Review – The Jake Ryan Complex by Bethany Crandell

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title The Jake Ryan Complex
Author Bethany Crandell
Release Date January 26, 2021
Date Read February 1, 2021
Availability Free with Kindle Unlimited

Description from Amazon

Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie “Mac” Huntress set her standards for men very high early on. It’s been over twenty years since she fell for a fictional movie heartthrob, and Mac’s content to wait for the real version to come along; it’s her nagging mother who’s not happy with the timeline. So Mac falls back on her lifelong Mom-surviving skill—lying. The latest fabrication: a handsome neurologist named Michael. Pity he’s too busy to meet her friends and family. Problem solved.

But when Mac’s little sister announces her engagement, Mac is expected to introduce her elusive “plus-one” at the wedding, leaving her with only forty days to find a flesh-and-blood stand-in for the imaginary Michael. And the only potential Mr. Right comes with a big hitch.

However, it turns out Mac’s not the only one bringing secrets to the wedding. With expectations high, and shocking truths to be revealed, Mac’s left to find her own happy ending, which isn’t as simple as in the movies…though it’s definitely worth waiting for.

Initial Thoughts

I was excited to read this book. I love 80s references and Sixteen Candles is a classic.

Some Things I Liked

  • 80s references. I loved the references to pop culture and movies from the 80s woven into the story. I’ve seen so many of those movies and I thought this was a fun way to incorporate them into a rom-com.
  • Mac’s friend group. I loved her circle of friends and wished we had seen more of them in the story.

Some Things I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • I hated the last scene. That ending was the worst. It literally rendered one of the primary issues between Mac and J.T. useless.
  • The lies. There were far too many lies in this story and they really didn’t make sense by the end. I thought the web was too complex.
  • The horrible dates. Some of them were so weird I literally cringed.

Series Value

I don’t really think there’s much series value here. I didn’t really fall in love with any of the characters and most of their issues were resolved within this story.

I’d read more of Bethany Crandell’s writing though. I enjoyed the humor in this story.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t love this story. The lies and deceit became too complex and I felt like it all wrapped up too neatly in the end for the years and years of issues that were unraveled during the story. I thought it was good but not great.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Truth, Lies, and Second Dates by MaryJanice Davidson – if you liked the idea of a slightly older main character who somewhat resigned herself to single life, try this standalone.
  • Knocked Up Cinderella by Julie Hammerle – if you liked the idea of an almost 40 heroine who’s sassy and independent, try this standalone.

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