Friday, August 6, 2021

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Never Fall for Your Back-Up Guys (It's Complicated #1) by Kate O'Keeffe

Title: Never Fall for Your Back-Up Guy
Series: It's Complicated #1
Author: Kate O’Keeffe
Publisher: Wild Lime Books
Publication Date: August 3rd 2021
Print Length: 296 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Three things I’ve learned this week:

1) Never fall for a client

2) Never fall for your best friend

3) And most importantly, never fall for your back-up guy…especially if they’re all the same person.

I’m the queen of dating disasters—I’ve had more rotten dates than you can shake a long stemmed rose at. After years of one disappointment after another, I’m beginning to feel like I’ll never say “I do.”

So after being dumped one too many times I do something stupid:

I make a pact with my best friend Asher. If neither of us are married by 35, we tie the knot. That’s five full years of searching for The One.

I’ve got to meet Mr. Right by then, don’t I?

Except when I take a job redecorating Asher’s bachelor pad, I realize he’s a lot different from the guy I thought he was. Against all odds, I find myself falling for my best friend. Maybe my back-up guy could be The One after all?

Except there’s only one problem…

My back-up guy has a secret that could ruin everything.

Never Fall for Your Back-Up Guy is a clean, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy with a smart and sassy British heroine and a swoon-worthy American hero.

It’s the first book in the It’s Complicated series and can easily be read as a standalone novel. It is a spin-off of the Love Manor Romantic Comedy series. Catch up with all your favorite Love Manor characters and meet some new ones in this fun, laugh-out-loud rom com!

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I cut right to the chase. There’s no need to beat about the bush with this. “Asher, I need you to be my back-up guy.”

His eyes widen into dinner plates. “I’m sorry, your what now?”

“My back-up guy. You know, if neither of us are married by a certain age, we’ll get married.”

He erupts into laughter, showing his perfect rows of pearly whites as he throws his head back. “Zara, are you drunk?” he questions.

I cross my arms. This is not the reaction I was hoping for. “No.”

“Are you high?”


“What’s going on with you then? I mean, it’s not every day a girl drags you away from your date and proposes marriage.”

I let out an exasperated breath. “I’m not proposing marriage.”

“Kinda sounds like it to me.”

“All I’m saying is that we should be each other’s back-up person. That way, if neither of us find The One, we can still have kids and marriage and all that stuff.”

“Wow, Zara, I had no idea you felt this way about me.”

I bat him on the arm. “Could you drop the jokes for one second please and listen to me?”

“Okay. Fire away, girl who wants to marry me.” He pulls his lips into a line so as to stifle his smile. It doesn’t work.

I shoot him a pointed look. “Just so we’re clear, I’m not proposing. You would be a back-up, nothing more. If I can’t find the love of my life, we’ll get married as an absolute last resort.”

“You sure know how to sweet talk a guy.”

“You see that’s the thing. I don’t need to sweet talk you because I only want you as a kind of safety net. I’m not in love with you, I don’t want to shag you, or marry you, or have your babies.”

He makes a knife through the heart gesture. “Ouch. That hurts.”

“You’re not in love with me and you don’t want to shag me, either, so let’s not go getting all dramatic here. Let me tell you what I want.”

“What you really, really want?” he teases, quoting my favourite 90s girl band, the Spice Girls.

I ignore his joke as I begin to pace up and down the footpath, excitement mounting over the genius of my plan. “You see, I want to fall in love with someone. Deeply in love. I want the kind of love I’ve never had, the kind that sweeps you off your feet. The kind of love that eats up everything in your head and your heart.”

“You want your Big Love.”

“Yes! The problem is, I’ve been looking for a year now and I’ve not found it.”

“A year isn’t that long.”

“I know, but it’s my birthday next week and —”

“And you’re freaking out,” he finishes for me, and I give a reluctant nod. “Thirty ain’t so bad, Zara. Believe me, it’s not. I think you’ll survive it, just like I did. With or without me as your back-up guy.”

“It’s different for a woman, Asher. We’ve got these biological clocks ticking away that get louder and louder every day.”

“Can’t you invest in some earplugs?”

My laugh is full of exasperation. What I love about Asher—his fun nature, his ability to make light of things—is making this so much harder than I thought it would be right now. “Can you please be serious for just a minute?”

His smile drops. “Sure. Go ahead.”

“I’d give it, I don’t know, five years? Yeah, that feels right. By then I’ll be turning thirty-five and that’s plenty of time to find the man of my dreams, and still be able to have a bunch of kids and dogs and chickens before it’s too late.”

He arches his brows. “Chickens? In Fulham?”

“I’ll move to the country,” I reply with a wave of my hand. “So, what do you say?” I regard him through hopeful eyes. He’s got to say yes.

“That’s five years and one week.”


“And you’ll actively search for your Big Love.”


“And we both date whomever we want between now and then.”

“That’s right.”

He studies my face for a beat as I hold my breath, then extends his hand. “Deal.”

Happiness bubbles up and bursts out of me as I fling my arms around his neck and pepper his cheeks with kisses. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

He laughs as he darts a look through the window at his date and then peels my hands from around his neck. “Maybe a little less with the public displays until we’re married. Okay, wifey?”
Kate O'Keeffe is a bestselling author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful Hawke's Bay, New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he's a scruffy dog too. He's not: he's a cat. When she's not penning her latest story, Kate can be found hiking up hills (slowly), traveling to different countries, and eating chocolate. A lot of it.

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One Winner: $20 Amazon gift card
Three Winners: eBook of Never Fall for Your Back-Up Guy by Kate O'Keeffe
(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway or its prizes. Xpresso Tours is responsible for both the giveaway and the prizes.)
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  1. I love the green color of your book cover. The character's pink coat visually pops from the green background.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. This books sounds like a fun read. I love the eye-catching cover! Great colours!

  3. Great blitz, cheers to your book.

  4. Congratulations on the book release. Sounds like a really fun story.

  5. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  6. This sounds like a really good book! Curious as to the inspiration for this one?

  7. David HollingsworthAugust 8, 2021 at 6:45 PM

    The cover is cute.

  8. sounds like a fun one

  9. What a deal, however waiting 5 years and 1 week to see if life provides the big love is pretty long. I like the title of the book and the sense of humor in the excerpt.