Book Review: The Dating Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman

The Dating Dilemma

Author: Mariah Ankenman
Series: Mile High Firefighters, book 2
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara) (January 24, 2022)
Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance


Lexi’s Reminders

* Work.

* Don’t think about your birthday tomorrow. Or debt, your crappy apartment, and nonexistent social life.

* Re-stock wine and ice cream because that’s coming.

* Die in a raging blaze of humiliation when the super-hot and very delicious fireman waiting in your office is not in fact the strip-o-gram birthday present you suspected.

* Reschedule the fire safety inspection you 100 percent failed because of said humiliation.

* Figure out how you, in fact, agreed to fake dating Mr. Not a Strip-O-Gram Fireman to help him with a bet.

* Oh yeah, and do not fall for this guy. Seriously, they call him One Night O’Neil. Red flags all over the place.

* Remember, this is fake dating, even though his very talented, very real lips are doing some sexy things you definitely like.

* Realize bending one tiny rule can’t be that bad, can it?

* Except bend too far, and something breaks. Something you can’t get back.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m going to admit, I picked this up because of the yummy abs on the cover. Plus who doesn’t love a spot of fake dating? I also stan a hero who reads romance novels! Yes!

Lexi and Dyson are both a bit of a hot mess, and I love that about them. I didn’t love how Lexi’s tendency to accidentally verbalizer her inner thoughts was done – I was never quite sure what she actually SAID as the book is written in the third person. So if she thought she needed to jump on his pogo stick (not a real example, lol), what came out of her mouth? “I need to jump on his pogo stick” I assume? But some of the things don’t translate so directly, and it just jolted me out of the story each time. I feel like this could have been done a bit more smoothly if her thoughts she was accidentally verbalizing were “thought out” on the page in italics in the first person, as you sometimes see. That being said, her tendency to blurt her inner thoughts was really adorable, and I loved how cute Dyson thought it was as well.

The side characters in this were really fun. I love Dyson’s sisters and want to read their books for themselves as well please! Lexi’s roommate and his boyfriend were also a lot of fun, as well as Dyson’s coworkers at the firehouse. I absolutely want to go to trivia night with this cast of characters please!

The chemistry between Lexi and Dyson is so sweet and fun and flirty – and also super hot. Also I love the tropes in this one: fake dating, slow burn, “we just need to get this out of our systems,” oops feelings… This was my first book by Mariah Ankenman, but I’m definitely going to go read more now!

This is the second book in the Mile High Firefighters series, and can be read as a stand alone. There are some spoilers I think for the first book in the series, The Wedding Dilemma, as well as another couple that I think is from another of Mariah’s series, Mile High Happiness. I haven’t read either of these other books (yet) but the spoilers don’t seem to be much more than what you’d get from reading the back cover blurb. I cannot WAIT for the next book in the series, The Firefighter’s Dilemma, an enemies to lovers trope for Ward and Diaz!

A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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