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Review ❤️ The Jake Ryan Complex by Bethany Crandell

February 1, 2021


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.

Release Date:
 Jan 26, 2021
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Imprint: Montlake
Price: $3.99


The Jake Ryan Complex was a fun read. I absolutely love the movie Sixteen Candles and always wanted a Jake Ryan for a boyfriend. Who wouldn’t? He was perfect. Everything that could be checked off on a list of must haves in the perfect boyfriend. I found myself agreeing with the main character in thinking would Jake do that? Most of the time the answer would be a resounding NO! I really would have liked a little more steam in the bedroom but you knew that the steam was there. Even without the peek in the bedroom this book was a fun ride to take. There are some twists and turns that will have you go back to reread what just threw you for a loop. I did it a couple times especially with the mother and with the main characters Jake Ryan.

Mac Huntress is a thirty-something single woman who lives with her dog rerun and her tenant Gia in a small town of Napersville. She finds it relaxing like going back to her childhood home after delivering babies from her clinic she runs with her friends from school. I really felt for Mac through the whole book. She is having to deal with her sister springing getting married, her mother being overbearing and constantly nit picking her to death about getting married and to finally meeting her boyfriend Michael. Her mother was such a battle ax that Mac created a fake boyfriend, Michael. He ticked all the boxes that her mother would expect for Mac to date and nothing less would do. I wanted more than anything for Mac to stand up to her mother and put her in her place. I found it super funny on some of the dates that she had to endure from man with small hands, a guy that hummed while he ate, going to a baseball game with a super cute dresser that had horrible eating etiquite, to the hot art teacher that was a slow x-rated talker that had my head in the gutter from his painting instructions.

Then she meets the perfect Jake Ryan but he is married. She can’t stop thinking about him. He checks all the things off on her list of standards that she swears she doesn’t have but her friends point out that she actually does. After sitting down to rewatch her favorite movie she has an epiphany that yes she does have bery high standards that  are directly linked to Jake Ryan of Sixteen Candles. Nice hair, nice car, very very attractive, nice dresser and a total gentalman. This was everything that JT her handyman that was fixing things around her house was. But he had a band around his finger. She not wanting to be a home wrecker showed that she was a strong woman. Events keep throwing them back together from an incident with her dog and a trip to the vet and then to going to a bar to catch the ending of the baseball game where JT shows up to get dinner. I can tell that there was chemistry between the two of them. I just wanted them to get together.


I really thought the countdown to the wedding and needing to find her Michael as her fake boyfriend as her date to keep her mother off her back was very much needed and brought a nice timeline to the story. When JT shows up at her sisters wedding before she can tell her mother that she is dating him and the mother recoils in recognition that he is just the handyman. My heart was breaking for him and for Mac. The secrets that these characters kept for themselves and the truths that finally came out had me turning the page to find out what was going to happen next. I think this was the best happy ending that I have read along time. I liked that the ending wasn’t rushed and tied all the ties that needed to be tied.  

~ Brooke


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