Dominic Yun is in my sound booth. He knows it’s my sound booth. He’s been here four months, and there’s no way he doesn’t know it’s my sound booth.The Ex Talk, Chapter 1 opening
Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.From Goodreads
I’ll say it. I’m a picky romance reader. I mostly enjoy thrillers, fantasy, and the like. I’ll occasionally dip my toe into romance but I often find them overly cheesy and cliché. This book made me rethink all my assumptions about the genre. If anyone from now on asks what type of romances I enjoy, I’ll be able to just point to this. Easy, job done. Thank you Rachel Lynn Solomon :P. This book flies effortlessly to the top of my favorite romances (admittedly a sparse list to begin with), even eclipsing Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert in my opinion.
Main characters Shay and Dominic follow the usual enemies to lovers shtick set modern day at a public radio station in Seattle. Dominic is a bit smug, fresh out of college and already climbing the ranks. Shay is the station’s youngest senior producer and former promising young talent, now eclipsed by Dominic. Understandably she’s bitter, and her lack lustre dating life isn’t helping. The two of them end up forced into a disagreeable role as bickering cohosts on a new dating radio show in a bid to keep the station afloat. Since they haven’t actually dated and need the content to feel realistic the pair end up spending time together, which is when they realize they may have been too quick in judging the other.
This was a fun concept executed well. While reading this I smiled the most I’ve smiled during a romance yet, and it was well balanced with the amount of torturous face-palm moments to be had when the characters break apart for annoying, silly reasons. Shay was very relatable in her thoughts and problems – even so far as her checking rooms when she arrives home alone for murderers. Dominic starts out both prickly and stoic since we’re getting Shay’s perspective, but gradually turns charming and sweet as we get to know him. Their interactions make The Ex Talk great. We also get a nice sweep of inclusivity across the board – 2nd marriages and grief, bi-racial and same-sex relationships, and navigating friendships during difficult changes. Altogether these facets round out the book into a robust, full-hearted read. I highly recommend picking this up. Congrats to Rachel on this stellar recent release!