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Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem… I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often. I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem… I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often. I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to scare people off, my bad attitude and general grumpiness seal the deal. Which is just the way I like it. Except, I’ve been short listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships around. To win it, I’ll have to give a series of speeches. On a stage. With an audience. While being filmed. Yeah. None of that is going to happen. Unfortunately, my boss has a plan. He brings in one of the communications lecturers to give me a “make over,” help me write the speeches, and manage my social media. But the last thing I need is some nosy, bossy, gorgeous woman meddling in my life. And Holly is the solution… I’m a mere communications lecturer at a prestigious research university. I’m used to being outclassed and under-educated compared to the PhDs who surround me. But I’m good at what I do. Brilliant, actually. When Max’s boss (who happens to be my ex-husband) begs me to help transform this beast of a man into someone worthy of the fellowship, I have my work cut out for me. It’ll take a lot of badgering, blatant manipulation, and some outright thievery to get Max to cooperate. All of which I handle with the enough professionalism and restraint that should earn me a fancy grant. What I can’t handle is how unexpectedly attractive I find the stubborn and brilliant man. This is a battle of wills and wits, and neither is prepared to admit defeat … ‘Heart Smart’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Work For It series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.


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Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem… I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often. I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem… I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often. I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to scare people off, my bad attitude and general grumpiness seal the deal. Which is just the way I like it. Except, I’ve been short listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships around. To win it, I’ll have to give a series of speeches. On a stage. With an audience. While being filmed. Yeah. None of that is going to happen. Unfortunately, my boss has a plan. He brings in one of the communications lecturers to give me a “make over,” help me write the speeches, and manage my social media. But the last thing I need is some nosy, bossy, gorgeous woman meddling in my life. And Holly is the solution… I’m a mere communications lecturer at a prestigious research university. I’m used to being outclassed and under-educated compared to the PhDs who surround me. But I’m good at what I do. Brilliant, actually. When Max’s boss (who happens to be my ex-husband) begs me to help transform this beast of a man into someone worthy of the fellowship, I have my work cut out for me. It’ll take a lot of badgering, blatant manipulation, and some outright thievery to get Max to cooperate. All of which I handle with the enough professionalism and restraint that should earn me a fancy grant. What I can’t handle is how unexpectedly attractive I find the stubborn and brilliant man. This is a battle of wills and wits, and neither is prepared to admit defeat … ‘Heart Smart’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Work For It series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

30 review for Heart Smart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Penny Reid

    I am SO EXCITED to announce that Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne is available in Kindle Unlimited! GAH! Go forth and read the grumpy hero goodness in the Educated Romance world from Smartypants Romance! ** Read in Kindle Unlimited ** Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IYAhYZ Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3m020af Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2J1C8g0 Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3fpR6YQ Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/3joCMlj Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3b0S9yw ** BLURB ** Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem …. I’m a jerk. Ev I am SO EXCITED to announce that Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne is available in Kindle Unlimited! GAH! Go forth and read the grumpy hero goodness in the Educated Romance world from Smartypants Romance! ** Read in Kindle Unlimited ** Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IYAhYZ Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3m020af Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2J1C8g0 Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3fpR6YQ Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/3joCMlj Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3b0S9yw ** BLURB ** Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem …. I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often. I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to scare people off, my bad attitude and general grumpiness seal the deal. Which is just the way I like it. Except, I’ve been short listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships around. To win it, I’ll have to give a series of speeches. On a stage. With an audience. While being filmed. Yeah. None of that is going to happen. Unfortunately, my boss has a plan. He brings in one of the communications lecturers to give me a “make over,” help me write the speeches, and manage my social media. But the last thing I need is some nosy, bossy, gorgeous woman meddling in my life. And Holly is the solution… I’m a mere communications lecturer at a prestigious research university. I’m used to being outclassed and under-educated compared to the PhDs who surround me. But I’m good at what I do. Brilliant, actually. When Max’s boss (who happens to be my ex-husband) begs me to help transform this beast of a man into someone worthy of the fellowship, I have my work cut out for me. It’ll take a lot of badgering, blatant manipulation, and some outright thievery to get Max to cooperate. All of which I handle with the enough professionalism and restraint that should earn me a fancy grant. What I can’t handle is how unexpectedly attractive I find the stubborn and brilliant man. This is a battle of wills and wits, and neither is prepared to admit defeat … ‘Heart Smart’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Work For It series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

  2. 5 out of 5

    lazybookconqueror

    A closed-off emotionally stunted hero that repeals everyone around him and seems like the biggest jerk only to be revealed as a closeted cinnamon roll is my kryptonite! Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has been short-listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships in the world. To win it, he needs to give a series of passionate speeches about his subject matter. The only problem is, he has no interest in being charming, and being on stage is a big no in his book. To make this happen, the univers A closed-off emotionally stunted hero that repeals everyone around him and seems like the biggest jerk only to be revealed as a closeted cinnamon roll is my kryptonite! Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has been short-listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships in the world. To win it, he needs to give a series of passionate speeches about his subject matter. The only problem is, he has no interest in being charming, and being on stage is a big no in his book. To make this happen, the university enlists Holly, a communications specialist selected to give Max a makeover. In a battle of wills and wits, both go head to head, none willing to admit defeat. I devoured Heart Smart in one sitting. I'm a sucker for witty banter and this book did not disappoint. Both Max and Holly were greatly crafted and were interesting on their own, but together they melted my heart and I couldn't get enough of them. Just writing this review makes me want to go back and re-read the entire thing. Thank you Smartpants Romance for the ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review ❤️ ★★NOW AVAILABLE IN KU★★⁣⁣ ⁣ "Okay, people, you do not want to miss Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne! It’s fun and flirty and the chemistry crackles. Warning, though! It will keep you up past your bedtime!” - New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner From Smartypants Romance...Heart Smart, an all-new enemies to lovers contemporary romance from Emma Lee Jayne is now available in Kindle Unlimited! ★★Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!★★ Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IYAhYZ Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3m020af Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2J1C8g0 Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3fpR6YQ Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/3joCMlj Audiobook: http://bit.ly/3bc7ziO Blog Post Bookstagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Gah! I wish I had words as eloquent as the ones Jayne wrote to describe how this book made me feel. But Jesus H. Lettuce Crisper, there were so many amazing quotes in this book! I’ve never been more thankful for the kindle highlight feature. And eloquent writing is difficult when your main character researches dirt. Soil. I mean, soil. Sorry. Max is a self described asshole. Seriously. It’s the first sentence in the book. He said that about himself; I’m not judging him. But really he’s just grea Gah! I wish I had words as eloquent as the ones Jayne wrote to describe how this book made me feel. But Jesus H. Lettuce Crisper, there were so many amazing quotes in this book! I’ve never been more thankful for the kindle highlight feature. And eloquent writing is difficult when your main character researches dirt. Soil. I mean, soil. Sorry. Max is a self described asshole. Seriously. It’s the first sentence in the book. He said that about himself; I’m not judging him. But really he’s just great at pushing people away because he’s self conscious about his scars, on the autism spectrum, and a brilliant scientist who doesn’t suffer fools. And on the opposite end of that, Holly is someone who does care. She is the ultimate care-taker and adopter of all things needing love. Holly needs to groom Max to increase his comfort level and effectiveness at public speaking, as well as enhance his appearance. But the lessons that they teach each other go way beyond that. Holly seems to get him in a way that no one else does (except maybe his sister) and is not easily cowed by his glower. And, on the flip side, Max sees all the depth to Holly that others easily dismiss. Speaking of the Max’s sister, Tavey, she is a exceptional side character and I so hope we see more of her in a subsequent book. She is the female Alex, from Penny Reid’s Love Hacked, and it’s a crime if those two don’t fictionally know each other. In case you worry that a man with limited sexual experience might make for a quick, fumbling encounter with Holly. Do not worry! Clearly Max is a researcher. And he certainly proves he’s an incredible scientist because his chemistry with Holly is off the charts!! Honestly, there is so much good to say about this book, I don’t feel like I can do it justice. Do me a favor and read it, so we can talk about it. Available on KU now, so you really have no excuse not to read it RIGHT NOW!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Smartypants Romance

    ‘Heart Smart’ by Emma Lee Jayne is ALIVE in KU! You can get your grumpy hero on with Dr. Max Ramsey. Spring Launch 2021 continues with this Educated Romance World release and we couldn’t be more excited! ** Read in Kindle Unlimited ** Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IYAhYZ Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3m020af Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2J1C8g0 Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3fpR6YQ Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/3joCMlj Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3b0S9yw ** BLURB ** Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem … I’m a jerk. E ‘Heart Smart’ by Emma Lee Jayne is ALIVE in KU! You can get your grumpy hero on with Dr. Max Ramsey. Spring Launch 2021 continues with this Educated Romance World release and we couldn’t be more excited! ** Read in Kindle Unlimited ** Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IYAhYZ Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3m020af Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2J1C8g0 Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3fpR6YQ Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/3joCMlj Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3b0S9yw ** BLURB ** Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem … I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often. I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to scare people off, my bad attitude and general grumpiness seal the deal. Which is just the way I like it. Except, I’ve been short listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships around. To win it, I’ll have to give a series of speeches. On a stage. With an audience. While being filmed. Yeah. None of that is going to happen. Unfortunately, my boss has a plan. He brings in one of the communications lecturers to give me a “make over,” help me write the speeches, and manage my social media. But the last thing I need is some nosy, bossy, gorgeous woman meddling in my life. And Holly is the solution… I’m a mere communications lecturer at a prestigious research university. I’m used to being outclassed and under-educated compared to the PhDs who surround me. But I’m good at what I do. Brilliant, actually. When Max’s boss (who happens to be my ex-husband) begs me to help transform this beast of a man into someone worthy of the fellowship, I have my work cut out for me. It’ll take a lot of badgering, blatant manipulation, and some outright thievery to get Max to cooperate. All of which I handle with the enough professionalism and restraint that should earn me a fancy grant. What I can’t handle is how unexpectedly attractive I find the stubborn and brilliant man. This is a battle of wills and wits, and neither is prepared to admit defeat … ‘Heart Smart’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Work For It series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melena Torretta

    A really wonderful read from the Work For It series from Smartypants Romance. I had not read any books from Emma Lee Jayne previously, but found her storytelling and writing to be engaging and entertaining. The building feelings and changing perceptions between Max and Holly were so well done. I found myself really caring about these characters and their HEA. Max and Holly had the banter, chemistry, and emotional moments that added up to a book I literally couldn't put down. Thank you to the aut A really wonderful read from the Work For It series from Smartypants Romance. I had not read any books from Emma Lee Jayne previously, but found her storytelling and writing to be engaging and entertaining. The building feelings and changing perceptions between Max and Holly were so well done. I found myself really caring about these characters and their HEA. Max and Holly had the banter, chemistry, and emotional moments that added up to a book I literally couldn't put down. Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for an honest review. . . . Bookstagram Post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMAStLcAf_y/

  6. 4 out of 5

    Neha Singh

    3.5 Loved the first one so immediately got this one. I loved Max and Holly but was not able to connect with them as couple that much...their relationship developed too quickly for my liking.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Emerald Book Reviews McCurdy

    Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne ‘“All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone who made me believe that I fit with them. It’s like, if you have a single protozoan in a soil sample in a petri dish and you keep it cold enough, it’ll hibernate and survive, but it can’t live like that. That lone protozoan can’t survive on its own. Not forever. It needs other protozoan and fungi and bacteria and microbes. It needs a whole ecosystem. Otherwise it’s starving to death. I’ve been that lone protozoan. I wasn’t Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne ‘“All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone who made me believe that I fit with them. It’s like, if you have a single protozoan in a soil sample in a petri dish and you keep it cold enough, it’ll hibernate and survive, but it can’t live like that. That lone protozoan can’t survive on its own. Not forever. It needs other protozoan and fungi and bacteria and microbes. It needs a whole ecosystem. Otherwise it’s starving to death. I’ve been that lone protozoan. I wasn’t living. Before you, I was just hibernating. But you’re my fungus.”’ If there is one type of male protagonist that my heart instantly skips a beat for, it’s the surly, stoic and deeply misunderstood kind. The kind where the author has to peel back his many, many hardened layers to reveal the absolute sweetheart that is hibernating beneath an overtly defensive attitude. What makes this kind of romance story that much sweeter is when the author has crafted an utterly remarkable heroine who is entirely up to the task of taming the inner wild beast in our hero, of not only holding her own against his abrupt personality, but who is also more than capable of making her own brilliant mark on the page, of standing out and shining brightly. When you have these kinds of multifaceted characters then you can be sure that the sparks are about to fly; the tension simmering, becoming insurmountable, the banter and witty back and forth heightens the entertaining aspect of it all and then there is the delicious aspect of the friction, the hints and subtle cues that there is more brewing between these two than a mere battle of wills and words. It’s all spoken in the sly glances, the little touches, the lingering thoughts. It’s an accumulation of all these ingredients and with Heart Smart, author Emma Lee Jayne manages to encompass all of these things and so much more. It was so ridiculously easy to fall in love with Max. A socially awkward scientist, with a beard, abs and muscles for days, the initial attraction is very easy to imagine. He’s wounded, soul-deep and literally. His best defence is a good offence when it comes to dealing with the human race but when Holly barges her way into his very orderly life, he begins to re-evaluate everything. Watching Max navigate and meander through his interactions with Holly was sensational. It was oftentimes hilarious, sometimes sobering and heartbreaking and a lot of the times it was butterflies-in-the-tummy inducing. He’s a man of few words- a lot of the time, the wrong words - but when he wants to make a statement with his actions, oh my word, my heart was flip-flopping in my chest, who knew peanut butter and goats and being compared to fungus could be so utterly romantic and profound. Because you know when Max says anything or does anything, it’s sincere, authentic and done with a lot of thought and feeling. Holly was just spectacular as a heroine. She’s the kind of heroine that you need to be friends with. Her empathy and compassion are only outmatched by her resilience, intelligence and wit. I found her to be so funny. Her courage and indifference in the face of Max’s bark was a thing of beauty. She knows which buttons to press with Max, in order to get the best reactions, so it’s this wonderful chaotic mix of confidence and self-doubt, giggle-snort comedic timing and self-reflectiveness, her huge heart and her heartrending aspirations that really bring Holly’s character to life. Individually, they are superb protagonists. Together, these two spark and catch flame, lighting up each scene on the page. It was an arousing and heady concoction of sexual tension, stirring emotions and inspirational love. Heart Smart is a truly genius piece of writing. It is resplendent and bewitching with utterly exquisite, standout characters, magnificently fresh and snappy dialogue and a teasing and tantalizing storyline. Max and Holly are both so unique, dazzling and dynamic that you can’t help but get swept up in their playful and daring antics and their stunning slow descent into all-out love.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I was sucked into this book from page 1! Emma Lee Jayne created the perfect grumpy hero with Max Ramsey. How a character could be such a jerk and so lovely at the same time is amazing to me. The banter is spot on and pacing could not have been better. I'm a new fan of Emma Lee Jayne thanks to this book. I was sucked into this book from page 1! Emma Lee Jayne created the perfect grumpy hero with Max Ramsey. How a character could be such a jerk and so lovely at the same time is amazing to me. The banter is spot on and pacing could not have been better. I'm a new fan of Emma Lee Jayne thanks to this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angela Jones

    Another great addition to the Smartypants Romance world and the first book by Emma Lee Jayne I have ever read. I was pleasantly surprised and it was so nice to read about folks that don’t always fit in the norm still finding their person!! So much love for Max and Holly!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jess Reads2Much

    I was absolutely gripped by Heart Smart from the very first chapter. I am a sucker for love stories told in the world of academia and Max is the kind of romance hero that makes my heart skip several beats. First he is an intellectual which ups the sexy factor by about 50% but he is also a world class grump. I may need therapy but I favor a broken hero. Sometimes these types of heroes are matched by sweet little balls of sunshine who give them love that works its way under their hard layers of an I was absolutely gripped by Heart Smart from the very first chapter. I am a sucker for love stories told in the world of academia and Max is the kind of romance hero that makes my heart skip several beats. First he is an intellectual which ups the sexy factor by about 50% but he is also a world class grump. I may need therapy but I favor a broken hero. Sometimes these types of heroes are matched by sweet little balls of sunshine who give them love that works its way under their hard layers of anger. On rare occasions you get a heroine like Holly, who is equally tough and perfectly matched to smooth down his rough edges. Max is a notoriously surly professor who is short listed for a very prestigious fellowship which he initially turns down because it requires TED-talk like lectures and social media involvement which he has absolutely no desire/skill for. He is forced through his boss to compete and he is given a media relations professor to assist. Holly is smart, compassionate and strong, she is the type of badass you can see joining your group of friends without issue. And though she is not a PhD like some of the professors around her she is just the person for the job. The banter is top notch, the lingering tension and rising heat is perfection! I have not been this been this excited about a new author since The Hating Game was released.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Martin

    4.5 Stars! Loved it! Grumpy, rude, Maximillian Ramsey is one of my favorite types of characters. He's grumpy and he knows it. He's neurodiverse, has scars and a limp from an accident from his childhood. Combined with his intellect he's social awkward. Holly is goal oriented, and super compassionate. She wants women, especially young girls to have their very best chance in the world. She definitely has a savior complex, especially with animal rescues. Max and Holly have some amazing banter, and th 4.5 Stars! Loved it! Grumpy, rude, Maximillian Ramsey is one of my favorite types of characters. He's grumpy and he knows it. He's neurodiverse, has scars and a limp from an accident from his childhood. Combined with his intellect he's social awkward. Holly is goal oriented, and super compassionate. She wants women, especially young girls to have their very best chance in the world. She definitely has a savior complex, especially with animal rescues. Max and Holly have some amazing banter, and their slow burn chemistry ends with a very satisfying ending. I'm sending my book wishes to the author that we get Tavey's (Max's sister) book. She was an utter delight. This was my first book by the author and I can't wait to read more!

  12. 4 out of 5

    M.E. Carter

    Wow. What a fantastic book. I absolutely loved being in Max's brain. Wow. What a fantastic book. I absolutely loved being in Max's brain.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Floraljoy

    A Beauty and the Beast type story: Max was a gruff, reclusive scientist with limited social skills. When Holly was brought in to help him compete for a prestigious award, she sure had her work cut out for her. These two rubbed each other the wrong way and they were continually butting heads, however underneath that all was a strong mutual attraction. I enjoyed seeing Max's personal growth and the change that love brought about. However I thought that some of the issues were just brushed off and h A Beauty and the Beast type story: Max was a gruff, reclusive scientist with limited social skills. When Holly was brought in to help him compete for a prestigious award, she sure had her work cut out for her. These two rubbed each other the wrong way and they were continually butting heads, however underneath that all was a strong mutual attraction. I enjoyed seeing Max's personal growth and the change that love brought about. However I thought that some of the issues were just brushed off and he was "miraculously" cured. After so much initial emphasis being on preparing for the televised lectures I was disappointed that these never actually featured in the latter half of the story. It was a bit wordy at times with large sections of internal dialogue and I think it could have benefited from more interpersonal interactions and dialogue. The ending was sweet albeit rather unrealistic. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Estela

    Starring Dr. Maximillian “Max” Ramsey and Holly Dolinsky. Tropes: Beauty and the Beast, makeover-ish, and enemies to lovers. Heart Smart is book insomnia worthy!! It was 2 am when I read “the end”’and I was a blubbering, ugly cry af, hot mess and I have no regrets. The whole book is amazing, but the last chapter and epilogue were so freaken adorbs!! I absolutely looooooove this story!!! Max is a scientist... a hunky-huge, ripped, potty-mouth, rough and gruff guy. Totally my favorite kind of moody Starring Dr. Maximillian “Max” Ramsey and Holly Dolinsky. Tropes: Beauty and the Beast, makeover-ish, and enemies to lovers. Heart Smart is book insomnia worthy!! It was 2 am when I read “the end”’and I was a blubbering, ugly cry af, hot mess and I have no regrets. The whole book is amazing, but the last chapter and epilogue were so freaken adorbs!! I absolutely looooooove this story!!! Max is a scientist... a hunky-huge, ripped, potty-mouth, rough and gruff guy. Totally my favorite kind of moody and broody hero. Max has Asperger so he is socially awkward. Actually, he has no time to socialize because he would rather analyze his soil samples. Max made me wanna squeeze my thighs... also had me drooling a little with his clueless yumminess. Men who don’t know they’re gorgeous is such a wonderful turn on. Anywho... Max will pull at your heart. He tries to avoid Holly but is so drawn to her... and it’s delightful when this bear of a man finally opens up and risks everything for love. Omg I love Max so much!! Holly needs to spruce Max up and make him accessible in order to win a coveted award that’ll not only be a win for Max, but also for the university, and Holly herself. But he fights her every step of the way. But our girl, Holly, is tenacious... and she may be tiny, but she doesn’t let Max’s bark intimidate her. She is such a wonderful and adorable heroine. She has also been through the wringer and she broke my heart a little. But she’s the ray of lemon sunshine that Max needs. I absolutely adored her and her little menagerie of animals. Max and Holly are two imperfect puzzle pieces that somehow fit perfectly together. He’s her Protozoa... and she’s his fungus. Is that not the cutest, or what?! Max and Holly are officially on my “Favorite 2021 Book Couples” list. They were fabulous!! This is my first Emma Lee Jay book and I’m ready for more!! I’ll definitely be stocking up on her backlist and anticipating her new releases. Totally a keeper shelf author. I’m so glad I “discovered” her!! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily review it and the comments are 100% my own. My Star Rating: 5 stars Ugly cried AF. Major book hangover. Characters and storyline were freaken amazeballs. Made me wanna hug the author for writing a book that gave me all the feels!! Will definitely be reading this story over and over and over again!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashley (Kindled Souls Book Blog)

    I really enjoyed this smart romantic comedy by Emma Lee Jayne. Max and Holly are incredibly lovable characters even if they don’t realize it themselves. Max has Asperger syndrome. He’s a certifiable genius with a lot of difficulty communicating and socializing. Holly, a communications expert, has ADHD, and refers to herself as a flibbertigibbet a few different times. Both characters have experienced trauma that left its scars, both physical (external and internal) and emotional. I loved how well I really enjoyed this smart romantic comedy by Emma Lee Jayne. Max and Holly are incredibly lovable characters even if they don’t realize it themselves. Max has Asperger syndrome. He’s a certifiable genius with a lot of difficulty communicating and socializing. Holly, a communications expert, has ADHD, and refers to herself as a flibbertigibbet a few different times. Both characters have experienced trauma that left its scars, both physical (external and internal) and emotional. I loved how well these two fit together and complimented one another. This story lives up to its label of smart romance. I felt like I learned something as I read. In addition to the focus on science, I love the role foster care plays in this story. It’s refreshing to find a book that focuses on a character who can’t have kids and does not end in a miraculous pregnancy. I appreciated the more realistic approach as well as the reassurance that biological children are not required for a happily ever after. This story is based in Penny Reid’s universe and very, very loosely tied to Reid’s characters. Even with the loose ties, it’s one of my favorite stories to come out of SmartyPants Romance so far in 2021.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lenore Kosinski

    https://celebrityreaders.com/2021/03/... I received a free copy through Smartypants Romance in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion. 4.5 stars — Wow. This one just grabbed me, sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go…I kind of love that feeling. I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with a grumpy/jerk hero, b/c that’s not something I gravitate towards AT ALL. But there was SO MUCH going on underneath Max, he was kind of fascinating to get to know. Don’t get me wrong, he was a jerk…and some https://celebrityreaders.com/2021/03/... I received a free copy through Smartypants Romance in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion. 4.5 stars — Wow. This one just grabbed me, sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go…I kind of love that feeling. I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with a grumpy/jerk hero, b/c that’s not something I gravitate towards AT ALL. But there was SO MUCH going on underneath Max, he was kind of fascinating to get to know. Don’t get me wrong, he was a jerk…and sometimes there were no excuses. But other times he was hiding a tender heart that was afraid and confused. It was so interesting being in his head, and seeing him completely miss certain social cues and such — and to see how he had interpreted things along the way in his life. I genuinely didn’t expect to fall in love with him, but I did…right alongside Holly. When Holly pushed him enough and he got over himself, he was observant, kind, and desperately deserving of love. Holly, on the other hand, I probably fell in love with right away. I’m loving seeing these characters with ADHD, b/c I’m suddenly starting to recognize myself in parts of them. She was so earnest, and with such a HUGE heart. I LOVED how tenacious she was when she wanted something, and how she could see past facades at times, so wasn’t put off at first push. She was sassy, adorable, smart, and just so easy to love. I LOVED how much she wanted to help lift others up, knowing how hard it can be to start with disadvantages. Now don’t get me wrong, they were both wrapped up in their own perceived deficiencies, with strong walls protecting themselves…but I was okay with the timeline for watching those crumble and seeing them figure things out. It was immensely satisfying. Because honestly? They were so cute together. I loved the way they pushed and challenged one another. I loved the way they teased. Oh yeah, and their chemistry was pretty freaking amazing as well. Lots of really interesting side characters in this one too…like, LOTS. From Max’s grad students, to his sister Tavey, to Lily MacPherson, to Holly’s friend Liz…it was a really interesting cast, and I’m desperate for more books from ANY OF THEM. While the connections with the Smartypants Romance Universe were pretty high level, and not as woven in as in other books in the SPRU, this one fit just in the way the book made me feel. It seriously gave me HUGE Laws of Physics vibes — with quirky and unique characters you can’t help but love and root for. What can I say? I’m in love. I need more. Like yesterday. Get on it Ms. Jayne! 😉

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kahea

    >b>Check out an Excerpt HERE ***5 ‘Ecosystem’ Stars*** Even before I finished reading the blurb, I was making grabby hands at this book because of the whole Beauty and the Beast vibe it had going on, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It had all the feels and hit all my romance buttons in all the right ways. I adored Max and Holly. Max is a broody, growly, grumpy and extremely intelligent (in certain ways) alpha male. He taken being an introvert to the extreme, but he does come by it honestly g >b>Check out an Excerpt HERE ***5 ‘Ecosystem’ Stars*** Even before I finished reading the blurb, I was making grabby hands at this book because of the whole Beauty and the Beast vibe it had going on, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It had all the feels and hit all my romance buttons in all the right ways. I adored Max and Holly. Max is a broody, growly, grumpy and extremely intelligent (in certain ways) alpha male. He taken being an introvert to the extreme, but he does come by it honestly given all that he has been through, but the one thing he can’t shut off ~ besides his brain ~ is his heart. Holly is vibrant, prone to babbling, has something of a bleeding heart at times and is extremely determined. When she’s in, she’s all in and will ensure that something good comes out of her endeavors. Their journey to the HEA was a fun opposites attract ride. Things definitely start off on the wrong foot, but I loved watching them battle it out because they both ended up coming away with more than they expected. I enjoyed their bantering and how they ended up being the person who lifted the other up and being a safe place for them to land. This is my first read by the author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The writing was engaging, pacing was good and I enjoyed the dual first person POV’s. There are some heavy topics/issues that come up in the story, but all are necessary and all were handled very well. As for the supporting cast of characters, I’m definitely crossing my toes that Tavey and Lily get their own HEA’s at some point down the road, and crazily enough Clive, mostly because I want to see that man brought to his knees, but I also wouldn’t mind more of Gwen, Clarissa and Rosa. So, bring on the next book in the series! ~ Copy provided by SmartyPants Romance & voluntarily reviewed ~

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Growly, oft-times jerky heroes who are aware they're not all that nice, but who don't know how to be anything other than what they are (for REASONS) are my weakness. Let's just say this description fits Max and move onto Holly. Holly who is kind and good at her job and who has her own issues (outside of Max and his issues, that is) to deal with. Holly who knows that grumbly, intelligent, not-great-at-communicating men are HER weakness. Yeah, these two fight this thing between them. On Max's end, Growly, oft-times jerky heroes who are aware they're not all that nice, but who don't know how to be anything other than what they are (for REASONS) are my weakness. Let's just say this description fits Max and move onto Holly. Holly who is kind and good at her job and who has her own issues (outside of Max and his issues, that is) to deal with. Holly who knows that grumbly, intelligent, not-great-at-communicating men are HER weakness. Yeah, these two fight this thing between them. On Max's end, he's 100% sure no one wants him with his scars and gruff attitude and exacting way of doing things. He's not great at reading social cues, so he pushes down his attraction because he figures there's no way Holly would be into him. On the other end, Holly's dealing with holding onto a professional relationship with her ex (who cheated on her at the absolute worst time in her life, that d-bag), making sure her job is secure for the future she's working toward, and dealing with self-esteem issues (it's actually not quite self-esteem, but that's close enough, I guess) that make her think she's "too much" for most people. As it turns out too much is just right when it comes to these two. Max is exacting and blunt and terrible at social interactions. Holly is determined, crafty, and she's not about to let this brilliant man fail when she has the skills to help him out. Of course, it takes a while for Max to relent enough to actually put effort into what she's trying to teach him, but they get there. Eventually. Snarly interactions, a few miscommunications, a brilliant scientist, and a woman on a mission. Did I adore watching these two verbally spar and circle one another until they reached a relationshippy compromise? I SURE DID! *thumbs up* -Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beth Connolly

    Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne is a great example of the wide net cast by the Penny Reid universe with her Smartypants Romance publishing endeavor. This title definitely utilizes world elements and Pennyverse characters but Heart Smart stands exceedingly well on it's own. You could very easily read (and enjoy) this hilarious rom com on it's own without ever having heard of Penny Reid or Smartypants Romance. It's taken the guiding hand of a publishing imprint and delivered well beyond the limits o Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne is a great example of the wide net cast by the Penny Reid universe with her Smartypants Romance publishing endeavor. This title definitely utilizes world elements and Pennyverse characters but Heart Smart stands exceedingly well on it's own. You could very easily read (and enjoy) this hilarious rom com on it's own without ever having heard of Penny Reid or Smartypants Romance. It's taken the guiding hand of a publishing imprint and delivered well beyond the limits of canon or fanfic or anything in that realm. Heart Smart is a remarkably fun read. The wit, banter, and dialogue between the main characters will have you smiling non-stop. Max is the grumpy hero of your dreams and Holly is the perfect heroine to bring him to his knees. Equal parts delightful and entertaining, Heart Smart is one my favorite reads of the year. Do not miss this one!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    This is my first ever Emma Lee Jayne book and I have to say I am truly in love. This book had so much going for it from being fun and fast paced to being set in my home state of Texas and on a major University campus that reminded me so much of where I attended. Our two main characters were so different from each other but their banter was on point. Holly is chaos and beauty where Max is order and beast. He has no place in his life for either chaos or beauty and she has no time for his beastly b This is my first ever Emma Lee Jayne book and I have to say I am truly in love. This book had so much going for it from being fun and fast paced to being set in my home state of Texas and on a major University campus that reminded me so much of where I attended. Our two main characters were so different from each other but their banter was on point. Holly is chaos and beauty where Max is order and beast. He has no place in his life for either chaos or beauty and she has no time for his beastly behavior and doesn't abide by his rules of order. But her job is to help whip him into shape for a big fellowship and she is nothing if not professional. They went toe to toe with from the start which led to some funny and poignant moments. Max Ramsey is so much more than your classic grumpy leading man. His ego is bigger than Texas when it comes to his research but as it turns out his heart is too. He doesn't have that polish of an alpha hero though because he most certainly is not an alpha hero. He's a sweet grumpy cinnamon roll of a man wearing clothes that don't fit and avoiding social situations at all costs. He prefers his clean room to any other room and is known for getting the worst teaching evaluations from his students which he could care less about. He has valid reasons for the way he behaves but they aren't enough to deter Holly Dolinsky. She comes at him with poise and professionalism and never flinches when he tries to unleash his worst possible behavior to send her running. You could call her a firecracker based on the way she not only doesn't back down but steps into his space to make him painfully aware of his false bravado. She has plans bigger than an egghead professor and isn't afraid to take some extra-official measures to get him to follow her lead. Their heated exchanges were by far some of my favorites in any book so far. The author created such intense confrontations and visceral descriptions that I felt intensity in my bones! Of special note was Tavey - Max's sister / super hacker spy level awesomeness. There was something special about her quick wit, her sense of humor, and how much she loved her brother that struck a chord with me. I hope to read more about Tavey in future books!! I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to more from Emma Lee Jayne!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michele McMullen

    A wonderfully witty, smart and intellectually stimulating romantic comedy that is entertaining and oh so refreshing. Maximillian Ramsey is a scientist, professor and all around grump of a guy. A childhood accident has left him with scars that are both visible and hidden. He may be a brilliant man but living with Asperger has made him quite the social recluse. Now he is up for a huge award but the college feels the need to give him a makeover. This includes his speeches, social media, and oh yes A wonderfully witty, smart and intellectually stimulating romantic comedy that is entertaining and oh so refreshing. Maximillian Ramsey is a scientist, professor and all around grump of a guy. A childhood accident has left him with scars that are both visible and hidden. He may be a brilliant man but living with Asperger has made him quite the social recluse. Now he is up for a huge award but the college feels the need to give him a makeover. This includes his speeches, social media, and oh yes his wardrobe and look! Enter the lovely Holly to the scene. She is a communication specialist at the college and has been enlisted the task of this hulk of a man. She is also the ex wife of Max's boss and that is quite twist to this new working relationship. Holly now finds herself not needing to help Max but wanting to help this man by finding the least invasive way to get him the best results. Keeping him in his comfort zone is a plus but she also wants to help him evolve and succeed! Holly has now inserted herself in his work life whether he likes it or not and she literally does not give him a choice. He has never met such a infuriating overbearing interesting woman and the more feedback she gives the more enticed he becomes to please her. This is a new a foreign concept to this man. Max and Holly have a sassy, sarcastic banter that you can't help but get pulled into! They are sweet, awkward and just so enjoyable !! ~~Michele McMullen ~

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    I learned a new word from this book, flibbertigibbet. Also new ways to curse with other words. I also learned the word is something Holly associates with her ADHD. I can see some of those characteristics here but I applaud how far she has come and manages it. Plus with her past it takes a lot. I feel like Max is like the beast the story and Holly ia beauty. She tries to help this introvert to look and act better for this to be able to win this huge grant. Max is indeed grumpy, reclusive and a je I learned a new word from this book, flibbertigibbet. Also new ways to curse with other words. I also learned the word is something Holly associates with her ADHD. I can see some of those characteristics here but I applaud how far she has come and manages it. Plus with her past it takes a lot. I feel like Max is like the beast the story and Holly ia beauty. She tries to help this introvert to look and act better for this to be able to win this huge grant. Max is indeed grumpy, reclusive and a jerk but is also smart. To complete the beauty and the beast aspect Max has a limp that needs a cane at times. Through all the bickering and haggling Holly went through to help Max They eventually suprised each other how different they expected the otber to be without their roles at the university. Max despite his rough exterior can be good person too. Holly despite her looks can be more than that. As Holly develops some feelings she doesn't want to admit for the gruff professor. She's also not intimated by his scowls and doesn't let stuff slide. It helps that Max showed a different side of him and grew too. Holly has a had bad marriage before so she's wary. But something about Max speaks to her and vice versa. The feelings were a bit of a denial to themselves until way later. Max's world revolved around his work but Holly opened him to new things but he's also unsure about relationships. I find it cute to see him flustered. Some conflicts arise on Holly's old insecurities, protecting her heart from being hurt again. Emma Lee Jayne is a new name to me and I enjoyed her writing. Will definitely read again. This was fun and amusing, well developed characters. Between two very different people but somehow got along. With some bickering and pranking. Max and Holly have their own quirks and they learned to appreciate each for it. Max is his own brand of swoony despite all his success.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caroline F

    This story was tension-filled, sweet and funny. ”I’m struck by the almost irresistible urge to kiss those lips. It shocks the hell out of me because I’m never struck by urges and I never kiss anyone.” Dr Maximillian Ramsey has a reputation for being brilliant but extremely difficult. He struggles with social cues so he’s better off keeping people away with his misanthropic ways. Unfortunately, he is in line for a prestigious academic award that’s important to the university. So, he needs help po This story was tension-filled, sweet and funny. ”I’m struck by the almost irresistible urge to kiss those lips. It shocks the hell out of me because I’m never struck by urges and I never kiss anyone.” Dr Maximillian Ramsey has a reputation for being brilliant but extremely difficult. He struggles with social cues so he’s better off keeping people away with his misanthropic ways. Unfortunately, he is in line for a prestigious academic award that’s important to the university. So, he needs help polishing up his image, as well as making his work more accessible to the masses. This is where Holly Dolinsky comes in. She looks good, smells good, and is way too good for him. ”Brilliant men are my weakness. My personal brand of catnip. My fatal flaw.” Holly might not have a PhD but she’s excellent at her job. She has a kind heart and is extremely likeable. She also has a penchant for misfits and strays. She struggles to get Max on board with an image makeover and has to resort to sneaky tactics to make him fall in line. Along the way, this misunderstood genius starts to burrow into her heart. ”All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone who made me believe that I fit with them?” This was an adorable, delightful story. I loved Max’s grumpiness and boorish ways because underneath all that was a man with a heart of gold, crying out to be understood. He deals with his particular set of issues daily but as long as he’s doing his life’s work, he doesn’t think about his solitary life much. Until Holly comes into his life. I adored Holly! She was resourceful, indomitable, perky and sweet. I loved her conviction and her soft heart. Mostly, I loved how much she got Max. She pushed him when she needed to and was gentle when he needed it. I just loved this story so much and the hair cut scene was my favourite bit! Blog: https://readingwillingable.blogspot.c... Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/review/R34OXBR...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily Pennington

    Dr. Maximillian Ramsey is brilliant. But he walks with a limp and a cane from a childhood accident, has scars, and just wants to be left to himself. Instead, he is to be the recipient of a very prestigious academic fellowship and must give a series of notable speeches about his subject matter. But he doesn’t do “charming” very well and a stage performance would be out of the question. In a panic, the university hires Holly, a very effective communications specialist. It is her unhappy lot in life Dr. Maximillian Ramsey is brilliant. But he walks with a limp and a cane from a childhood accident, has scars, and just wants to be left to himself. Instead, he is to be the recipient of a very prestigious academic fellowship and must give a series of notable speeches about his subject matter. But he doesn’t do “charming” very well and a stage performance would be out of the question. In a panic, the university hires Holly, a very effective communications specialist. It is her unhappy lot in life … oops, her task to change Max’s attitude and turn him into a powerful public speaker. In the process, neither of them is willing to give up on this daunting task. Bloodstains may become an issue… The reader knows what is likely coming in this story line, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of the humor and the emotions that are churned up along the way. This is a fun book that begs to be read again and again. Will Max become the strong, confident speaker that Holly is trying to make him? Will she stick by him until he overcomes the issues holding him back? And when will they realize they have fallen in love along the way?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexis Zimmerman

    This is a romance worthy of the word "smart!" Silly misunderstandings are easily solved to make room for real conflict and introspection. I liked that the characters were self-aware and saw their own flaws and positive attributes. Having a heroine who runs around like a chicken with its head cut off has gotten really old! It deals with some heavy topics, but I think it's well done. I liked reading about a couple that isn't the norm. This is definitely a slow burn romance, but clearly it's compell This is a romance worthy of the word "smart!" Silly misunderstandings are easily solved to make room for real conflict and introspection. I liked that the characters were self-aware and saw their own flaws and positive attributes. Having a heroine who runs around like a chicken with its head cut off has gotten really old! It deals with some heavy topics, but I think it's well done. I liked reading about a couple that isn't the norm. This is definitely a slow burn romance, but clearly it's compelling because I stayed up all night to finish it! The chemistry was off the charts, but the book is well-paced and doesn't feel rushed at all. My only complaint is that I wish the book were longer; I want more time with main characters! I think more time understanding their origin stories would have really added to overall story. They are interesting people and I miss them already, haha. I would definitely recommend this book and absolutely plan to reread it. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    LianaReads blog

    4.5 stars This story had me laughing so much that my jaw hurt. With a House kinda male character and a very strong heroine, the mixed between romance and lab work was perfectly crafted in here in my opinion. I’m nowhere near a nerd but I enjoyed all the banter and whatnot, all the “put my foot in my mouth “ moments that the hero had when dealing with his emotions and mostly, when he had to express them. If you’re looking for a great story, pick this one up and you won’t regret it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kyre Davidson

    Emma Lee Jayne is a “new-to-me” author, but when I had the opportunity to sign up to ARC read “Heart Smart”, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. Long story short, I was immediately intrigued by this story. I’m always a sucker for a broody man and driven woman type of story, and it’s workplace romance! What more could you ask for?! 😉❤️ Emma has brought to life such an original, sweet, well written novel that had me hanging on every word of the story. The storyline has great flow, and romanc Emma Lee Jayne is a “new-to-me” author, but when I had the opportunity to sign up to ARC read “Heart Smart”, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. Long story short, I was immediately intrigued by this story. I’m always a sucker for a broody man and driven woman type of story, and it’s workplace romance! What more could you ask for?! 😉❤️ Emma has brought to life such an original, sweet, well written novel that had me hanging on every word of the story. The storyline has great flow, and romance that will keep your eyes glued to the page. Max and Holly were so great together and I truly enjoyed reading their story. I was rooting for them all the way! The way the two of them feel about each other... So swoon worthy and sweet! You can truly feel every moment and emotion in each word that Emma has written. Plus, the bumps in the road on the way to their happy ending just made their story all the sweeter to me. A great balance of lighthearted, angsty and emotional, this novel and these characters were exactly what I hoped for and more. I’m keeping this review short and sweet, so I will finish off by saying this... This is an absolutely wonderful story and I HIGHLY recommend reading it. Not to mention the final chapter of the book is absolute perfection! 😍🥰☺️👌🏻 I can’t wait to see what Emma writes for us next! 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ★Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!★⁣ https://smartypantsromance.com/books/...⁣

  28. 5 out of 5

    This Feral Housewife

    This book was so awesome from the very start. You really get to know the characters in the story and you want to see what happens next. So well done and just an all around great book. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mandina

    When I started reading this, I was pleased to have a hint of The Big Bang Theory feeling to the story. In fact I loved all of the little bits that were spread throughout the story making me feel like I was kind of back in my show. Only of course the hero, Max, was better looking than the guys on the show, maybe like the one really smart guy that was hot in the season 2 Christmas episode of the show. But while he may have been better looking, he definitely fit more of a Sheldon Cooper profile in When I started reading this, I was pleased to have a hint of The Big Bang Theory feeling to the story. In fact I loved all of the little bits that were spread throughout the story making me feel like I was kind of back in my show. Only of course the hero, Max, was better looking than the guys on the show, maybe like the one really smart guy that was hot in the season 2 Christmas episode of the show. But while he may have been better looking, he definitely fit more of a Sheldon Cooper profile in this story. But it wasn’t just that aspect of the story that I loved, I also really liked Holly. I totally got her wanting to foster and adopt kids as it is something I want to do as well since I can’t have kids myself anymore. And then there were all of Holly’s pets! And the fainting goat at the end! So much fun! This was a sweet, funny, smart romance. It is my first by this author, but I hope to read more in the future. In fact, my hope is that maybe she’ll write another book in this series for the next round of SmartyPants Romance, and it will be Max’s sister, Tavia I think her name was? Review first posted on Lisa Loves Literature.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angie Reed

    Dr. Maximillian Ramsey is a jerk, and he knows it. His work is all he is concerned with until the university wants him to win the McPherson Fellowship. There is no way he is doing any of that. The university has other ideas and hires Holly. Holly is a communications lecturer, but she is the best and has now been tasked with making sure Max has the best shot at winning the McPherson Fellowship grant. These two’s chemistry is off the hook. Read it!!

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