Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
Jasinda Wilder’s newest rom-com, Lizzy Goes Brains Over Braun, is touted as a combination of Sex in the City meets Selling Sunset. And that is no lie. The elements that you love about Sex in the City, female friendships and over-the-top love connections, find purchase in Wilder’s newest book. Add in the selling of extravagant homes and the connections between those who are selling them, and you find this complicated story about finding love when you least expect it…or want it.
Lizzy Goes Brains over Braun is book one of Wilder’s The Billionaire’s Baby Club. It follows six real estate agents and best friends who live and love in Malibu. Each of them is single, but not wanting anything more than temporary connections. Elizabeth “Lizzy” is the most reticent at relationships. She turns 40 and her friends take her out to celebrate. Along the way, after drinking some tequila and margaritas, it’s divulged that Lizzy might want a baby. With relationships off the table, she and her friend group inebriatedly joke about placing an ad looking for a billionaire to impregnate her. A day or two later, Lizzy receives a call, realizing quickly that her friends did just that: placed an ad for her. Confronted with this, Lizzy begins to think that she really does want a baby, but only if the right man answers her ad. Thankfully, that happens. What occurs after that is nothing Lizzy expects and exactly what she needs. Will Lizzy get her baby and find her happy ending? That is a question you’ll have to find out after reading Wilder’s quick-written, funny romance.
To be very clear, this story isn’t a traditional love story in the framework of romancelandia. Yes, there is a happy ending, but it comes about in ways that challenge readers about our perceived notions about happy endings. I loved the way that Wilder navigates a situation-ship between two people who are drawn to each other but don’t really know each other. It creates this strange energy in the story that, quite honestly, intrigues me. If you’re looking for an overtly sappy romance, that isn’t here.
The true love story in Lizzy Goes Brains Over Braun isn’t between Lizzy and Braun. In fact, Braun is drawn as a fairly flat character. Wilder doesn’t give him a point of view, and we gain bits and pieces of his life as their story progresses. Wilder crafts him as an impetus for change in Lizzy’s life. The love story, then, resides with the women of this book. Quite frankly, that is my favorite part of LGBOB and I imagine the extended series. It is also where the feminism of this book lies. The six friends are everything you usually find inspected in the scope of a hero and heroine in romances: confidantes (although Lizzy challenges that identity quite a bit in this story), spurners of change, emotional support, wisdom-givers, and challengers to thinking. The depth of emotion in this story is most impactful with these women as they challenge and help Lizzy to break out of her carefully crafted life. It makes for this book that feels women-positive. It also creates these impeccable moments of humor through the witticisms and candor of this group of women. If you read this book for anything, it is the binding power of this group of women as they navigate their lives together.
As always, Wilder’s ability to create characters that engage you exists in Lizzy Goes Brains Over Braun. The difficulty, however, with this book is making her heroine likable. I have to be honest; I struggled with Lizzy for much of the story. Once you read this book, you can understand her choices, but she makes it difficult to read. Even more, Wilder must humanize her to get to her ending, but it leaves you with some issues related to believability in Lizzy’s change of heart. For me, that was the challenge of this book. Thankfully, Wilder weaves in the other women to this story who provide the humanity and hilarity necessary to make Lizzy more personable. This feels deftly strategic for Wilder because, without it, I’m not sure that you could find yourself invested in her story.
There is really so much to love about Lizzy Goes Brains over Braun. It’s incredibly steamy, sassy, and sentimental. It has one of the $exiest, romantic moments in its epilogue. If you’re looking for a fun read, run and grab this book. You’ll remember why women run the world.
In love and romance,
P.S. I can’t say enough how much I adore Wilder’s writing style. There is something special in her prose and style choices. If you read her just for that, you’ve won.