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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Raise a Glass

Beer Fest by Lilo Moore

Rating: 4

Spicy: R; numerous descriptive scenes

Will you like this book? You might if you like:

Beer (duh)

Friends to Lovers

Complex MCs

Reality competitions

Snuggles (maybe not a ton but I’m sorry, Max was like the snuggliest to me for some reason)

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.

Beer Fest is a book about two best friends, reuniting with friends from their year abroad in college, at the Oktoberfest in Munich where they end up competing in a beer-fest competition for money. Fiona and Max met while at the University of Freiburg fifteen years ago and became the closest of friends, but never more. They have traveled the world together and helped each other through bad dating experiences. Fiona never wanted to cross the line, because her friendship with Max is a cornerstone of her life and to mess that up, to screw up the relationship with the only person she feels really sees her, would destroy her. But now, after not being able to see each other for almost 4 years (Pandemic reasons), she is seeing him in a whole new light. Or is she finally allowing herself to give into feelings she has had for years?

Fi and Max are messy, they have complicated relationships with their families and it has made them question if they are worthy of love. And though each knows the other is deserving of happiness, and fights to show them, they are just not willing to believe it for themselves. That makes getting together hard! But with the help of their friends, a hashtag,and a crazy slide, they will work it out. But you know, not without tears. But also not without some steamy sex scenes. So you know, romance novel perfection.

I really enjoyed Moore’s writing and I am so glad I was able to read this ARC. I requested it because I a) love beer, b) spent my honeymoon in Germany drinking beer, and c) love a good friends-to-lovers to romance. What I wasn’t expecting, and really liked, was how Moore highlighted how Fi really struggled with being a woman in the beer industry. She loves her marketing job at the Beermouth (the stand in for AB Inbev) but she hates the culture at the company. There is so much toxicity at breweries, big and small, and I am glad that Moore focused on it. It is really hard to be a woman working in beer but I hope it is changing (if you are interested, check out @ratmagnet, the handle for Brienne Allan, who began reposting stories on her Instagram about the challenges faced by women in beer).

Beer Fest comes out this Friday and honestly, if you love a well-written, angsty, beer-soaked romance, pick this up. And beer from your local brewer.

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