The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead #BookReview #RomCom #RomanceReaders

Thank you to HTP Books for my spot on this blog tour.
The Boyfriend Candidate
By Ashley Winstead
On Sale May 9, 2023
Graydon House,
Paperback Original
ISBN 9781525804960
Price: $18.99

Book Summary:

A laugh-out-loud rom-com about learning to embrace living outside your comfort zone.

As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek—in bed!—she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand?

Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite—and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly—and shockingly—flees.

Alexis is bewildered until suddenly pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career—and jeopardize Alexis’s job—until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?


“Winstead [] brings both hilarity and heartfelt moments to this rousing rom-com….Readers will cheer Alexis on her path to discovering her inner strength and swoon over idealistic Logan. This is a winner.” -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, Starred Review

“This slow-burn, fake-relationship romantic comedy has likable protagonists with instant chemistry….This is a fast-paced, hard-to-put-down novel whose happily-ever-after isn’t what readers will expect; it’s better.” -LIBRARY JOURNAL, Starred Review

“Charming….Told in Alexis’ fresh first-person voice, this heartwarming romance has both poignant introspection and a hero who sacrifices his dignity when faced with kittens and gerbils.” –BOOKPAGE, STARRED REVIEW

“Mixing political and romantic intrigue, Winstead’s novel combines the darker side of politics with the lighter side of life. With a few steamy encounters and a ripped-from-the-headlines feel, The Boyfriend Candidate will appeal to fans of Lianne Moriarty, Ellen Meister, Amy Mason Doan, and anyone looking for a little more escapism in their political diet.” – BOOKLIST

The Boyfriend Candidate is everything I’ve ever wanted in a romance. Charming, swoony, and utterly unputdownable. I LOVE this book (and also Logan Arthur)!” -Lynn Painter, New York Times bestselling author of Better Than the Movies and Mr. Wrong Number

“THE BOYFRIEND CANDIDATE is my favorite kind of romance: one where the couple learns to fall in love with themselves as much as they fall for each other. Winstead seamlessly weaves romantic tension and tenderness, with her signature comedic timing and a charming cast of characters.  Ashley makes it easy to vote for Logan Arthur as your next book boyfriend.” -Ruby Barrett, author of The Romance Recipe

The Boyfriend Candidate catches fire, sizzles throughout and then bursts into flames. Highly recommend!” -Abby Jimenez, New York Times bestselling author of Part of Your World

“An introverted children’s librarian and a modern-day reformed rake come together in THE BOYFRIEND CANDIDATE, a romance that’s simultaneously sexy and sensitive, brimming with keen humor, impeccable romantic tension, and a lively supporting cast that leaps off the page. It’s a story about breaking rules, reclaiming control of our internal narratives, and having the courage to rewrite expectations for ourselves–and for love. With Alexis and Logan, Ashley Winstead has written my favorite kind of opposites-attract romance: the kind where the leads aren’t really opposites at all–they’re simply two different halves of the same whole.” — Jen Devon, author of Bend Toward the Sun

Buy Links:

Social Links:


Author Bio:

Ashley Winstead’s 2021 breakout thriller was In My Dreams I Hold a Knife. Her 2022 romance debut, Fool Me Once, was an Amazon Editor’s Best Romance as well as a USA Today, PopSugar, New York Post, and Goodreads best or most anticipated romance of the year. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned for film/TV.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead is a heartwarming fake-dating romantic comedy I just fell in love with. It has strong character development, and I loved watching Alexis Stone blossom into a strong and independent woman right before my eyes.

My Reading Experience:

I was surprised by how much I loved this story. It has that extra layer of depth that makes it much more than the typical light and fluffy romantic comedy. Watching Alexis become who she was always meant to be was a wonderful part of the story, and I loved every second of it.

However, there is a great deal of talk about specific political topics that could have been cut down a great deal. I could go to any news site to read about politics and political issues. I don’t really care for it in my escapist reads. But that was the only critique I had about the story.

It’s written beautifully and flows so authentically that it reads very quickly. The fake dating trope felt natural, which is something for a trope that is unnatural by its very nature. I loved the pairing of Alexis and Logan. They have a chemistry that leaps off the page and is undeniable.


As I’ve mentioned a few times, the character development was my favorite part of this story. I’m all about women’s empowerment, and this is such an authentic example of that concept. Alexis is a school librarian who has always lived in her sister’s shadow. Her self-confidence and self-esteem have been attacked at every turn in her life. During this story, I watched Alexis discover that she has a voice and that people will listen if she uses it. I loved watching her journey to that realization.

Narration & Pacing:

The story is told in first-person narration, with Alexis telling her story. This worked very well for keeping the pace quick. The only thing that slowed it down was the periods of political talk. They could have been more generalized other than the area where Alexis found her voice. Doing that would have made the entire story consistently a quick read.


The setting is Texas, which surprised me when they mentioned it. Although, that played well into a political story, especially with the specifics of this novel. Even though the setting initially surprised me, it was used very well in the story.

Read if you like:

  • Fake Dating romances
  • Women empowerment stories
  • Character-driven romantic comedies

Overall Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Writing Quality10
Character Development8
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness10
Use of Setting10
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

14 Replies to “The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead #BookReview #RomCom #RomanceReaders”

    1. It truly is. I just get tired of the politics in everyday life, so don’t really want to read about it in a story but the relationship was so good, I can forgive the political talk.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I occasionally read romcoms, and the premise of this one appeals to me. It might also be because the MC is a librarian, lol. And I’m with you on the political talk, Tessa.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read one of her books and was lukewarm with it. It’s nice she can wrote multiple tropes and that you enjoyed this one. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a wonderful story, Tessa. I love when there is more depth than I had expected, especially in a romance. Wonderful review.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.