Blog Tour Book Review: Falling for the Competition by Jen Smith

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Jen Smith’s charming contemporary romance Falling for the Competition. Let’s check it out!

About the Book:

It’s going to be the best summer ever for ambitious, overachieving Quinn. A huge history buff, not only has she landed her dream job interning in the archives department of the local castle, but her best friend will be working there too.

However, Quinn isn’t the only one to be working in Archives this summer; Quinn’s academic rival, Patrick, is sharing her office in Muniments. They’re competing for the Letter of Recommendation (singular) from the research historian that Quinn needs to get her dream future placement.

Their emotionally-loaded and competitive rivalry turns into a reluctant friendship, as they spend every day working together in silence (and sharing the occasional Twix). Until the Re-Enactors arrive. Between Patrick and Harry – the Golden Knight of the jousting team – Quinn’s carefully planned summer is thrown into complete disarray. Meanwhile, her best friend’s relationship may look perfect on the outside, but Quinn is starting to realise that there’s more going on than there seems.

Although Quinn is determined and single minded about planning every detail of her sparkling future, she comes to discover that the best things in life are the spontaneous ones – and that some people are more important than any Letter of Recommendation (singular) could ever be.

Purchase Links

UK –

US –

My Review:

A sweet and fun YA romance, Falling for the Competition follows Quinn as she lands her dream internship working in the archives at a local castle. Little does she know that she’ll be working at Fullerton Castle with her school nemesis Patrick Stevenson and they’ll be competing for the only available letter of recommendation. With her future at stake, medeival reenactors causing issues, friendship troubles, and growing feelings for her enemy, Quinn’s organized and structured life is about to become very messy.

I really enjoyed this story. It was fun and interesting, and I liked the characters, plot, setting, and love story. Quinn is a well-developed protagonist, and she goes through a lot over the course of the story. I enjoyed her arc. At the forefront of her mind is doing her best at he job and ensuring she gets the recommendation she so covets. However, she also deals with pushy young men, meddling friends, betrayal, harassments, and more. I think many of the situations Quinn finds herself in are relatable and realistic. From the Instagram trolling to the sometimes fun parties with friends, Quinn experiences an unforgettable whirlwind summer.

Much of the story takes place at Fullerton Castle, which is a dream come true for Quinn, who has always wanted to work there. Part tourist attraction, the castle has a lot to offer, though Quinn is more interested in the historical aspect than the entertainment. I loved the setting and thought it was a great backdrop to the story. And I loved seeing Quinn fulfilling some of her dreams and striving to achieve others. She is a very motivated person and well-matched to the equally ambitious Patrick.

Quinn and Patrick have a great enemies-to-lovers romance! They are alike in so many ways, especially in their passion for and interest in history. Their enthusiasm is fantastic, and I love when they talk about different time periods and people that interest them. Their shared love of history definitely helps them to connect and grow closer. Their banter is also fantastic, and their staring contests are hysterical.

I have to say, I didn’t love the friendship in this one. I get that she was in a toxic relationship, but some of the things she said about and did to Quinn were just plain insensitive and mean. I didn’t think she was a good friend, though she was a fun character at times. I guess I just wanted her loyalty to Quinn to be stronger. She seems like a very self involved person, but I think that is the point. Sometimes the people we love and trust do things that shake the foundation of the relationship. It’s interesting to see how these best friends deal with some of the challenges they face.

I would definitely recommend Falling for the Competition to readers who enjoy YA romance, contemporary romance, or coming-of-age romance. It’s a fun and entertaining read with great messages about life and love.

Special thanks to the author and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The setting.

Favorite Line:

I don’t need saving. I don’t need anyone to battle for me.

About the Author:

Jen lives in the Midlands with her husband and two children. With a Masters Degree in Medieval History, Jen loves castles and King John a little too much. Strangely un-British, she does not like tea, oranges or marzipan, but adores French cheese, guava juice and Chinese food (not together).

When not writing, Jen can often be found pointing out historical inaccuracies in period dramas, being a Lady that Lunches with close friends and playing board games with her family. Note: her handbags are always heavy due to multiple books (just in case she needs them). 

Social Media Link: @jensmith950 Twitter

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