“Now I had to crane my neck to see Sam, but I liked this arrangement – where I could feel free to observe as openly as I wanted, because everyone’s attention was supposed to be focused on him. He shouldn’t be that attractive, objectively speaking. His nose was crooked and a little too big for his face, his hair skated a fine line between bedhead and bedraggled, and the hot pink of his shirt gave me corneal flash burns.”

Suspicious romance lovers everywhere will delight in this entertaining rom-com from Alicia Thompson.

Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst.

PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation—if she can manage to finish writing it. It’s hard to find the time while she spends the summer in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home, dealing with her obnoxiously good-natured younger brother, and grappling with the complicated feelings of mourning a father she hadn’t had a relationship with for years.

It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something). It’s not long before Phoebe realizes that Sam might be something much scarier—a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart.

Who’d have thunk that serial killers and romance go together like peanut butter and chocolate? But they do. I just loved this super fun story. I tore through it in only a day!

I can’t really say enough good things about the main character Phoebe. She is quirky, smart, and unhealthily obsessed with serial killers. As we get to know Phoebe, we realize she has some major self-esteem and attachment issues (for good reasons) that have made it hard for her to rely on other people or even ask for help. She’s a character with a lot of depth that I really enjoyed getting to know.

Sam, for his part, is a dreamy counterpoint to Phoebe. His kind has this geeky primary school music teacher thing that was endearing. I loved how much he loved Phoebe just the way she is. It was nice to see a love interest who was so all in, no casual dating for this guy, yet at the same time, he was willing to take it slow and let Phoebe be herself.

The banter between these two was pretty adorable and, at times, hilarious. They both had such a good sense of humour which I always appreciate. Nothing sexier than witty banter in my eyes.

I also enjoyed all the true crime bits we learn through Phoebe’s character. Watching her write her dissertation on true crime literature was really interesting, and I enjoyed the detail that Alicia put into this aspect of the book. I didn’t even know that was something I would enjoy! My favourite TV show growing up was Murder She Wrote, so maybe I should have seen that coming.

Overall, Love in the Time of Serial Killers is a highly satisfying and fun read.

Thank you, Berkeley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.