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Publisher's Summary

"A warm romance that bursts with realism and celebrates the symbiotic power of love and healing.” (Entertainment Weekly)

Number one LibraryReads Pick

Indie Next Pick 

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university's chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check...almost. 

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship - except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career. 

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she's finally living again.

©2020 Denise Williams (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

How to Fail at Flirting is a charming and compelling debut from Denise Williams that's as moving as it romantic. Williams brings the banter, heat, and swoons, while also giving us a character who learns that standing up for herself is as important - and terrifying - as allowing herself to fall in love. Put 'Read How to Fail at Flirting' at the top of your to-do list!” (Jen DeLuca)

"Naya and Jake's relationship is both sexy and sweet as these two people, who love their work but are not skilled at socializing or romance, find their way forward. Academia is vividly portrayed, and readers will await the next book from Williams, a talented debut author and a PhD herself.” (Booklist)   

What listeners say about How to Fail at Flirting

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Naya finds her strength and real love


This story featured a woman Naya, who was learning to trust herself and feel safe again after being in an abusive relationship. If you’ve ever had a friend or known someone who is shedding that past and rising like a Phoenix, then you will connect with this story. I was cheering, smiling and just feeling so hopeful as I read this one. Denise Williams, whom I’ve never read before, did a great job telling this story. The narrator did a fabulous job conveying the various emotions that Naya and Jake conveyed in this audiobook. I enjoyed listening to this book so much. I definitely recommend this book to all contemporary romance readers who love happily ever after stories!

6 people found this helpful

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4.5 🌟 for sure

I did not expect what I got. I know that sounds cryptic but it's not.
I came in thinking that this was a Rom Com but Denise Williams dealt with intimate partner violence in a profound way.

Naya's strength and recovery was fluid and it took time for me to fully recognize that. January LaVoy did an excellent job with the narration

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

why is the narrator white?

The character is Afro-Latinx. The narrator is clearly a white woman. what kind of multicultural novel is this?

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Serious RomCom

This story has so much depth. Denise Williams handles a very serious subject of abusive relationships with a gentleness and understanding of a master. This story was entertaining as well as informative. I loved this book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • NW
  • 12-28-20

Powered through in a day!

Loved it! I hooked pretty immediately - great narrator - and proceed to power through this book in less than 24 hours. Wow! I was pleasantly surprised to discover the book had more depth than a lot of other books in this category. Too often you know how things are going to pan out halfway through but this one kept me waiting to see how the story would unravel. I appreciate the authors approach to the main character - telling a story so many women experience in a very real and relatable way while giving hope that there are still happy endings out there. Keeping my eye out for more from Denise Williams.

2 people found this helpful

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Hard to finish. But I did

I found it hard to read. I hate domestic violence. This was a hard read but I’m glad she didn’t give up!

1 person found this helpful

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Serious and fun flirting

I enjoy love stories that can be romantic and still cover important, timely subject matter. These two broken hearted people find the missing pieces to make them whole again in each other. Loved going along on their journey. Checked all my boxes.✔️

1 person found this helpful

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January Is A Person Of Color

Waste of a 2 for 1 sale. This author is not for me. Good moral to the story but the author doesn’t pull the story along. Too many clichés' in the dialogue. Almost like a sex manual. Every romance fan loves a good sex scene but that is not to replace good entertaining dialogue. Ms LaVoy great narrating and male voice is the only saving factor. A reviewer criticized ms LaVoy for sounding like a white person! Well, ms LaVoy has impeccable narrating credentials. I buy her mysteries eg Missing You, Save Me from Dangerous Men, two outstanding reads. She can sound right from the hood if the story calls for it, but this story did not. Note ch 14. Details. I know nothing about the author but some of the heroine’s background seems autobiographical.
The premise was good and a better editor would maybe help. Author notes are excellent
Were my comments of help?

1 person found this helpful

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Great story about power of love.

Liked the main characters growth in the story. Enjoyed the romantic comedy and seriousness of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Super cute story, great narration!

Loved this book! I couldn’t stop listening! Very engaging and a quick, fun book to add to your list!

1 person found this helpful