Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail- Review
Astrid Park Doesn’t Fail
By Ashley Herring Blake
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+ Romance
Series: Bright Falls #2
Publication Date: November 22,2022
Source: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5 Stars
An interior designer learns to rebuild her love life from the ground up with zero blueprints in this new romantic comedy by Ashley Herring Blake, author of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care.
For Astrid Parker, failure is unacceptable. Ever since she broke up with her fiancé a year ago, she’s been focused on her career—her friends might say she’s obsessed, but she’s just driven. When Pru Everwood asks her to be the designer for the Everwood Inn’s renovation that will be broadcasted on a popular home improvement show, Innside America, Astrid knows this is the answer to everything that is wrong with her life. It’ll be the perfect distraction from her failed love life, and her perpetually displeased mother might finally give her nod of approval.
However, Astrid never planned on Jordan Everwood, Pru’s granddaughter and lead carpenter for the inn’s renovation, who despises every modern design decision Astrid makes. Jordan is determined to preserve the history of her family’s inn, particularly as the rest of her life is in shambles. When that determination turns into a little light sabotage, ruffling Astrid’s perfect little feathers, the showrunners ask them to play up the tension. But somewhere along the way, their dislike for each other turns into something quite different, and Astrid must decide what success truly means. Is she going to pursue the life that she’s expected to lead, or the one she wants?
This book was a delightful read. Both Astrid and Jordan were well fleshed-out characters. Astrid especially, with her fear of failure and her need for perfection, and her baby queerness, was so relatable. Both Astrid and Jordan are at a crossroads and this renovation is a chance for both to truly figure out what they want in life. For Astrid, it is an attempt to save her company but as we learn through the book, to break out from under her mother’s thumb and discover what truly makes her happy. For Jordan, it is healing from a painful breakup that shook her foundation and to rediscover her passions. There is a bit of enemies to lovers like conflict but more of the differences in opinions between Astrid and Jordan that just enflame their attraction.
This is a story of growth, for both Jordan and Astrid. While they have really supportive people in their lives, they are really forced to take time and examine what they want and what makes them happy. This story, while about women in their 30’s, has a bit of a coming to age feel to it. It shows that the reader that they’re never to old to make changes and that it is important to find the things in life that make you happy. There is a lot about this book that really resonates with me as a reader and as someone considering the next steps in her own life. I really appreciated this story and thought it was absolutely beautiful!