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The Fixer Upper

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In this funny and sharp romantic comedy, a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame. Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives. After a chance In this funny and sharp romantic comedy, a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame. Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives. After a chance meeting with an ex who has gone from a living in his parents’ basement to a married project manager in three years, she realizes she’s been fixing her boyfriends, too… So, Aly decides to put her talents to good use and, alongside two work friends, sets up The Fixer Upper, an exclusive, underground service for women who are tired of unpaid emotional labor. Using little tricks and tips, Aly and her friends get the men to do the work themselves – to get out of the job they hate, sign up for that growth seminar, to do more parenting. Before long, a high-profile Instagram star hires them to fix-up her app developer boyfriend. There’s just one catch – he’s also Aly’s childhood best friend and first love. As Aly tackles her biggest “fixer upper” yet, she’ll have to come to terms with their complicated history and figure out how much to change someone she’d always thought was perfect as he is…


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In this funny and sharp romantic comedy, a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame. Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives. After a chance In this funny and sharp romantic comedy, a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame. Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives. After a chance meeting with an ex who has gone from a living in his parents’ basement to a married project manager in three years, she realizes she’s been fixing her boyfriends, too… So, Aly decides to put her talents to good use and, alongside two work friends, sets up The Fixer Upper, an exclusive, underground service for women who are tired of unpaid emotional labor. Using little tricks and tips, Aly and her friends get the men to do the work themselves – to get out of the job they hate, sign up for that growth seminar, to do more parenting. Before long, a high-profile Instagram star hires them to fix-up her app developer boyfriend. There’s just one catch – he’s also Aly’s childhood best friend and first love. As Aly tackles her biggest “fixer upper” yet, she’ll have to come to terms with their complicated history and figure out how much to change someone she’d always thought was perfect as he is…

30 review for The Fixer Upper

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catherine (alternativelytitledbooks)

    **Many thanks to Shelf Awareness, Putnam, and Lauren Forsythe for the digital ARC provided via NetGalley! Now available as of 8.2!** Bob the Builder, move over...YOU can't fix 'em...but ALY can! Alyssa 'Aly' Aresti, that is...accidental 'fixer-upper' extraordinaire, who can't seem to date a man without breaking him out of a personal rut...but often gets stuck in her own. She's been aching to ascend upward in her marketing career, but keeps hitting roadblocks along the way, and has spent many an ev **Many thanks to Shelf Awareness, Putnam, and Lauren Forsythe for the digital ARC provided via NetGalley! Now available as of 8.2!** Bob the Builder, move over...YOU can't fix 'em...but ALY can! Alyssa 'Aly' Aresti, that is...accidental 'fixer-upper' extraordinaire, who can't seem to date a man without breaking him out of a personal rut...but often gets stuck in her own. She's been aching to ascend upward in her marketing career, but keeps hitting roadblocks along the way, and has spent many an evening dining alone at restaurants. When she runs into an ex who has gone from Grungy Hippie Artist Failing to Launch to successful Project Manager and has managed to snag a wife and home along the way, Aly realizes her nudging ends up benefiting EVERYONE in her life but herself. With some gentle coaxing and co-conspirator-style coercion tactics from two work colleagues who are eager to be involved, Aly agrees to launch "The Fixer Upper", a service of sorts where women can send their problem children men to Aly for that one last push towards an engagement, leap to professional growth, or encouragement towards active parenting. Much to their surprise, the mini-business takes off and catches the eye of Instagram sensation Nicki. Her boyfriend's mental health app is floundering, and her ring finger is oh-so-bare...and of course, Aly and her friends are all too willing to sign on, especially for the huge payday this high profile client will provide once Aly delivers the goods. When Nicki's beau walks in, however, time stops for Aly--it's her childhood best friend, Dylan, who she also happened to have a HUGE crush on...and the two didn't exactly leave on the best of terms. Will Aly make this project count to give Nicki everything she's always dreamed of...and can she stand by and guide the one that got away to the alter...with another woman? This is a bit of a genre mashup, and probably lies somewhere in the realm of 60% women's fiction and 40% romance, which is okay as long as you go into this one prepared for the romance to sort of play in the background for most of the book. There's a lot of focus on Aly's friendships and just how wonderful and important they are...which may be true, but felt a little redundant by the third time the author said it. For an amazing guy she couldn't ever forget, Dylan was a fairly bland love interest...likeable enough, but not sure why Aly would have been pining for him so hard other than their shared history. Honestly, this book is less about Aly's romantic relationships and more about the fact that women like Aly (and women in general) often find themselves needing to be endlessly selfless in order to feel 'worthy,' and THIS is where I connected with the narrative. Aly is so wrapped up in trying to be everything for everyone that she allows herself to be trampled over time and time again and feels that her worth is entirely tied to accomplishments rather than her inherent worth as both a person AND a woman. Forsythe's deep dive into Aly's relationship with her mother and father's toxic relationship was, again, MORE relatable and interesting than Aly's potential with Dylan. This is a book that (somewhat) subtly points at the fact that you need to fully love yourself before you can love someone else...but you'll have to see for yourself how (and if!) Aly learns that lesson. I bounced around mentally with my rating for this one while reading...sometimes I'd feel incredibly enthusiastic about a passage, and then Nicki would start being a brat or something else would get on my nerves and the scales would tip yet again. Since this IS a debut, it made me reflect on my own life, and despite its predictability, I grew to care about Aly and I'm going to round up on this one. Looking forward to hearing more from Lauren Forsythe, and in the meantime, I'll be picking up empty water glasses from the nightstand, turning off the lights in the (empty) family room, and moving the laundry from in front of our hamper INTO said hamper. (Well, you'll notice Aly didn't attempt to 'fix' any of THOSE sort of habits...guess I'm on my own!) 😉 4 stars, rounded up from 3.5

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    If Olivia Pope would focus on people’s emotions and relationships instead of law and politics, she could be this book’s main character Aly who is some kind of broken heart heart fixer, love guru, career strategist, helping people to have their own HEA and achieve their business goals! She had too many ex boyfriends and after dating with her, lives of all those big boys changed ( in a truly positive way) She realizes she’s born to help people: she doesn’t only fix broken hearts, she also helps t If Olivia Pope would focus on people’s emotions and relationships instead of law and politics, she could be this book’s main character Aly who is some kind of broken heart heart fixer, love guru, career strategist, helping people to have their own HEA and achieve their business goals! She had too many ex boyfriends and after dating with her, lives of all those big boys changed ( in a truly positive way) She realizes she’s born to help people: she doesn’t only fix broken hearts, she also helps to solve career problems, parental struggles. So she decides to monetize her natural gift by starting a firm with her friends Eric and Tola. But when she takes a semi influencer’s boyfriend as a client, she realizes that boyfriend is not a regular person: his name is Dylan and he was her best friend fifteen years ago, the same boy she had a huge crush on and the same boy who broke her heart. Now he struggles with his job and personal image. Aly is forced to help him which means they have to confront with their unresolved issues. Could their sparkle rekindle? Would it be ethical to date with your client who has already girlfriend? This book is entertaining British romcom. The premise was a little far fetched and the entire problem around main characters is occurred because of misunderstanding. Well, that earned my few eye rolls. The banters between characters were enjoyable. I found Dylan a little insecure and lost. The reason behind his change after their share past was a little unrealistic. The whole ending of their friendship process was also a little exaggerated. They may easily talk and get through it. Overall : it was still sweet, lovely, feel good romance and fresh debut. I’m giving three stars because of the reasons I pointed out. But I truly like to read more works of the author in near future. Special thanks to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP PUTNAM, G. P. Putnam’s Sons for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Abby Jimenez

    This was a fun, fast read. I really enjoyed it! A sweet childhood-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers British romantic comedy. There are no sex scenes FYI so if you're looking for steam, this won't have it. It's pretty PG all the way around actually. That doesn't bother me but it warrants mentioning for those looking for something edgier. It also leans heavily on the miscommunication trope. I like that personally, but again it's not for everyone. A great beach read for sure. I could totally see this bei This was a fun, fast read. I really enjoyed it! A sweet childhood-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers British romantic comedy. There are no sex scenes FYI so if you're looking for steam, this won't have it. It's pretty PG all the way around actually. That doesn't bother me but it warrants mentioning for those looking for something edgier. It also leans heavily on the miscommunication trope. I like that personally, but again it's not for everyone. A great beach read for sure. I could totally see this being a movie! My casting choices—Aaron Taylor Johnson as Dylan (he's got the blue eyes too!) and Carey Mulligan for Aly. Quotable quote: "That's what happens when you love someone for a decade. It lives in your bones like an echo." 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Helena (helenareadsxx)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC. I really did enjoy this book, although it isn't a five star read for me as I found Nicki unbearable and I found The Fixer Upper program to be a bit manipulative and toxic but I'm glad the characters saw that by the end of the book. Dylan is great, and I really enjoyed his character as well as Priya! Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC. I really did enjoy this book, although it isn't a five star read for me as I found Nicki unbearable and I found The Fixer Upper program to be a bit manipulative and toxic but I'm glad the characters saw that by the end of the book. Dylan is great, and I really enjoyed his character as well as Priya!

  5. 4 out of 5

    kaitlyn

    thank you netgalley, penguin group putnam, g.p. putnam’s sons, and lauren forsynth for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! i really enjoyed this book and thought that it was a super cute british romcom. the pacing of this novel is fast, which i really enjoyed. i also loved the main character, aly, and thought that she was very realistic and relatable. she’s hardworking, but insecure, and i loved her relationship with her friends and their decision to start “fixer upper” - a busi thank you netgalley, penguin group putnam, g.p. putnam’s sons, and lauren forsynth for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! i really enjoyed this book and thought that it was a super cute british romcom. the pacing of this novel is fast, which i really enjoyed. i also loved the main character, aly, and thought that she was very realistic and relatable. she’s hardworking, but insecure, and i loved her relationship with her friends and their decision to start “fixer upper” - a business that “fixes” parts of a relationship that people don’t like. i felt bad for her throughout though, with her job and mom, plus what happens later with fixer upper. aly is approached by a social media influencer who wants her to help motivate her boyfriend to propose. the only problem is, her boyfriend turns out to be aly’s old best friend and former love interest, dylan james. this book is a second-chance romance between aly and dylan and i really enjoyed seeing them reunite and fall for one another again. however, i will say that i enjoyed the other aspects of the story just as much, if not more, than the romance, which surprised me. overall, i enjoyed this book! i’m giving it a solid 4 stars and i recommend it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maren’s Reads

    4.5 stars rounded up. Aly is a fixer. That’s all she’s known her whole life. How to fix relationships; how to fix careers; how to fix parenting struggles. You have a problem, she’s your gal. The only thing she is unable to fix is her own life and relationships. Soon after she and two friends form The Fixer Upper, a company designed to help others “fix” different aspects of their lives that they find lacking, she agrees to help a semi-famous influencer develop her boyfriend’s career/image. Only p 4.5 stars rounded up. Aly is a fixer. That’s all she’s known her whole life. How to fix relationships; how to fix careers; how to fix parenting struggles. You have a problem, she’s your gal. The only thing she is unable to fix is her own life and relationships. Soon after she and two friends form The Fixer Upper, a company designed to help others “fix” different aspects of their lives that they find lacking, she agrees to help a semi-famous influencer develop her boyfriend’s career/image. Only problem? Said boyfriend is Aly’s long lost best friend and first love. Cue the craziness, scheming, heart breaking, word waring, match making and overall chaos that ensues as a result, in Lauren Forsythe’s debut novel. Overall, this was a very enjoyable book that I found I didn’t want to end. Although the plot was a little far fetched at times, the overall message about relationships and who you are in them vs who you are at your core, is very well done. I also loved the aspect Forsythe presents of the “influencer” and losing track of what is real and what is being crafted to maintain an image in that world. The well developed and charming characters(with the exception of one or two who were pretty loathsome), the witty banter being spewed left and right, the picturesque settings, and an adorably named Beagle all create a charming rom com worth adding to your to-be-read list. Thank you to NetGalley and Putnam for an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    4.5/5 (rounded up) The Fixer Upper by Lauren Forsythe was recommended to me by a friend on #Bookstagram and I am so glad it was since it wasn't even on my radar prior to that! This book made me an instant fan of Forsythe and I am completely shocked this is a debut novel. I thought it had the perfect blend of romance, hilarity, fun, and depth, and when we got to the end of the book, I was totally cheering Aly on. I also enjoyed the fact that the premise was something different than other romcoms I 4.5/5 (rounded up) The Fixer Upper by Lauren Forsythe was recommended to me by a friend on #Bookstagram and I am so glad it was since it wasn't even on my radar prior to that! This book made me an instant fan of Forsythe and I am completely shocked this is a debut novel. I thought it had the perfect blend of romance, hilarity, fun, and depth, and when we got to the end of the book, I was totally cheering Aly on. I also enjoyed the fact that the premise was something different than other romcoms I have read before, and I had so much love for the idea of The Fixer Upper as an underground way to help women with their men. This was also full of characters that I loved, and Aly's friends were seriously the best. I kept yelling at her in my head to just tell them what was up with her mom because I knew they wouldn't have the reaction she was expecting. The Fixer Upper is a gem on audio and I was a huge fan of the narrator Lily Howkins. She was great to listen to, and the audiobook was edited perfectly. I didn't have any issues with the things that bug me like mouth sounds, and Howkins seemed incredibly fitting to be the voice of Aly. She hit all the right notes with her narration, and I am sure I will remember the audio quite fondly even after time has passed. No small feat considering I am SUPER forgetful, so I obviously highly recommend listening to this. Besides all of the times I laughed out loud, this was also a bit of a tear-jerker, and I was frustrated at times as well. And I know I called this a romcom earlier, but the romance doesn't overpower the story, so you don't have to be a romance/romcom reader to enjoy it. I loved basically everything about this debut, and I can't wait for Forsythe to write more books!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Par par

    this was a sweet short book although I might have a few opinions about it. the trope was about friends to strangers back to friends again which had so many romance potential but the author didn't really use it. strong points about the book first was the MC character development , it was portrayed beautifully . second her relation ship with her mother and the way she saw her family and her friends and their characters. I didn't really connect to the plot and romance I wish there was more chemistry this was a sweet short book although I might have a few opinions about it. the trope was about friends to strangers back to friends again which had so many romance potential but the author didn't really use it. strong points about the book first was the MC character development , it was portrayed beautifully . second her relation ship with her mother and the way she saw her family and her friends and their characters. I didn't really connect to the plot and romance I wish there was more chemistry between characters. I also didn't like that she was kind of after another woman's boyfriend. in conclusion it was a okay rom-com thank you to the publisher, and the author for letting me read an ARC of this story through NetGalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    L. Soper

    Let me start by saying that I am completely blown away by Lauren Forsythe's writing. Her writing style is exactly what I am always searching for and have finally, finally found! She's quick, but not too fast paced; witty and clever; and there's not a scene wasted. I read this like I was watching a movie. Her premise is original and really entertaining, but it's her characters that are the stars of her writing. In my opinion, characters are everything, and she has fleshed out every one of them. Y Let me start by saying that I am completely blown away by Lauren Forsythe's writing. Her writing style is exactly what I am always searching for and have finally, finally found! She's quick, but not too fast paced; witty and clever; and there's not a scene wasted. I read this like I was watching a movie. Her premise is original and really entertaining, but it's her characters that are the stars of her writing. In my opinion, characters are everything, and she has fleshed out every one of them. You know these characters, they're three-dimensional; they're complex and real; you feel like you're watching their stories unfold on a screen rather than on paper. I'm not going to reiterate the basics, and I'm certainly not going to spoil this for anyone. I'll just say this: this story made me really feel; it made me long for my childhood best friend, and all those inside jokes, and what it was like to share everything with someone who was your world at such a young, vulnerable age. It made me nostalgic in all the right ways. These characters will stay with me for a long time, and I cannot wait for more from Lauren Forsythe! 🤗 Special thanks to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam's Sons for sharing this digital ARC with me in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather Adores Books

    3⭐ Featuring ~ single 1st person POV, debut, childhood sweethearts, manipulation madness, miscommunication, light on the rom, second chance I was drawn to this one by the premise and the cover and it ended up being just alright for me. I wasn't overly in love with any of the characters, except for Tola and Eric. Aly's parents were something. Aly's boss was a tool. Dylan coulda stepped up more. And what was up with Nikki, blah with her. I did like how Aly fixed things with Dylan at the end, but I w 3⭐ Featuring ~ single 1st person POV, debut, childhood sweethearts, manipulation madness, miscommunication, light on the rom, second chance I was drawn to this one by the premise and the cover and it ended up being just alright for me. I wasn't overly in love with any of the characters, except for Tola and Eric. Aly's parents were something. Aly's boss was a tool. Dylan coulda stepped up more. And what was up with Nikki, blah with her. I did like how Aly fixed things with Dylan at the end, but I wouldn't have minded more than a smooch. Since this was a debut I'd give this author another go. *Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam, the author and NetGalley for the ARC. I am voluntarily leaving my honest review* I was able to listen to the final version as well, so I went back and forth reading and listening. Lily Howkins did a fine job for 8 hours and 22 minutes, easy to follow at 2.25-2.5x. Follow me here ➡ Blog ~ Facebook

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    If you like almost zero romance in your romantic comedy, and a startup business based on manipulation this book is for you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    I loved who they were and their history. I just wish we could get more of them together. Deep and insightful. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Aly has huge problems and while on the outside everything seems great, inside she is a mess. For others, she is a supportive friend and a fabulous soul. For herself, her esteem is in shreds. The premise of the story is awesome. I think the author really hits the nail on the head with the deeper meaning here. I believe most people try to be supportive of others. Liftin I loved who they were and their history. I just wish we could get more of them together. Deep and insightful. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Aly has huge problems and while on the outside everything seems great, inside she is a mess. For others, she is a supportive friend and a fabulous soul. For herself, her esteem is in shreds. The premise of the story is awesome. I think the author really hits the nail on the head with the deeper meaning here. I believe most people try to be supportive of others. Lifting up friends. Helping when and where possible. But for ourselves, we can be the worst possible friend and person. The Fixer Upper offers us an internal view of what we should be accepting in life. A tight circle of friends/family who helps us see who we really are. A supportive team that has our back when we make tough decisions and cheer us on when we have finally had enough. And a partner who accepts you for who you are already are and where you are headed. This book is humorous with some great characters. Ones you will love and others you love to hate. There will be times you will question the choices but hang in there. It’s better from the other side! When it comes to Aly and her past boyfriend, I loved who they were together and their history. I just wish we could get more of them together. He is awesome! A fun yet deep and insightful book that leaves you thinking about your life. * copy received for review consideration * full review - https://amidlifewife.com/the-fixer-up...

  13. 5 out of 5

    jordan

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc. I absolutely adored this book. I laughed, cried, screamed, got really angry, and had frequent heart eyes. I’ve read a lot of books that made me cry throughout but this one had me sobbing every 5 minutes. I quite literally could not put it down, and against my better judgment, stayed up until 6 am reading it. I am obsessed with Dylan and Aly. I want more more more. And there were absolutely characters that made me want to tear my hair out, bu Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc. I absolutely adored this book. I laughed, cried, screamed, got really angry, and had frequent heart eyes. I’ve read a lot of books that made me cry throughout but this one had me sobbing every 5 minutes. I quite literally could not put it down, and against my better judgment, stayed up until 6 am reading it. I am obsessed with Dylan and Aly. I want more more more. And there were absolutely characters that made me want to tear my hair out, but I loved to hate them. The only thing I want more of is Aly and Dylan’s romantic relationship. I would definitely read a novella or an entire book of Aly and Dylan fluff. I will be buying the paperback once it’s released.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    This book had a lot of potential that was never fully realized.I don’t connect to any of the characters or the story line. Plus there is no romance but you may like it. ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Reads Romance

    Cute little British romcom that made me laugh out loud at parts. Great banter between all the characters, especially anytime Aly, Tola and Eric are on page together. To be honest, the entire premise of this book is highly unrealistic, but it’s okay, I switched off the part of my brain that had many questions pertaining to details and logistics. I liked the second chance romance between Aly and Dylan. Fifteen years ago, they were childhood best friends who secretly nursed crushes on each other. Ho Cute little British romcom that made me laugh out loud at parts. Great banter between all the characters, especially anytime Aly, Tola and Eric are on page together. To be honest, the entire premise of this book is highly unrealistic, but it’s okay, I switched off the part of my brain that had many questions pertaining to details and logistics. I liked the second chance romance between Aly and Dylan. Fifteen years ago, they were childhood best friends who secretly nursed crushes on each other. However, after a night of teenage binge drinking and drunken revelations, a Big Misunderstanding happened and they lost all contact. Aly essentially ghosted and blocked Dylan like a coward, and Dylan buried his hurt and carried on his life being a bit of a fuck boy. I’m not a fan of miscommunication as a plot device—especially when it’s unnecessary and easily rectified—so honestly, this annoyed me greatly. Aly and Dylan are both painfully flawed characters. I love flawed characters but these two confused me slightly. Aly is supposedly adept at “scheming”, and known as the “fixer” who gets shit done. However, she repeatedly gets taken advantage of by her boss and people at work. Frankly I don’t know how a person described as “manipulative” can also be the office doormat…? On the other hand, Dylan is deeply insecure and co-dependent, wears different masks to fit in, but is really suffering some type of existential crisis. They are both equally terrible people pleasers. Overall, an easy read with some fun moments sprinkled in between. There was some chemistry between Aly and Dylan, great camaraderie with side characters and a healthy loathing for the villain, Nikki. No steam (disappointing) and a very rushed ending IMO. The grand gesture happens extremely late—right at the end at 98%—I was worried I wasn’t going to get a HEA. Thanks to NetGalley and Putnam Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Faichney

    'The Fixer Upper' is a shining example of feel-good, feminist fiction. It was a perfect summer read for me,  and I particularly enjoyed the shifting focus of the Fixer Upper mission. I loved the premise of this novel from Lauren Forsythe and can't wait to read more of her work. 'The Fixer Upper' is a shining example of feel-good, feminist fiction. It was a perfect summer read for me,  and I particularly enjoyed the shifting focus of the Fixer Upper mission. I loved the premise of this novel from Lauren Forsythe and can't wait to read more of her work.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

    Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ Steam Level: 🔥 (kissing only) Aly Aresti appears to be a confident, single woman, but really she's the one who fixes everyone's problems- from her parents' unhealthy relationship to her colleagues' work problems. And she soon realizes that she played a part in fixing all of her ex-boyfriends so they could find love and success without her. This motivates Aly and her friends to build a side business of fixing people's relationships. When they get a call from reality star, kitty litter h Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ Steam Level: 🔥 (kissing only) Aly Aresti appears to be a confident, single woman, but really she's the one who fixes everyone's problems- from her parents' unhealthy relationship to her colleagues' work problems. And she soon realizes that she played a part in fixing all of her ex-boyfriends so they could find love and success without her. This motivates Aly and her friends to build a side business of fixing people's relationships. When they get a call from reality star, kitty litter heiress, and social media influencer Nicolette Wetherington-Smythe, they decide this could be their big break. But Aly soon learns that the man they need to fix is her former best friend and first love Dylan James. Out of panic and desperation, Aly makes a deal with Nicolette to motivate Dylan to pitch his start-up company's app AND to propose in just a matter of weeks in exchange for a huge payout. But she soon realizes her feelings for Dylan never faded and fixing him isn't going to improve his relationship with Nicolette. Will Aly come clean about her feelings? And what will happen if she can't really fix things like she promised? I have such mixed feelings about this book. The premise was intriguing, and I liked that we had a friends to lovers/"it's always been you" trope. I thought the side characters had some really great moments, and I liked how they gave off some found family vibes. While this had a lot of potential, the romance fell a bit flat and the plot was problematic. I enjoyed seeing Aly help Dylan with his start-up company, but their chemistry was hot and cold. Even at the end, I wasn't sure if they'd actually get together. Aly made some questionable choices throughout the book and was completely steamrolled at work- none of which sat well with me. There were just so many lies being told, as well as misunderstandings. While some people might enjoy all the drama, this one just had too much for me. Thank you to Netgalley and Putnam Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Sellers

    Excuse me while I finish crying… I loved this book! It took me a few days to process before I could even write this review, too many tears to see through. I have to say, based on the description, the story was a little different than I expected. I mean this in a good way. I liked seeing Alyssa in her work environment and the personal growth that takes place. I almost threw my book (kindle) at one point because I thought she was going backward. And in a way she was, but then… bam! I also loved seei Excuse me while I finish crying… I loved this book! It took me a few days to process before I could even write this review, too many tears to see through. I have to say, based on the description, the story was a little different than I expected. I mean this in a good way. I liked seeing Alyssa in her work environment and the personal growth that takes place. I almost threw my book (kindle) at one point because I thought she was going backward. And in a way she was, but then… bam! I also loved seeing Aly and Dylan’s past unravel into the future. Loved it!! Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to review this book! All opinions expressed in ALL of my reviews are mine alone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Milena

    I have mixed feelings about The Fixer Upper. There were things that I really liked about the book, but there were a lot of things that I disliked. I liked the writing style, it was engaging, and I wanted to keep reading the book to know what would happen next to the characters. I liked the supporting cast: Aly's friends, Tola and Eric, were my favorite characters. I didn't love the main characters, especially Dylan, the love interest. I prefer a romantic hero who takes risks and fights for the g I have mixed feelings about The Fixer Upper. There were things that I really liked about the book, but there were a lot of things that I disliked. I liked the writing style, it was engaging, and I wanted to keep reading the book to know what would happen next to the characters. I liked the supporting cast: Aly's friends, Tola and Eric, were my favorite characters. I didn't love the main characters, especially Dylan, the love interest. I prefer a romantic hero who takes risks and fights for the girl he loves, but Dylan came across as passive. After he and Aly reconnected, Dylan continued to date the other woman, the influencer he was not in love with. The break-up didn't happen until the end of the book! Was he too scared and indecisive to end the relationship? Or did he want to have his cake and eat it too? Either way, it made him a poor romantic hero. In addition, the whole premise relies on miscommunication and manipulation tropes, both pet peeves of mine. I had high hopes for The Fixer Upper, but it didn't quite live up. *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gianna

    2.5/5 stars. As a romance I was expecting a lot more...romance. I also wasn't exactly comfortable with the big scheme overall. It always felt a bit icky and there were moments where I was hoping it would be over and then the next stage would begin, but it really held out for basically the entire book. I appreciated Eric and Tola's friendships with Aly and how Aly eventually grew into herself, but I can't say I loved this book. It was alright, but it was not particularly a romance novel. Thank you 2.5/5 stars. As a romance I was expecting a lot more...romance. I also wasn't exactly comfortable with the big scheme overall. It always felt a bit icky and there were moments where I was hoping it would be over and then the next stage would begin, but it really held out for basically the entire book. I appreciated Eric and Tola's friendships with Aly and how Aly eventually grew into herself, but I can't say I loved this book. It was alright, but it was not particularly a romance novel. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Lauren

    3.5/5 Aly has a history of dating men that need to be fixed. Once she dates them and leaves, they go on to make something of themselves. With two of her co-workers, Aly goes on to turn her skills into a business. The Fixer Upper will help you get your boyfriend/husband/fiancé on track. Need a proposal? Call The Fixer Upper! Got a guy that has no ambition? Call the Fixer Upper! Now this side hustle is going well for Aly until she is presented with an opportunity to fix a man she already knows...and 3.5/5 Aly has a history of dating men that need to be fixed. Once she dates them and leaves, they go on to make something of themselves. With two of her co-workers, Aly goes on to turn her skills into a business. The Fixer Upper will help you get your boyfriend/husband/fiancé on track. Need a proposal? Call The Fixer Upper! Got a guy that has no ambition? Call the Fixer Upper! Now this side hustle is going well for Aly until she is presented with an opportunity to fix a man she already knows...and once loved. Instagram star Nikki is dating Aly's former best friend Dylan and Nikki needs him to propose. Aly agrees to the job so she can raise money to help her mom, but the situation starts off very rocky. I enjoyed the premise of the book. I think Netflix could make a tv series off of The Fixer Upper that would be hilarious. I found Aly to be a little hard to root for. She lacked a lot of self confidence and all of the problems in the book could have been fixed with a simple conversation (a trope that nags me). The side characters (Tola and Eric) were fabulous! I enjoyed the banter among the characters and some parts really hit home for me. Thank you to NetGaley and Penguin Group Putnam for granting me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley G.

    3.5 stars rounded up Rtc (hopefully)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Moro

    This had a really slow start but once the premise was fleshed out, it took off. Aly always dated men that are projects who then turn out to be successes after they’ve broken up. Drowning in work while trying to get promoted, her co workers come up with a new plan to help out all women with changing their fixer uppers into stellar finishes. Until she lands the biggest of their career and it’s someone form her past. As aly navigates the new challenges I felt myself cheering her on. For someone who This had a really slow start but once the premise was fleshed out, it took off. Aly always dated men that are projects who then turn out to be successes after they’ve broken up. Drowning in work while trying to get promoted, her co workers come up with a new plan to help out all women with changing their fixer uppers into stellar finishes. Until she lands the biggest of their career and it’s someone form her past. As aly navigates the new challenges I felt myself cheering her on. For someone who keeps getting trodden i wanted her to shout at everyone who was pulling her back and I was pleasantly rewarded. The romance is very slow and on the back burner. The real element of the book is watching Aly grow. I loved it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    Rating 3.25 stars, rounded down to 3. Alyssa "Aly" Aresti has always been a fixer - whether it be her parents, her job, her boyfriends, she's always trying to solve other people's problems. Aly, with her coworkers, Eric and Tola, decide to use Aly's powers to good use and start a service called Fixer Upper, which helps women who are tired of the emotional cost of motivating their partners to work on themselves. Whether it be working towards a dream career, leaving their dead-end job, or taking th Rating 3.25 stars, rounded down to 3. Alyssa "Aly" Aresti has always been a fixer - whether it be her parents, her job, her boyfriends, she's always trying to solve other people's problems. Aly, with her coworkers, Eric and Tola, decide to use Aly's powers to good use and start a service called Fixer Upper, which helps women who are tired of the emotional cost of motivating their partners to work on themselves. Whether it be working towards a dream career, leaving their dead-end job, or taking the next step in their relationship, Aly and team would use subtle suggestion and psychology to motivate these men to do the work themselves. After some success, a famous reality star/influencer hires Fixer Upper to help motivate her app developer boyfriend to get his start-up funded AND propose within a month. The added twist? Her boyfriend is Dylan James, Aly's childhood best friend and first love - the one that got away. It's Aly's first instinct to walk away from this, but when her Mom suddenly needs money to help save her home, Aly is left with no choice but to take the job and risk losing Dylan forever. From the beginning, we learn that Aly is quite the flawed character. She's a workaholic who allows herself to be gaslit and disrespected by her boss and colleagues, all for the sake of a promotion that we as readers know she'll never get. Her mom is extremely emotionally dependent on her to referee a broken marriage that she can't seem to give-up on. And come to find out, every dead-beat, project boyfriend she's had since adulthood has gone on to be successful, thanks to her emotional labor. Meanwhile, Aly's life has stagnated. This book, although advertised as a romance, is largely about Aly coming to terms with her "fixing" and realizing that she's been putting herself on the back-burner for people who take advantage of her. Although this is extremely frustrating to see as a reader, I did enjoy seeing Aly grow and become a person who is willing to stand-up for herself and go after the things she wants. As for the romance aspect, Aly and Dylan are former childhood friends that became strangers after an incident that could have easily been resolved by talking. I will say, since they were teenagers at the time, I can buy into the fact that Aly misunderstood the situation and ran away to protect herself. However, when they meet again many years later, it is again a lack of communication and trust that breaks them apart. Obviously, you can tell I am not a fan of the miscommunication trope. All in all, I found the romance between them to be a little weak. I wasn't all that invested in their relationship, as I believed that Aly still had a lot of self-discovery and self-healing to go through before she should be committing to someone. I think the premise of this story is a little unrealistic, but if you can get past it, I think it's a fun read. To me, the highlight of this book, and the reason you should read it, is for Aly's personal development, rather than the relationship between her and Dylan. Overall, I found this book to be a quick and entertaining read, but it was not compelling enough for me to be engaged in the story or relationships. I can see this book being a five-star read for the right person, but it didn't quite hit the mark for me. Content warnings: Gaslighting, and misogyny; brief mentions of cheating, car accident, and parent death (Note: I was provided an advanced copy of The Fixer Upper by the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    In this story we meet Aly who realizes that all of the men she has dated have gone on to do bigger and better things since dating her, some of which even credit Aly herself for their change. Reeling from this revelation Aly and her friends go about testing to see if Aly is able to “fix up” other people’s relationships too. It’s all going great until someone asks Aly for help “fixing up” their boyfriend Dylan... who just happens to be Aly’s childhood best friend and first love... I think we all k In this story we meet Aly who realizes that all of the men she has dated have gone on to do bigger and better things since dating her, some of which even credit Aly herself for their change. Reeling from this revelation Aly and her friends go about testing to see if Aly is able to “fix up” other people’s relationships too. It’s all going great until someone asks Aly for help “fixing up” their boyfriend Dylan... who just happens to be Aly’s childhood best friend and first love... I think we all know what happens next. This was a really good book! The only thing is- if you are looking for a book that is super romancey this is not it. Think Mariana Zapata style slow burn in the sense that our hero is dating a different girl for almost 90% of the book. It’s more so about self discovery than the actual romance. I also would have really loved an epilogue where we can see a little more into the future of their relationship, since we don’t get to see too much of it in the actual book. Overall it was good and a fast read. 4.5 ⭐️

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Fixer Upper is a debut novel. I would categorize the book as women's fiction with a bit of romance. This book is sort of being marketed as a British rom-com. I absolutely love romantic comedies. However in this case the romance is not at all the focus of the story. Also, I adore London as a setting. But it's not used to its full potential. I wanted so much more London. And I wish that the characters had felt more British to me. The narrator is 32 year old Aly/Alyssa (1st person POV). She is a The Fixer Upper is a debut novel. I would categorize the book as women's fiction with a bit of romance. This book is sort of being marketed as a British rom-com. I absolutely love romantic comedies. However in this case the romance is not at all the focus of the story. Also, I adore London as a setting. But it's not used to its full potential. I wanted so much more London. And I wish that the characters had felt more British to me. The narrator is 32 year old Aly/Alyssa (1st person POV). She is a genius at her job. Aly and two co-workers form The Fixer Upper, fixing relationships and helping women by manipulating their men. They take on a social media influencer (Nikki) as their biggest client. She wants help with her boyfriend Dylan. I really liked the supporting characters. I especially enjoyed Aly's friends, Tola and Eric. And I really liked Aly working to help Dylan with the business plan for the app. But the lying and manipulation was a bit too much. And I definitely wanted to see romance in a romance novel. Overall this was a fun original premise. But the romance was lacking. Thanks to edelweiss and Putnam Books for allowing me to read this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I used to basically only read British rom coms but it’s been awhile since I picked one up. This one sounded too good to miss and I’m so glad I decided to give it a try because it was cute, charming and sweet. While this was a romance I found it focused more on Aly herself with the romance playing only a small role in the end. That was fine, I’m ok with women’s fiction especially if the overall message is strong and it was here. It was about supporting others in both friendships and relationships I used to basically only read British rom coms but it’s been awhile since I picked one up. This one sounded too good to miss and I’m so glad I decided to give it a try because it was cute, charming and sweet. While this was a romance I found it focused more on Aly herself with the romance playing only a small role in the end. That was fine, I’m ok with women’s fiction especially if the overall message is strong and it was here. It was about supporting others in both friendships and relationships and helping and relying on each other. Aly has such a great friend group and I always enjoy a found family. Overall this was a fast, sweet little read and the audio was a delight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey | ReadbyLynds

    Aly has always been able to fix everyone else's problems, personal or professional. It is no surprise when she is approached by Nikki, a well-known social media influencer, to fix her boyfriend's business and get him to propose. Little did she know, the boyfriend is her first love, Dylan. Strapped for cash to save her mom's house, she accepts the job. I could not figure out why Dylan was with Nikki in the first place, there was absolutely no chemistry and little backstory was offered. It made no Aly has always been able to fix everyone else's problems, personal or professional. It is no surprise when she is approached by Nikki, a well-known social media influencer, to fix her boyfriend's business and get him to propose. Little did she know, the boyfriend is her first love, Dylan. Strapped for cash to save her mom's house, she accepts the job. I could not figure out why Dylan was with Nikki in the first place, there was absolutely no chemistry and little backstory was offered. It made no sense. Aly and Dylan, on the other hand, were clearly attracted to each other, even when they pretended not to know each other. With each fix, whether it was a relationship needing fixing or a push in the right direction, I grew frustrated with these women and their fixing business. I couldn't help but see red flags. Maybe it was the wrong guy for that person or maybe they needed actual, professional help. Even if it worked, would it last? Given all this, I was content with the ending and fully supported their end business and career decisions.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)

    The Fixer Upper is billed as a romantic comedy, but I disagree. There’s only the slightest bit of romance, and while lighthearted, it isn’t particularly funny. It is, however, an entertaining work of women’s fiction featuring winsome characters and an original premise. I enjoyed it. Aly is taken for granted in every aspect of her life. She is overworked and overlooked professionally. Her relationship with her parents is tumultuous. Romantically, she has wasted too much time and energy in encourag The Fixer Upper is billed as a romantic comedy, but I disagree. There’s only the slightest bit of romance, and while lighthearted, it isn’t particularly funny. It is, however, an entertaining work of women’s fiction featuring winsome characters and an original premise. I enjoyed it. Aly is taken for granted in every aspect of her life. She is overworked and overlooked professionally. Her relationship with her parents is tumultuous. Romantically, she has wasted too much time and energy in encouraging loser ex-boyfriends to reach their potential only for them to finally turn into successful husband material for other lucky women. She’s lonely, and I couldn’t wait for her to find a backbone and claim the life she’s entitled to. I liked how she gains confidence while helping other women find happiness with their partners. The beginning of the book is on the sluggish side, but once Aly’s childhood ex-best friend, Dylan, is introduced the ball gets rolling. I liked their rapport and traditions. They would make a perfect couple except it really does feel more like a friendship between them than a romance. I expected Aly to feel jealous of Dylan’s shallow girlfriend, but throughout most of the story she seems to feel guilt and nostalgia more than anything else, while Dylan seems content to just have his best friend back. It didn’t stop me from rooting for them to wake up and realize how much they love together. I needed their HEA! Aly’s supportive best friends add a lot of fun to the plot. The Fixer Upper is Lauren Forsythe’s debut novel. I look forward to reading more from her. Recommended for fans of: Friends to lovers Influencers Workplace stories *I received an early copy. This does not affect the content of my review.*

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    Aly(ssa) has always been a fixer, whether it's cheering her mother up after her father left her for another woman, or helping everyone in the office to get their projects done on time, she's always there, everyone's friend, making things right. Until a chance encounter in a swanky restaurant brings her to the realisation that she's also been fixing her boyfriends, taking the work-shy, soap-shy, commitment-phobes, and other broken manchilds (menchild?) and encouraging them to become their better Aly(ssa) has always been a fixer, whether it's cheering her mother up after her father left her for another woman, or helping everyone in the office to get their projects done on time, she's always there, everyone's friend, making things right. Until a chance encounter in a swanky restaurant brings her to the realisation that she's also been fixing her boyfriends, taking the work-shy, soap-shy, commitment-phobes, and other broken manchilds (menchild?) and encouraging them to become their better selves. The kicker is, other women benefit from Aly's hard work but she never does. With her two best friends from work, Eric and Tola, Aly sets up what was initially a social experiment to help women get what they wanted from the men in their lives: whether it is a wedding after a decade of being together; or taking responsibility for childminding; or just going for that job they've been wittering on about for years. Using psychology and the male desire for peer approval, Aly gets it done. Then her biggest job to date, an assignment from Nicki, AKA The Kitty-Litter Princess, a social media influencer who wants her tech-entrepreneur boyfriend to be more supportive, expand his business, and pop the question (so that she can star in a celebrity wedding TV show). Only trouble is, her boyfriend is Aly's old-school BFF and love Dylan, who she hasn't spoken to for fifteen years. With her professional reputation and a whole load of money on the line, can Aly persuade Dylan to propose to Nicki? I really liked this, Aly and her friends were funny and astute. Although the plot was predictable (was I alone in hoping Hunter would actually turn out to be a good guy and meant for Aly?) it was well-paced and a fun read. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Bumped for release.

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