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BOOK REVIEW: How to Fail at Flirting [Blog Tour]

How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
Publication Date: December 1, 2020

As a disclaimer, I read this one super quickly and was partly like in a haze for half of it, so maybe it is not as good as I am remembering, but I had such a fun time with this one that I really don’t care.  

TW: assault, gaslighting, past abusive relationship, racism

We follow Naya, a professor whose department is in trouble and who is still dealing with the ghosts of her past abusive relationship. Her friends hype her up and encourage her to make a list of things to accomplish, like having someone buy her a drink. One night she goes out to a bar and her friends can’t make it, so she starts chatting with a guy at the bar. They have an instant connection and almost have a one-night stand. This novel follows their relationship and the complexities it ends up bringing. 


  • I am not typically a fan of books where the characters get together super quick, as I feel we lose some of those cute moments and replace them with sexy or angsty times, but Denise Williams truly is able to balance the sexy times and the cute/soft moments SO WELL.
    • Jake is the ultimately soft boy
    • Honestly still not over how this novel is able to be so soft and yet have so many sexy/steamy moments
  • I loved that Naya was a biracial woman of color in academia
    • Maybe it is because I am in graduate school and am just a fan of reading about people who are passionate in higher education.
  • The friend dynamics, both of them have such great friends & I enjoyed seeing the relationships on page.
  • At the start of the novel I wanted Jake’s POV, but I truly think this story was best only from Naya’s POV.
  • I loved that Naya is biracial and seeing her explore her identity and how her culture impacted her research.
    • I loved the mentions of her grandfather and the Spanish class
  • The ending with her student! It was unexpected, but super cute 
    • I love cute call backs at endings


  • I’m going to put it in white & you can highlight it if you care, but it’s a spoiler and kind of a plot twist. Jake is married, but separated when they get together. There is never like an element of him still being into his wife, but I never like seeing this in books 
  • I am not the biggest fan of the title because even though Naya and Jake both claim they aren’t good at flirting, they are pretty good at flirting with each other 

Overall, I recommend this one if you want a romance with a woman getting her life back together and taking control of it, with a sweet and sexy romance. 

4/5 stars 

*Thanks so much to the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review*

xoxo, Tree

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