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The Jake Ryan Complex

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A teenage movie crush set her standards high. Now a real man needs to meet them. Fast. Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie “Mac” Huntress set her standards for men very high early on. It’s been over twenty years since she fell for a fictional movie heartthrob, and Mac’s content to wait for the real version to come along; it’s her nagging mother who’s not happy with the timeline. A teenage movie crush set her standards high. Now a real man needs to meet them. Fast. Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie “Mac” Huntress set her standards for men very high early on. It’s been over twenty years since she fell for a fictional movie heartthrob, and Mac’s content to wait for the real version to come along; it’s her nagging mother who’s not happy with the timeline. So Mac falls back on her lifelong Mom-surviving skill—lying. The latest fabrication: a handsome neurologist named Michael. Pity he’s too busy to meet her friends and family. Problem solved. But when Mac’s little sister announces her engagement, Mac is expected to introduce her elusive “plus-one” at the wedding, leaving her with only forty days to find a flesh-and-blood stand-in for the imaginary Michael. And the only potential Mr. Right comes with a big hitch. However, it turns out Mac’s not the only one bringing secrets to the wedding. With expectations high, and shocking truths to be revealed, Mac’s left to find her own happy ending, which isn’t as simple as in the movies…though it’s definitely worth waiting for.


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A teenage movie crush set her standards high. Now a real man needs to meet them. Fast. Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie “Mac” Huntress set her standards for men very high early on. It’s been over twenty years since she fell for a fictional movie heartthrob, and Mac’s content to wait for the real version to come along; it’s her nagging mother who’s not happy with the timeline. A teenage movie crush set her standards high. Now a real man needs to meet them. Fast. Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie “Mac” Huntress set her standards for men very high early on. It’s been over twenty years since she fell for a fictional movie heartthrob, and Mac’s content to wait for the real version to come along; it’s her nagging mother who’s not happy with the timeline. So Mac falls back on her lifelong Mom-surviving skill—lying. The latest fabrication: a handsome neurologist named Michael. Pity he’s too busy to meet her friends and family. Problem solved. But when Mac’s little sister announces her engagement, Mac is expected to introduce her elusive “plus-one” at the wedding, leaving her with only forty days to find a flesh-and-blood stand-in for the imaginary Michael. And the only potential Mr. Right comes with a big hitch. However, it turns out Mac’s not the only one bringing secrets to the wedding. With expectations high, and shocking truths to be revealed, Mac’s left to find her own happy ending, which isn’t as simple as in the movies…though it’s definitely worth waiting for.

30 review for The Jake Ryan Complex

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    Thank you so much to #Goodreads Giveaway for my copy of this book. Ok, so I’ll admit it, I had a huge crush on Jake Ryan when I was young as I was a teenager when the movie Sixteen Candles first came out. For me, Jake was quite the catch, so yeah, the title of this book “The Jake Ryan Complex” got my attention. When I won the giveaway I was over the moon and started reading the book the night I won it. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my teenage crush. Here, we have Mac, a thirty-nine- Thank you so much to #Goodreads Giveaway for my copy of this book. Ok, so I’ll admit it, I had a huge crush on Jake Ryan when I was young as I was a teenager when the movie Sixteen Candles first came out. For me, Jake was quite the catch, so yeah, the title of this book “The Jake Ryan Complex” got my attention. When I won the giveaway I was over the moon and started reading the book the night I won it. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my teenage crush. Here, we have Mac, a thirty-nine-year-old successful obstetrician who is unlucky in love. Her family however is extremely pushy and keeps trying to set her up and because of that, she made up a fake boyfriend whom she has supposedly been dating for months. Now that her sister has announced her engagement, Mac has to find a real boyfriend to bring to her sister’s quickie wedding, or the gig will be up. For her entire life, however, no man has been good enough. Why, you ask? Because she compares every man to the fictional Jake Ryan. When Mac finally meets a guy she deems worthy, he’s wearing a ring but that doesn’t stop her from ogling him and going crazy over his “bottom-lip bite.” Yes, that was me rolling my eyes and sadly it gets worse. Mac was extremely desperate throughout, which made me cringe from time to time as weak female characters do nothing for me. Unfortunately, Mac’s character didn’t come across as being a successful, almost 40 year old. In truth, her personality and her actions were more in line with a young teenager, thus the writing felt a tad sophomoric and was quite predictable as well. All in all, for me, this novel left much to be desired though it could simply be that I’m the wrong reader for this novel seeing as I’ve gotten over my crush of the fictional Jake Ryan. Thank you again to Goodreads Giveaway and Montlake Romance for the copy to read and review. Published on Goodreads on 1.31.21.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bridgett

    I think those of us who grew up in the 80s will have a soft spot for this story. I was at my great-aunt Dorothy's house the first time I watched Sixteen Candles. It was appropriately racy for the time, and I was a tween who thought it was the coolest movie ever. I loved all the Brat Pack movies, but this one was always my favorite. While I didn't necessarily have a crush on Jake Ryan (aka Michael Schoeffling), I still thought this book would be a fun trip down memory lane...and I was right! I think those of us who grew up in the 80s will have a soft spot for this story. I was at my great-aunt Dorothy's house the first time I watched Sixteen Candles. It was appropriately racy for the time, and I was a tween who thought it was the coolest movie ever. I loved all the Brat Pack movies, but this one was always my favorite. While I didn't necessarily have a crush on Jake Ryan (aka Michael Schoeffling), I still thought this book would be a fun trip down memory lane...and I was right! Don't get me wrong...there is nothing high-brow here, it's a simply written novel meant to bring back the spirt of the 80s. It had me laughing out loud a couple times, and those who really know the movie well will see all sorts of little conversations and connections hidden throughout the story. It was a hoot. I saw another reviewer mention feminists not liking this book, but that's simply not true. I'm a feminist and I thought it was all in good fun. Not everything needs to make a statement...especially not books meant to be fun and light-hearted. I recommend this to all 80s kids who loved John Hughes movies. 3.5 stars Available January 26, 2021. My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Montlake for my review copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️

    I have to read this book. I had such a huge crush on Jake Ryan. I wanted to be Molly Ringwald!!!! I have to read this book. I had such a huge crush on Jake Ryan. I wanted to be Molly Ringwald!!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    Okay, you got me. Just attach the name of everyone’s favorite fictional ‘80s heartthrob to the title of a book and reel me right in. I similarly fell for last year’s WAITING FOR TOM HANKS, and unfortunately this is a case of fool me twice shame on me. THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX is a fairly benign PG-13 romance about a woman figuring out at the ripe old age of 39 that she’s still single because she’s held every man up to the standard set by the romantic lead in “Sixteen Candles.” Naturally her younger Okay, you got me. Just attach the name of everyone’s favorite fictional ‘80s heartthrob to the title of a book and reel me right in. I similarly fell for last year’s WAITING FOR TOM HANKS, and unfortunately this is a case of fool me twice shame on me. THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX is a fairly benign PG-13 romance about a woman figuring out at the ripe old age of 39 that she’s still single because she’s held every man up to the standard set by the romantic lead in “Sixteen Candles.” Naturally her younger sister is getting married, and she’s made up a boyfriend since it’s absolutely mortifying that a woman could be 39 and still single. Not just any woman… a successful obstetrician who’s great at her job, is independent, and volunteers during her extra time. But she’s not married (gasp). Needless to say, this is not a book I’d recommend to those who identify as feminists. I think the story of a professional woman looking for love is one worth telling, but the story told here just reeks too much of desperation and cliché for me as the reader. I wish I had liked this one more, and maybe you will if you go in just looking for a bit of nostalgia. (Heck, it even takes place in the suburbs of Chicago!) The expected US publication date of THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX is January 21, 2021. Many thanks to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    📚 Hello Book Friends! THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX by Bethany Crandell was exactly what I needed to chase the Covid blues. This is such a sweet and heartwarming “never too late” love story. I love the main character and relate to her struggles with her mother. The book gave me a “homey” feeling. The book had a lot of references to the Sixteen Candles movie. I haven’t seen this movie, so I will have to watch it soon to find out why Jake Ryan is so special. If you are in the mood for a light and feel-goo 📚 Hello Book Friends! THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX by Bethany Crandell was exactly what I needed to chase the Covid blues. This is such a sweet and heartwarming “never too late” love story. I love the main character and relate to her struggles with her mother. The book gave me a “homey” feeling. The book had a lot of references to the Sixteen Candles movie. I haven’t seen this movie, so I will have to watch it soon to find out why Jake Ryan is so special. If you are in the mood for a light and feel-good story, this book will do just that. Pick it up soon! #bookstadog #poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #thejakeryancomplex #bethanycrandell #bookreview

  6. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Behring

    Very entertaining I loved this book. Of course real life almost never happens the way it did in The Jake Ryan Complex, but it took me back to my teen years when I too had a huge crush on Jake Ryan and wished for a romance like that. Very enjoyable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    A.G. Howard

    I'm a lucky critique partner who read this title before it even sold. The plot is as fun, nostalgic, and romantic as the 80's inspired title implies. But there's also an unexpected amount of depth and growth to the characters--especially within the complexities of the familial relationships--that elevates the story to a whole new level of relatable authenticity. I loved it and can't wait for the world to read it! I'm a lucky critique partner who read this title before it even sold. The plot is as fun, nostalgic, and romantic as the 80's inspired title implies. But there's also an unexpected amount of depth and growth to the characters--especially within the complexities of the familial relationships--that elevates the story to a whole new level of relatable authenticity. I loved it and can't wait for the world to read it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    Being a woman of a certain age I remember Sixteen Candles (and Jake Ryan) fondly. Although I didn't see the movie twenty years ago like our leading lady Mackenzie...it was more like thirty-five for me. As soon as I saw the title (and cover) of this book I knew I wanted to read it. Oh to be Molly Ringwald in a John Hughes film. *sigh* “Aaaaaaagh! It feels like a watermelon’s coming out of my butt!” And so starts our story of Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie Huntress. and Being a woman of a certain age I remember Sixteen Candles (and Jake Ryan) fondly. Although I didn't see the movie twenty years ago like our leading lady Mackenzie...it was more like thirty-five for me. As soon as I saw the title (and cover) of this book I knew I wanted to read it. Oh to be Molly Ringwald in a John Hughes film. *sigh* “Aaaaaaagh! It feels like a watermelon’s coming out of my butt!” And so starts our story of Chicago obstetrician Mackenzie Huntress. and as you can tell it was a pretty funny start and stayed so throughout. I really needed this book right now, too many lock-downs and too many thrillers can make a girl blue. This was was a cute and fun read. I loved the idea of the book and was drawn into Mac’s story instantly and loved how she was an obstetrician!. I enjoyed watching Mac live out her own romantic comedy and couldn’t wait to see how it would all unfold. I really enjoyed all the almost moments and the tension between the characters. This story was easy to read and light on the drama. In the end, I was hooked on Mac and couldn’t help but root for her to find her happily ever after. Disclousure: Thank you NetGalley, Bethany Crandell and Montlake for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #TheJakeRyanComplex #NetGalley

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne OK

    Okay, I admit that the Sixteen Candles and Jake Ryan nods caught my attention and hooked me into this one-click. But other than that, I wasn’t totally wowed. It was charmingly funny – a few solid laugh-out-loud moments and a lot of dirty talking. And a “just fine” happy ever after. So, "just fine" works for me – and that’s about it. Okay, I admit that the Sixteen Candles and Jake Ryan nods caught my attention and hooked me into this one-click. But other than that, I wasn’t totally wowed. It was charmingly funny – a few solid laugh-out-loud moments and a lot of dirty talking. And a “just fine” happy ever after. So, "just fine" works for me – and that’s about it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    3.5 stars I love a good John Hughes movie, so I couldn’t resist this synopsis and an added bonus is that I loved Bethany’s YA book, so I was eager to read. I liked Mac. She’s smart and loyal and it was easy to root for her. JT has potential, but I’m not sure we really got to know him as he’s skewed through Mac’s POV and her constantly comparing him to Jake Ryan. There are a good amount of characters, but this is firmly Mac’s story and how she navigates her life and familial relationships. Plot wi 3.5 stars I love a good John Hughes movie, so I couldn’t resist this synopsis and an added bonus is that I loved Bethany’s YA book, so I was eager to read. I liked Mac. She’s smart and loyal and it was easy to root for her. JT has potential, but I’m not sure we really got to know him as he’s skewed through Mac’s POV and her constantly comparing him to Jake Ryan. There are a good amount of characters, but this is firmly Mac’s story and how she navigates her life and familial relationships. Plot wise, it didn’t quite feel settled. There are a several moving parts and the time jumps weren’t always clear to me. (Yes, yes, there are countdowns at the top of the chapter, but that doesn’t mean anything when it’s a few days or weeks later.) The entire relationship felt rushed and I would have liked to have seen more conversation between Mac and JT as the chemistry wasn’t quite there. Overall, I know this review doesn’t sound like I enjoyed it, but I really did. There were several charming scenes, funny family members, and a whole lotta heart. I can’t wait to see what Bethany comes up with next. FYI: homophobic comments, several scenes with a character being called a Nazi **Huge thanks to Montlake for providing the arc free of charge**

  11. 4 out of 5

    RateTheRomance

    3.5 STARS A book that heavily references the 1980's movie SIXTEEN CANDLES? Yes please. Mackenzie (Mac) is an OBGYN who loves her job, but has had little time for love. Her mother is so focused on Mac's lack of a love life that Mac gets desperate and creates a fake boyfriend to get her mom off her back. But when Mac's sister plans a quickie wedding, Mac will have to find a real life stand in for the fake Neurosurgeon she has been created. She only has 6 weeks to find a real boyfriend or a suitable 3.5 STARS A book that heavily references the 1980's movie SIXTEEN CANDLES? Yes please. Mackenzie (Mac) is an OBGYN who loves her job, but has had little time for love. Her mother is so focused on Mac's lack of a love life that Mac gets desperate and creates a fake boyfriend to get her mom off her back. But when Mac's sister plans a quickie wedding, Mac will have to find a real life stand in for the fake Neurosurgeon she has been created. She only has 6 weeks to find a real boyfriend or a suitable stand in. I loved Mac's drive and work ethic. She is smart and caring and also hilariously funny. I laughed out loud more than once while reading this book. Her disastrous dates are wonderfully cringy and her group of close friends who try and set her up are a wonderful addition to this book! The male lead in this book is sweet and dreamy and very Jake-Ryan-esque! There's a lot of DRAMA in this story, but not a lot actually happens. I liked that the lead characters had some serious obstacles to overcome (just communicate already), but their relationship was pretty quick and wasn't really highlighted in this book. We get to the "I Love Yous" and it feels like they have spent all of two days together, including exactly ZERO actual "dates". There was plenty of chemistry, but not a lot of actual face-time. It made the obstacles they face in their new relationship overwhelm their actual connection, since that connection was so brief. This book had some really good points and a great premise, but ultimately fell a bit flat on the actual relationship part of the story. RATING: 3 1/2 STARS STEAM LEVEL: Rated PG TRIGGERS: Cheating, fraudulent marriage, one night stand resulting in pregnancy, LOTS of lying, overly critical parent Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angela B.

    This book was a disaster. It started out cute. After awhile the constant repeat of people not having a conversation got old. It feels like it was written by a 12 year old. These people did not act like adults at all. The characters were underdeveloped and lacked personality. The time line was iffy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ambur

    As soon as I heard about THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX, I was IMMEDIATELY intrigued! While I'm not a John Hughes diehard, I do love his films, and I definitely thought Jake Ryan was one of his more swoony heartthrobs, so I went into this one expecting to love the nods towards SIXTEEN CANDLES and other classic films, and sure enough it was sweet, funny, and definitely gave me John Hughes-vibes just as the title suggested! ;) While Mac's reluctance to be honest with her mom about her singledom was a bit As soon as I heard about THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX, I was IMMEDIATELY intrigued! While I'm not a John Hughes diehard, I do love his films, and I definitely thought Jake Ryan was one of his more swoony heartthrobs, so I went into this one expecting to love the nods towards SIXTEEN CANDLES and other classic films, and sure enough it was sweet, funny, and definitely gave me John Hughes-vibes just as the title suggested! ;) While Mac's reluctance to be honest with her mom about her singledom was a bit much at times, it did totally suit the rom-com genre...and was right out of something you'd see in a film where you just kind of shake your head at the heroines antics. It had me cringing, and laughing more than once! I also really loved the chemistry between Mac and her "Mr. Right," and I loved seeing everything in the story all come together. It’s on the fade-to-black spectrum of romance, so don’t go into it expecting sexytimes on the page, but if you’re looking for ridiculous movie-like awkward scenarios because of the heroine’s antics and some epic family drama mixed in with an adorable senior dog, a sexy love interest, and some dates-gone-wrong, then you’ll love this. It’s also perfect for anyone, who like Mac, loves Jake Ryan from SIXTEEN CANDLES. It reminded me of WAITING FOR TOM HANKS by Kerry Winfrey with the rom-com goodness, and MAN HANDS by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby for the handyman hotness...just not quite as steamy. ;) Overall, I loved THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet, funny rom-com with a super sweet HEA! Star Rating: ★★★★★ Read If You Like: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey, John Hughes movies, and classic rom-coms.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stella

    A 39 year old doctor acts like a pre-teen about men and dating. This is basically if Jan Brady grew up and still thought "George Glass" was her boyfriend. The Jake Ryan ideal is one thing - but I would expect that by age 39, one would realize that Jake Ryan put his drunk girlfriend in a car with an underage Farmer Ted who then took advantage of her. Jake Ryan wasn't all that great in the end. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review. A 39 year old doctor acts like a pre-teen about men and dating. This is basically if Jan Brady grew up and still thought "George Glass" was her boyfriend. The Jake Ryan ideal is one thing - but I would expect that by age 39, one would realize that Jake Ryan put his drunk girlfriend in a car with an underage Farmer Ted who then took advantage of her. Jake Ryan wasn't all that great in the end. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    The idea and cover were interesting, but execution was terrible to me. Mac has a behavior of 12 year old girl not grown women and absolutely no character development in end. Romance and romantic interest were both bland and not interesting. Other characters were cardboard, just basically nothing worked for me. * 𝘈𝘙𝘊 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘪𝘢 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘎𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cara BookShelfMomma

    While I wasn't a huge 16 Candles fan, I was interested in this book. I received a free audiobook copy from the author and Brilliance Publishing. I loved the main character Mackenzie, the obstetrician who has an overbearing mother that obsesses over her love life. After a lie gets out of control it leads Mack on the path of cringe worthy dates, until she gives into the handyman JT. The reference to Jake Ryan is that Mack seems to always be looking for her idea of "Jake Ryan", and seemingly no While I wasn't a huge 16 Candles fan, I was interested in this book. I received a free audiobook copy from the author and Brilliance Publishing. I loved the main character Mackenzie, the obstetrician who has an overbearing mother that obsesses over her love life. After a lie gets out of control it leads Mack on the path of cringe worthy dates, until she gives into the handyman JT. The reference to Jake Ryan is that Mack seems to always be looking for her idea of "Jake Ryan", and seemingly no man will match up. While this isn't exactly a Rom-Com, there are many light spots and I enjoyed this story. There are many layers of family drama with Mack's mom and sister that I do not want to spoil. Overall a fun read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Giveaway Win!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    As a child of the 80s, this book had sooooo much potential but sadly, it came up short; real short. Yes, Jake Ryan holds a part of my heart and I loved Mac’s determination to find “the one”, she just wasn’t likable, and I really didn’t feel a whole lot of connection between Jake and Mac. My big problem though is that the book includes some really icky stereotypes like in the movie—such as having a Chinese character that doesn’t understand English, stereotypes towards the LGBTQ+ community,and an As a child of the 80s, this book had sooooo much potential but sadly, it came up short; real short. Yes, Jake Ryan holds a part of my heart and I loved Mac’s determination to find “the one”, she just wasn’t likable, and I really didn’t feel a whole lot of connection between Jake and Mac. My big problem though is that the book includes some really icky stereotypes like in the movie—such as having a Chinese character that doesn’t understand English, stereotypes towards the LGBTQ+ community,and an old aunt that actually uses a slur towards Asians. These are some of the knocks on older movies now, however we’ve learned better, or at least we should have and this book just...didn’t. I’m not one of those people that are offended by everything, but this was just off-putting. I’m not sure if I’d pick up anything else by this author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Rohrs (words we love by blog)

    Mac and J.T. Meet in a normal way but as they get to know one another things take an abnormal turn and the rest of the events follow! This book was hilarious and omg I had some super emotional moments! My heart hurt and felt for each one at different times as they both navigate their relationship! Things are easy and with his past and well current future, JT is doing the best he can to be the best boyfriend he could be! Mac is trying to be her best self but that’s not easy when her family can’t Mac and J.T. Meet in a normal way but as they get to know one another things take an abnormal turn and the rest of the events follow! This book was hilarious and omg I had some super emotional moments! My heart hurt and felt for each one at different times as they both navigate their relationship! Things are easy and with his past and well current future, JT is doing the best he can to be the best boyfriend he could be! Mac is trying to be her best self but that’s not easy when her family can’t see how truly amazing she is! I loved the awesome Hughes references (his movies will forever be some of my faves, sorry not sorry) and they definitely added to humor and over all romantic feel of the book! JT and Mac are relationship goals because they believe in one another and hold on to their love like no other! No love isn’t perfect like in the movies but it’s messy and in the end worth it! So take a chance on a hilarious romance that will have you swooning in no time!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Clorie

    4 surprise Stars I thought I’d get a typical romance book that was maybe a little cheesy considering the title. I also thought I had figured out the angst point but nope. Well sort of but there was extra plot points thrown in that were good and surprising. Nice, fun surprises. I really liked the detail in this book. We got just enough but not too much. Great debut novel. I read this with my ears and eyes and enjoyed the narrator. The only reason this isn’t a 5 star is because I don’t see my readi 4 surprise Stars I thought I’d get a typical romance book that was maybe a little cheesy considering the title. I also thought I had figured out the angst point but nope. Well sort of but there was extra plot points thrown in that were good and surprising. Nice, fun surprises. I really liked the detail in this book. We got just enough but not too much. Great debut novel. I read this with my ears and eyes and enjoyed the narrator. The only reason this isn’t a 5 star is because I don’t see my reading again and again. It was great once. I’d read more from this author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    DNF at 49%. I loved the film Sixteen Candles so I loved the premise of a woman desperately seeking her very own Jake Ryan, complicated by the fact that she's told her overbearing mother that she has a boyfriend who is also a doctor. Maybe that second bit should have been a warning signal? Mackenzie Huntress is an obstetrician who struggles to find a guy to date more than once, even when her so-called friends set her up with guys they turn out to be cry-babies, or open-mouthed eaters, or over-users DNF at 49%. I loved the film Sixteen Candles so I loved the premise of a woman desperately seeking her very own Jake Ryan, complicated by the fact that she's told her overbearing mother that she has a boyfriend who is also a doctor. Maybe that second bit should have been a warning signal? Mackenzie Huntress is an obstetrician who struggles to find a guy to date more than once, even when her so-called friends set her up with guys they turn out to be cry-babies, or open-mouthed eaters, or over-users of innuendo. Mac's younger sister is getting married and now she has to produce her fictional boyfriend in less than two months to avoid her mother creating a scene and ruining the wedding. So there were three things that made me give up with this book: 1. Mac is a doctor with her own practice but she acts like a tweenager 2. Mac is comparing every man to her teenage crush, who was a fictional character, I get having a soft spot for a swoon-worthy character but not comparing every man to him! 3. the ludicrous way Mac's mother decides that a man she's never met can babysit an awkward aunt at the wedding FFS I'm almost halfway through and the characters are grating, so I'm giving up. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Bumped for release.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Bethany Crandell is just one of those authors... Anything she writes is music to my ears, er, eyeballs(?) Brain(?). You get the point. She could write about a day spent at the DMV, and I would read it with gusto. "The Jake Ryan Complex" was no different. This book is full of fun, witty dialogue, but at the same time, heart-wrenching, gut-punching emotional scenes. Mac is this independent, successful woman, who does not NEED a man, but also doesn't want to deal with her old-school mother who beli Bethany Crandell is just one of those authors... Anything she writes is music to my ears, er, eyeballs(?) Brain(?). You get the point. She could write about a day spent at the DMV, and I would read it with gusto. "The Jake Ryan Complex" was no different. This book is full of fun, witty dialogue, but at the same time, heart-wrenching, gut-punching emotional scenes. Mac is this independent, successful woman, who does not NEED a man, but also doesn't want to deal with her old-school mother who believes otherwise. So, she tells a *little* white lie to get her off her case. Of course, that little lie soon spreads into an entire web, and stuck in the middle of it is Mac and the genuine romance brewing between her and her very own "Jake Ryan." Drama ensues as lies and betrayals are revealed, and while I won't say how it all ends, I will tell you there was lots of "happy sighing" as I turned the last page. If you're looking for a light, weekend read that will give you all the feels of a Hallmark movie, yet all the memories and nostalgia of a John Hughes flick, then this books is definitely worth the read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara Oxton

    The Jake Ryan Complex by Bethany Crandell a fine five-star read. This was my first by this author, but I really hope it wont be the last, I could see how this author has wrote for younger audiences before as there was a young-ness to the characters, they didn’t seem bogged down by age, it was nice and refreshing. I will admit I adored Mac and her relationship with her mother just reminded me so much of mine and made me chuckle so much. I really got behind the Michael relationship as even though The Jake Ryan Complex by Bethany Crandell a fine five-star read. This was my first by this author, but I really hope it wont be the last, I could see how this author has wrote for younger audiences before as there was a young-ness to the characters, they didn’t seem bogged down by age, it was nice and refreshing. I will admit I adored Mac and her relationship with her mother just reminded me so much of mine and made me chuckle so much. I really got behind the Michael relationship as even though my mum was never bothered about boys and relationships there were other similarities and I could understand the need to make things up. Also, Sixteen Candles rocks so hard, who wouldn’t want their own Jake Ryan, especially one who is good with wood. There is so much drama and laughter in this story, but there is also most importantly a very good story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy! I now have the urge to watch Sixteen Candles :) Mac is a an OB doctor looking for a nice man, in a hurry, as her sister is getting married and her mother is expecting her to bring a date. During this whirlwind wedding season, Mac creates "Michael" a neuro doctor who is her BF. She thought this bought her some time until she was able to replace him with an actual person. Mac is set up on a few dates by friend and her patient. But unexpectedly, Mac become Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy! I now have the urge to watch Sixteen Candles :) Mac is a an OB doctor looking for a nice man, in a hurry, as her sister is getting married and her mother is expecting her to bring a date. During this whirlwind wedding season, Mac creates "Michael" a neuro doctor who is her BF. She thought this bought her some time until she was able to replace him with an actual person. Mac is set up on a few dates by friend and her patient. But unexpectedly, Mac becomes attracted to her handyman working on her home. As the story plays out, more characters are connected than expected. Such a fun read as Mac holds all men up to the "Jake Ryan" standard.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    That title definitely caught my attention. Who doesn't know Jake Ryan. Premise is a successful obstetrician in her late 30's realizes her relationships don't work cause she compared them all to Jake Ryan. She loves 16 candles literally. So when her sister's wedding comes up and her mom keeps nagging her about a date required she invents someone. Fast forward to Mac meeting handy man/contractor JT working on her neighbors house. She thinks he's the perfect Jake Ryan. A bit of circling around the That title definitely caught my attention. Who doesn't know Jake Ryan. Premise is a successful obstetrician in her late 30's realizes her relationships don't work cause she compared them all to Jake Ryan. She loves 16 candles literally. So when her sister's wedding comes up and her mom keeps nagging her about a date required she invents someone. Fast forward to Mac meeting handy man/contractor JT working on her neighbors house. She thinks he's the perfect Jake Ryan. A bit of circling around the other because you know she thought he was married etc and her crush is crushed. But he isn't. So they end up dating all is well until her mom butts in and reveals all. That's not all there's also a mix up with a patient of Mac's baby and paternity along to throw things up. I admit Mac and JT were cute together and with the dog of course. A PG romance wise but it's fine. I just think the reveal took too long about the fake boyfriend cause JT wasn't up to mom's high standards. Plus the other stuff that felt like a throwaway. Last minute resolutions and all but all tied up well. Had potential this one. New author but has a good interesting premise but not for women power ideal. Thanks NetGalley for the arc.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰

    2.5 stars If you are a woman (or a man) of a certain age, you know who Jake Ryan is, and had a bit of a crush on him. This is our leading lady, Mac. She is waiting for her own Jake Ryan - and good on her for not settling - but sheesh, she is a 39 year old woman acting like a teenager. I got so frustrated with her, the lying to her family about fake boyfriends, letting her mum act the way she does (and boy, what a witch she was most of the time). I wanted to yell at the mother, but mostly I wanted t 2.5 stars If you are a woman (or a man) of a certain age, you know who Jake Ryan is, and had a bit of a crush on him. This is our leading lady, Mac. She is waiting for her own Jake Ryan - and good on her for not settling - but sheesh, she is a 39 year old woman acting like a teenager. I got so frustrated with her, the lying to her family about fake boyfriends, letting her mum act the way she does (and boy, what a witch she was most of the time). I wanted to yell at the mother, but mostly I wanted to slap some sense into Mac and tell her to grow the eff up. Ugh. See, frustrating. And then when she does find a guy she doesn't roll her eyes at, she ogles a guy with a wedding ring *my eyeroll inserter here* I mean, gees she just screams desperation and unlikability. This story could have been fantastic, but for me it was childish and a bit unlikable. But maybe this is just that I an too old for the Jake Ryan thing (as looking at it with adult eyes, he really is a bit of a douche the way he treats his girlfriend).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pelusa Rivera

    So as I am an 80's girl when I read this title it was an automatic request for me, I mean common-Jake Ryan, I was just too excited....and then poor me because yup that is how I feel, I was sad, sad people that you could take, Jake Ryan and utterly ruin it. The fact that we were reading about a 39 year old woman who was not married, and no I have no issues with that but I have issues with the topic that she is a doctor (ahhh how can that be and that you a doctor) is not married. Supposed friends So as I am an 80's girl when I read this title it was an automatic request for me, I mean common-Jake Ryan, I was just too excited....and then poor me because yup that is how I feel, I was sad, sad people that you could take, Jake Ryan and utterly ruin it. The fact that we were reading about a 39 year old woman who was not married, and no I have no issues with that but I have issues with the topic that she is a doctor (ahhh how can that be and that you a doctor) is not married. Supposed friends set her up with ridiculous men (the nerve of them) you know because she is a doctor! A doctor that at the age of 39 lies to her Momma, puhlease don't mess with 80's people, those are fighting situations.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Keathe Steigert

    I think most women around my age will know exactly what the title of this book refers to, with fondness. Mac is an obstetrician in her late thirties who grew up wishing for her own Jake Ryan. With a mother who never thinks anything she does is good enough, and her little sister’s wedding coming up, Mac knows she needs to find a guy to present as her date. What follows is an often times hysterical attempt at speed dating in order to find a date who measures up to her mother’s impossible standards I think most women around my age will know exactly what the title of this book refers to, with fondness. Mac is an obstetrician in her late thirties who grew up wishing for her own Jake Ryan. With a mother who never thinks anything she does is good enough, and her little sister’s wedding coming up, Mac knows she needs to find a guy to present as her date. What follows is an often times hysterical attempt at speed dating in order to find a date who measures up to her mother’s impossible standards. Where is Jake Ryan when you need him?!? I’d live it if you’d check out my full review over at the 3 Book Girls podcast (episode 233)!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Smith

    This one didn't work for me at all. I found the book to be full of insipid characters who weren't engaging or interesting. Not to mention characters whose behavior belied their given ages. DNF. My thanks to Bethany Crandell, Montlake, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This one didn't work for me at all. I found the book to be full of insipid characters who weren't engaging or interesting. Not to mention characters whose behavior belied their given ages. DNF. My thanks to Bethany Crandell, Montlake, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    This book feels like the cliff notes version of an actual better book. I’m all for a quick enjoyable read but this one was too quick with too little enjoyment. It felt like the author relied heavily on comparing to jake Ryan as a substitute for needing to do actual character development. And I get it. With jake Ryan in the title of the book there will obviously be some references. I’m just saying if I took a sip of alcohol every time he was mentioned in this book, I’d be dead by now.

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