Fun romcom reads are all over the place at the moment and I feel like the overwhelming majority of them are from the US, so I always have my eye out for Aussie romance books. I loved Jodi McAlister’s Here for the Right Reasons when I read it last year so I was thrilled when I found out we were getting a sequel! I devoured Can I Steal You for a Second? as soon as I could get my hands on a copy – read on below for my review!
Synopsis of Jodi McAlister’s Can I Steal You for a Second?
Mandie Mitchell will do anything to get over her toxic ex. Even sign up to the polarising reality dating show, Marry Me Juliet. But with her self-esteem in tatters, she’s not sure she’s brave enough to actually go on the show until she forms a friendship with Dylan Gilchrist at the auditions that gives her the push she needs.
Dylan is everything Mandie is not – tough, strong, and totally unafraid to speak her mind. Unfortunately, she also looks set to win, as she soon becomes the clear favourite of the Romeo, who also happens to share the same name. It’s annoying, really, just how perfect the Dylans seem for each other...
Mandie’s jealous. But it’s not because she wants to win the show. It’s because in her effort to get over her ex, she’s gone and fallen right back in love… with the wrong Dylan.
My review of Can I Steal You for a Second? by Jodi McAlister
While I was super excited to get Mandie and Dylan’s love story in Can I Steal You for a Second?, I did have one small reservation, which was whether McAlister could make the broader plot feel fresh and exciting when we’ve also already seen it from the perspective of Cece and Dylan in Here for the Right Reasons. I feel like she absolutely nailed this – seeing events unfold around Mandie and Dylan and their developing relationship worked so well for me. So much so that I had my fingers crossed for a third book in the Marry Me, Juliet series around another couple, and I was so pleased to read that this will be happening.
The relationship we see grow between Mandie and Dylan was really lovely. Like in the first book, the feelings between them felt natural and the pacing worked well for me. I thought Dylan was a great character and I thought the tension she feels as a nurse facing down the growing pandemic and feeling torn between wanting to help and wanting out felt quite authentic to me. I wasn’t quite as sold on Mandie, who – for me – was really right on that border of being almost too down on herself for me to enjoy spending time in her head. She did have some great moments though, and I loved seeing he start to be kinder to herself and grow in confidence a bit.
Overall this was a sweet and fun read. McAlister manages to keep things feeling fresh and swoony, while tackling some more serious themes too. I definitely recommend this one to fans of romcoms and reality tv, and I will be hanging out to get my eyes on the next installment!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this one, or are planning to!
Can I Steal You for a Second by Jodi McAlister
Out now from Simon and Schuster
Source: I originally received a free copy eCopy from Simon and Schuster (via Netgalley) for review (thank you!) – however I couldn’t resist buying myself a physical copy to match my copy of the first book.
Category: Aussie contemporary romance fiction
You can keep up with the latest from Jodi on her website here.
Can I Steal You for a Second? on Goodreads
Here for the Right Reasons on Goodreads
Check out my review of Here for the Right Reasons here.
Want more romcoms? Click here.