Audiobook Review: The Rom-Com Agenda (ARC)

Published January 10th 2023

Author: Jayne Denker

Narrator: Erika Schindele

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

Vibrantly funny, endearingly sweet, and a love letter to all things rom com, Jayne Denker’s The Rom Com Agenda is a story of two people finding love right when they least expect it.

You know how the story’s supposed to go…but love makes its own plans.

STEP 1: Find yourself
Leah Keegan is used to being alone, especially after taking care of her sick foster mother for the past year. But now there’s nothing keeping her in the sweet town of Willow Cove. It’s time to move on. Again.

STEP 2: Win back the one who got away
Eli Masterson thought he and Victoria were meant to be together until she decided to jet off to Rome for a year. Eli is determined to win her back. But how?

STEP 3: Become a romantic hero
Changing Eli’s physical appearance is easy, but to turn Eli into the sophisticated-yet-vulnerable ideal man, his girl pals force him to watch classic rom-coms. And take notes.

STEP 4: Fall in love?
Inadvertently drawn into the makeover scheme, Leah ends up being Eli’s guide through the wild world of meet-cutes and grand gestures. Even though she believes Eli doesn’t need to change a thing about himself. Even though she just might be falling for Eli . . . and Eli falling for her.

The Rom-Com Agenda follows almost 30-year-old Eli Masterson and Leah Keegan in the town of Willow Cove. Eli has been dating Victoria for the past four months before she announces that she is going on an extended sabbatical in Rome. Victoria is okay with ending things whereas Eli was dead set on marrying her. Leah happens to overhear this break-up and feels sorry for Eli. The main story then takes place about five months later where Eli is still pining over Victoria and determined to win her back. His sister and friends agree to help him where they run into Leah who works at many of the shops they visit. The sister invites Leah to join them for drinks and she ends up part of their scheme to help Eli.

Leah was an interesting character as she was put in the foster system after her mother was unable to care for her. She landed at the home of a foster mother who raised her and after her death she cannot wait to earn enough money to move away. She is excited for the possibility to be part of a group after being alone for a while, which was sweet. The more time she spends with Eli, the inevitable happens in true rom-com fashion. The one thing that I had trouble understanding is Eli may have told one version about what happened on the pier when Victoria left him, which could be why his group believes more in helping him. Leah knows the truth and how Victoria was adamant that it was over for good, and she was not as invested. For me, it needed further exploration as it would give more insight into why the friends indulge Eli who pines over a girl longer than they were in a relationship.

As everyone is determined to help Eli, there are some fun discussions of many 80s and 90s classics. These were fun nostalgia additions for me to “relive” some movies that I have forgotten about over the years but enjoyed when I initially watched them. Through the novel, Eli is still set on Victoria being the one for him for longer than my liking. He and Leah begin to develop feelings for each other, but I felt I needed more to understand why Eli was still going back and forth between the two women. While Eli does fall fast in love, which can happen, I feel that he never fully grows before Leah becomes a romantic option. For me, it seems that if he and Leah broke up, he would pine for her forever until the next girl came along. This may not be the actual case, but I feel I needed something added to the story to show how this potential new relationship is different. Overall, I loved the concept of the novel and the references to all the rom coms! The writing was interesting, and I would read more from the author even though I needed a little more from the romance between Leah and Eli.

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and Dreamscape Media for the opportunity to read this novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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