Let me know and thanks for stopping by!
Give me that HEA, please.
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