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xo, Zach

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The first time we met was at a party.

Your ex arrived to show off the person he'd left you for last month, and you asked me to pretend to be your date.

I was more than happy to help. You were attractive, smart and witty--and that kiss we shared? It left me wanting you for days.

The second time we met was in my office on campus where we were both surprised to discover you were the new master’s degree student in poetry that I would be working with. You promised to be professional. I did no such thing.

The late nights and intense study sessions spent alongside you majorly throw me off my game. I want you, and I fight with myself daily over this fact.

I know I'm crass, that my sexual innuendos and dirty mouth annoy you, but I live for those two bright spots of color in your cheeks. If that's the only reaction I can get out of you, I'll gladly take it.

You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week.

I think I'm falling for you, and I know it's wrong. I know that I'm only supposed to be the adviser to your program and nothing more, but here's the thing. I think you're falling for me too.

xo, Zach

334 pages

First published January 23, 2018

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About the author

Kendall Ryan

121 books16.9k followers
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 3 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.






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Displaying 1 - 30 of 750 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,711 reviews31.6k followers
January 30, 2018
4 stars!


xo, Zach is a sweet, sexy, fun, and forbidden read. It’s the type of book Kendall Ryan does best in my opinion. I love her books that are light and steamy, with just enough emotion. I always enjoy them and this is one of my favorite of her recent releases.

Zach is an academic advisor. He’s not one to get involved with his students, but one night, he meets a girl. He’s enamored by her. For the first time in a long time, he could see his self wanting more. Poppy and Zach meet at a party, and there is a connection. Then they see each other again on a Monday… in Zach’s class. Both are stunned at this revelation.
Of course, it was just my luck that the one woman I’d been interested in in over a year wasn’t looking for a relationship—and was also one of my students. Shit didn’t get more complicated than that.

Poppy takes her schooling very seriously. She has worked hard and overcome many obstacles to get where she’s at. So even though Zach is an amazing guy, she’s not sure if she can go there. Zach is persistent and romantic, and a hard guy to resist…

The narrators for xo, Zach, Sebastian York and Andi Arndt make a wonderful duo, as always. They really bring these characters to life and make the audio book easy to listen to. Seriously, these two never disappoint. I would definitely recommend listening to this one!

xo, Zach is the perfect combination of heartfelt, flirty, and steamy. If you enjoy slow burn romances that are a bit on the forbidden side, pick this one up!
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,251 followers
January 24, 2018
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review


Xo, Zach is a sweet, sexy, flirty, playful and a bit angsty romance. Given the fact that this book is written by Kendall Ryan, you can expect this book to be both heartfelt and lovely.


This book is not so much a forbidden romance but it does entail a graduate student and academic adviser. Poppy has somewhat lived a sheltered cautious life and so when she asked a guy to pretend to be her new boyfriend at a college house party that her ex-boyfriend is gonna be at, she never expected to run into the stand in guy again. And so when she discovers the guy that she shared a hot passionate kiss happens to be her academic adviser, Poppy is beyond stunned.

6b658fa410e1401946067aedb32dd8 Of course, it was just my luck that the one woman I’d been interested in in over a year wasn’t looking for a relationship—and was also one of my students. Shit didn’t get more complicated than that.”

Zach right away is intrigued by Poppy. Never has a woman got under his skin like her. He wants to keep things professional and at the same time want to explore what could be a hot relationship with Poppy.

tbt 13

Poppy and Zach starts off as friends and mentor. Poppy is well aware she doesn’t want to jeopardize her academics for a fling with Zach. But as the two gets to know each other, Poppy can’t help wonder what Zach has to offer. So will Poppy finally give into Zach and confront her feelings for him? And how will Zach react to Poppy’s secret that she has kept from him?

6b658fa410e1401946067aedb32dd8 I need you to understand that I will worship you and make you come So. Many. Fucking Times.”


Xo, Zach is a very sweet, slow burn charming romance. Kendall Ryan does a terriffic job in setting the scene and allowing readers to understand Poppy’s hesitation in having a relationship with Zach. And as for Zach, I adored him. He was sweet, very patient, and understanding. He made his intentions clear from the start and so that was refreshing to see a hero that wasn’t arrogant or cocky. So if you are looking for a sweet and playful romance that was deliciously filled with heart and sincerity then this book is for you.

 photo MICHELLE1_zps3515xymk.jpg Kendall Ryan

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Profile Image for XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy.
1,473 reviews434 followers
January 7, 2018
4.5 Stars. Zach is quite the catch and Poppy is a lucky girl. He’s sweet, charming, romantic and mature. I loved that he didn’t play games. Poppy was a strong heroine and a good match for him, even if her uncertainty was frustrating at times. Together, these two burn it up with great chemistry. The relationship felt organic and it progressed at a good pace.

The plot was focused on the development of the relationship, although it starts with the catalyst of an ex. I liked that a lot. It minimized drama that feels overused at times. The writing was strong, with good prose and characterization. Humor was used well throughout the story.

Safety: Heroine pushes the hero away. No others for the heroine. No rape or abuse.

Complimentary copy received and voluntarily reviewed.
Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,472 reviews1,204 followers
January 10, 2019
I fell in love with Zach within the very first page. It’s a conversation with his mother and you can tell a lot about a man by the way he deals with his mom. I could see that Zach was well-rounded, had a sense of humor, was incredibly respectful, and was an overall decent guy. His mom cracked me up and their interaction sealed the deal for me. Zach was the kind of man with whom I could put all of my eggs in his basket. He was a keeper. Just gotta watch out for his dirty mouth - exploding ovaries material right there.

I’m obviously not talking literally here people. It’s just that Zach was the kind of guy you would want to give you babies. He was sweet, smart, charming, romantic, and he had absolutely no problem showing his heart or his vulnerability. On top of all that he was a sexy, gorgeous adonis. C’mon, you’d be throwing yourself at him just as I would!

Now granted, Poppy felt this way too but she wasn’t as willing to put herself in his hands. She wasn’t as eager as I was. And it was frustrating, a lot of the time. However, I understood her position. In fact, I’ve found myself in the same circumstance so I know how it is. But it was Zach. The quintessential ‘perfect man’. Well, as perfect as one can be. He wasn’t a serial dater, he was looking for ‘the one’, he had found her, and he was open to exploring forever with one person - Poppy. It took him much of this story to finally get her on board. Which made this entertaining to say the least.

There was virtually no drama aside from the nonsense brewing in Poppy’s head. She was drama in and of itself. But that was it. Zach was funny and with his mom and Poppy’s friends, humor could be found throughout the plot. This romance was sexy and sweet and the ending gave me everything I could hope for.

Release: Jan. 23, 2018 | Genre: Contemporary Romance | POV: Dual - 1st person | Heat: 3 out of 5 | Standalone
Profile Image for Dianna ☾midnight reads☽.
430 reviews325 followers
February 5, 2018
my first 1-star rating of 2018!
"The desire to pet his one-eyed python was a sharp pulse of need."

Maybe I have read a completely different book from the 5-star reviews that were posted for this one? Who knows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The premise was cute but I'm just overall disappointed with what I have read. The characters felt weak and went from I am a professional, consenting adult to hey, I'm a fucking horny teenager in 0.000001 microseconds. I'm serious.

Plus, I absolutely find it ridiculous how they only shared one kiss which wasn't even that greatly imagined, thank you very much and a conversation which again, wasn't even that profound and could have been just about the weather and they were fucking obsess with each other after that? That they can barely think straight without imagining each other's body pressed against one another? Huh.

Right after reading the first chapter which was Zach's, I immediately thought that it was a great start and that the MC was a breath of fresh air when it comes to this kind of books. But then he went to super boring and bland and just a no for me. It would have been loads better if the author had maintained the Zach in the first chapter up to the ending. Apart from the poetry talks, he did not really feel like an adviser at all. Also, the cover was so not for this book. Just saying.

I did not really like Poppy from the very start. I did admire her courage to face an ex but I find her really immature and kind of dumb. It was very hard for me to imagine her as this accomplished poet and the university's strongest talent, blah blah blah. She fucking became a teenage mom just because she believed her boyfriend had put on a condom and took his word for it! Then made it look like it's all the guy's fault! I know she was a teenager then but GIRL HAVE U NO EYES? And then there was this "It’s ok, I trust you and I’m on birth control.” I'm not judging teenage mothers but my blood is just boiling with this woman.

I find the writing style to be poor and clearly not my cup of tea. There was a lot of telling not showing and almost a whole chapter of info dump. The pacing was okay but it came to the point where I don't really care about the writing or the characters anymore.

I was really excited to read this because I really like this kind of trope but then it's just a huge flop of a read for me. A better novel with this kind of theme would be Slammed by Colleen Hoover and Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid.
Profile Image for TJ *Book Twins Reviews*.
1,038 reviews2,382 followers
January 23, 2018
This was just what the doctor ordered! Laughter really is the best medicine. xo, Zach was completely unexpected for all the right reasons. It's funny as hell, super sweet, and oh so sexy. The sexual tension between Poppy and Zach is delicious! Zach is my new favorite K.R. book boyfriend. He's gorgeous, sexy, self-assured, and just a really great guy!

I read this book in record speed because it's engaging, witty, and uses a few of my favorite tropes. Forbidden love and NA college romance. There are a few other that I won't mention to avoid spoilers, but just know that this book is chocked full of goodness. Is it absolutely perfect? Probably not, but it was perfect for me!

Here's where xo, Zach shines - The secondary characters. Oh man, the neighbors in this one are hilarious. Interestingly enough, I actually had a college roommate who was very similar. Absolutely no filter or boundaries. Poppy's friends are a couple notches higher on the embarrassment meter than mine were. It was so much fun reading their interactions.
The parents. Yeah, I know, parents are typically something mentioned as a highlight in a romance novel review. However, they're a huge win here. 2 words - Zach's mom!!
The setup and progression of Zach and Poppy's relationship. I enjoyed the chase and every second of the result. Although there may have been one pushback too many, it was still very well done.
The humor! Man, I don't think I've laughed this much reading a KR title before. I loved that! Some of these characters are so freaking inappropriate. I laughed my ass off!!!

So, kudos to Kendall Ryan for writing another fantastic read! I highly recommend this one to readers who enjoy rom-com, forbidden romance, and embarrassing secondary characters.


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Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,039 reviews588 followers
January 31, 2018
3.5-3.75 xo Stars

"Roses of crimson
Skies of blue
Nature’s beauty has got nothing on you.
Do you know how you affect me?
I don’t think you do.
If given the chance, I think I could love you."

Poppy is a twenty-four-year-old single mother to a seven-year-old boy. Her ex dumped her for another girl. So she went to a house party to find another guy and get over her ex (her friend advice) but what she saw was her ex with his new girl, showing off! Well,

"What’s that saying … Don’t get mad, get even?"

With a quick search around herself, she found the perfect, handsome, sexy guy she ever saw! And without knowing that he is her new adviser in the university, they kissed each other!

It’s a sweet story with likable characters, not just main characters I liked the secondary ones too! I liked how Zach cared about Poppy and didn’t push her to do whatever he wants! And he didn’t let himself stop helping with her study just because he was attracted to her and she wasn’t ready to accept that! Poopy was so young when she had her son but she’s so strong, being a young mom, have a job and studding for you’re dream job, it’s a bit scary! I admire her! my only complaint was the slowness, it was a bit slow for my taste!

Told in dual POV, 1st person. It’s a standalone novel and really well-written! Overall, I enjoyed it and hope you like it as well!
Profile Image for Megan✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦.
293 reviews465 followers
January 22, 2018

“Poppy, sweet Poppy. Dangerous Poppy. She was pure fire. And I could not have been any more willing to throw myself headlong into the flames.”

xo, Zach was just pure awesome, it was one of those books that made me feel really happy. Everything about this book just worked for me, and this is definitely the Kendall Ryan I know and love. I swooned big time, I laughed at lot, I felt an abundance of emotions and most importantly, I fell in love. If you are looking for a fast paced quick easy Sunday read, then check this one out.

I actually don’t really want to say too much about the story line for this one as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so I will keep it short.

Poppy attends a college party and unexpectedly sees her ex, who, let’s just say, was not the nicest boyfriend in the world. So what’s a girl to do? Find a fake boyfriend of course. So whilst hiding from before mentioned ex, Poppy goes on the hunt for the perfect and willing participant to play the part of her new boyfriend at the party.

When a gorgeous woman approaches Zach at a college party asking him to pretend to be her boyfriend, he is all too happy to oblige. The connection that Poppy and Zach felt from their first encounter was instantaneous; they talked, they laughed and they kissed, one of those life altering explosive kisses.

They parted ways that night with the romantic notion of, if it is meant to be, they will see each other again someday. Neither was prepared for when their next encounter would be. Zach spent the next few days thinking of nothing but Poppy, the kiss they shared and the way she made him feel.

Zach is the academic advisor to the Masters writing program and he was not prepared to find out that the student he is advising is none other than the woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind, Poppy.

One of the things I loved most about this story was the progression of Zach and Poppy’s relationship and the forbidden aspect of whether it is appropriate to succumb to the intense feelings that have awoken in both of them. The thrill of the chase really kept me fully engaged throughout. I loved the anonymous poems Zach would slip to Poppy and the way they made her smile. It was romantic and beautiful… definitely made my heart flutter.

xo, Zach was such a fun, well written read that I read in almost one sitting. If you love your forbidden romcoms that will seriously make you laugh out loud, then I definitely recommend checking out Kendall Ryan’s xo, Zach.

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Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,091 reviews1,892 followers
March 22, 2018
Get it here:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

xo, Zach is the playfully cute story of Zach, an academic advisory, and Poppy, a literature major. Their story was pretty fast paced but always stayed intriguing. It wasn't easy for Poppy to give in to Zach and I liked that her struggle was portrayed very realistically. She didn't want to just fall into a relationship, especially one as complicated as hers and Zach's would be. It made for some amazing sexual tension between them since their chemistry was so evident on the pages.

If you're looking for a light and fun NA read, this is the one for you!
Profile Image for Adriana Locke.
Author 58 books13k followers
December 29, 2017
Zach can give me all the x’s and o’s he wants. What a delicious read!

I’m not sure what was sexier: Zach’s intelligence, filthy mouth, or watching him with Poppy’s little boy. It was total swoon city from every angle—I couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Lost in a Book.
137 reviews103 followers
January 24, 2018
2 Stars



**Note before getting down to business: I'm in the complete minority on my rating and thoughts for this book. We just weren't meant to be. If Kendall Ryan normally works for you, this one may too. **

Let’s get the positive(s) out of the way. I liked the premise of the story. The advisor and a graduate student meet unknowingly at a party. I also liked the poetry major. I liked the illusion of Poppy’s strength and togetherness. I say illusion because she was a hot mess outside of her college major and her kid.

The rest hit all my no buttons in a way that I almost DNF. So what didn’t work for me?

~They meet at this house party and share some conversation and a kiss. From there, it wasn’t even an obsession- it was an odd fixation where their brains couldn’t function because everything reminded them of the other and spontaneous orgasms were a real threat each time their minds wandered. This translated to a seemingly forced connection between Poppy and Zach.

~Poppy was so hot and cold with Zach that it drove me fucking crazy. She would throw caution to the wind enough to kiss or get off and leave Zach with an epic case of blue balls. Then, after, she would run away and avoid him because she couldn’t let her desire ruin all that she has worked for. Every. Time. Rinse. Repeat.
head down.gif

~Advice seeker or attention seeker? After every interaction where Poppy went hot and cold, she would go acting all sad and seeking advice about what she should do. Every person would tell her the same thing and then she would ignore it and expect a different response the next time she went to them. *Think Einstein's definition of insanity*

~"It’s ok, I trust you and I’m on birth control.” Ummmm... what? So, you have a kid in high school (not judging, just stating story fact) and then you throw caution to the wind? *smh*

~Zach. I liked him in the beginning and then it decreased each time he put up with Poppy’s shit. In the end he was just too perfect and became a door mat.

I think it’s clear I didn’t enjoy Poppy and her brand of drama. The highlight of the story was Zach’s Mom and her lack of filter. She was OTT in the dirtiest and best way possible.

Not recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.


Profile Image for Dali.
1,749 reviews433 followers
January 8, 2018
Irresistibly sweet, sexy and delightful. Kendall Ryan’s continued journey in the romantic comedy genre bursts with charm and steaminess with a story that ventures into the surprises that come from asking a random stranger to be one’s fake boyfriend. In this dreamy novel, Zach and Poppy discover that sometimes love is just meant to be.

When Poppy accompanied her friend to a college party, she didn’t expected to see her douche cannoli ex. Not someone to run away, she squares her shoulders, lifts her chin and asks the gorgeous guy whose look gives her butterflies to be her fake boyfriend for the night. It turns out Zach is not only handsome, he’s smart, funny and a phenomenal kisser. But when he asks for her phone number, her answer is to let fate determine if the meet again.

After restless nights of dreaming about the beauty he met at the party, the object of his fixation shows up at Zach’s office. There are only two tiny problems. One, she says she’s sworn off men and two, she’s his new student advisee. But Zach is nothing if not persistent and he’s determined to break down her emotional walls. As for him being her adviser, love is well worth the risk.

What they felt that first night at the party is undeniable though and more time they spend together, the more their desires threaten to break through. Besides, Zach’s dirty mouth and poet’s heart is hard to resist.

xo, Zach is a lighthearted story with poetry and swoony letters that kept me engaged and smiling widely throughout. It’s a contemporary romance with a forbidden undertone and wonderful balance of sweet and sexy.

Pre-Order http://amzn.to/2F6yfzx
4.5 stars

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. *

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Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,162 followers
February 3, 2018
I admired Poppy for her determination…

This review is going to be tricky for me because the one thing I want to talk about isn’t mentioned in the blurb so I don’t want to spoil it. I’m going to TRY to share my feelings about xo. Zach without spoiling the surprise.

It’s not often I come across a New Adult, College romance that involves a staff member and a student, that doesn’t make me scoff. See, I have relatives that are teachers and there is NO way I can see how a teacher could fall for a student. Maybe it’s because my relatives are happily married with teenage children of their own. Or, maybe it’s just that they respect their position and their duty to the students. Obviously, it’s a wee bit different for college-age students, but, I still don’t see the appeal.

Anyways, I didn’t scoff at xo. Zach. I think it was because Zach is an advisor, not a teacher or Professor. It could also be because Poppy is 24 years old and takes her studies VERY seriously. Zach and Poppy met before they knew each other on campus and their attraction to each other blossomed straight away. So, for me, this wasn’t a simple TABOO relationship. Both Zach and Poppy are aware that her studies come first and his job is important to him. I never felt that *these two are crazy to risk the fallout* feeling. These two are smart and I respected them for taking their time and being cautious.

I have been known to read a New Adult Romance and feel a tad frustrated. More times than not, I'm frustrated at the characters immaturity and hormone-driven decision making. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. There is a lack of communication to some degree, but in this case, it was completely warranted. If anything, I respected Poppy more for her caution, hesitation and dedication to staying on track. Poppy thought first and acted second. Sure, she stumbled and nearly fell, but the complications in her life stopped her from landing flat on her back. It was a nice change.

Now Zach, bloody hell!! He was almost perfect. A word nerd (I have a soft spot for word nerds) with tattoos, a smoking hot body and all the right moves. I really liked Zach and I wanted him to get everything he wants and desires.

I really enjoyed xo. Zach. It was a quick read that kept my attention from start to finish. The characters were interesting, the storyline was an *oldy but a goody* and the chemistry kept the tension buzzing. Special mention must go to Zach’s Mum as she absolutely cracked me up. There’s this one line she uses about Zach and his self-pleasuring that I was desperate to share the humour. Unfortunately, my 14-year-old son was the only one home…and I definitely wasn’t going there.

If you’re looking for a quick read and don’t mind a bit of NA college angst, I definitely recommend xo. Zach.

Profile Image for ✰♊ Angie ♊✰.
327 reviews147 followers
June 10, 2018
Man, when I first read the blurb for this book, I was excited for a bit of a taboo and forbidden professor/student love fest. Yes, please.


But, did I get that??


I was actually pissed that the blurb here didn't hint at all that this was a single parent romance.
I would have avoided this book had I known that tidbit of info.


I was also expecting to read some delicious poetry since the blurb states, "You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week."


Um, yeah... we got to read ONE such poem.
Missed opportunity there IMO.
I think this blurb is just super misleading.


Alas, there were other reasons I didn't love this read.


The super mixed signals Poppy was giving Zach was beyond annoying.
It was like riding a damn merry-go-round.
Hot then cold... hot then cold... annooooyyyying!


I actually felt so damn bad for Zach. Good grief that girl left him high and dry and confused repeatedly.


Even though I felt bad for the dude... I thought Zach was just boring. Maybe he just came across as too perfect. I don't really know how else to describe him. He was just... blah. I think he needed more depth of character. However, I loved his mom! She was so unfiltered and fun!
By the end of this story, I was just glad for the sticky sweet perfection to be over.
This just simply wasn't my jam.

Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,735 reviews1,477 followers
January 10, 2018
3 Love the Cover stars

As much as I love the abs on covers, I love a pretty face with scuff. XO, Zach is a slightly angsty new adult read with lots of tension to keep you interested.

I liked XO, ZACH, but it wasn’t my favorite read by Kendall Ryan. I think her books are either, sweet, light and slightly steamy or dramatic and slightly steamy. This one was angsty and as everyone knows, I don’t like angst. It’s not my cuppa and sometimes it works out and sometimes I get really flustered.

XO, Zach starts SUPER cute. Poppy and Zach meet at a party and Poppy asks Zach to be her pretend boyfriend to make her ex-jealous. Cute right? I like when books start off with a meet-cute and it really pushes the story in the right direction.

Poppy and Zach don’t exchange phone numbers, but they meet later. She’s the student and he’s the guy that works at the university. I like that it’s not the typical student/professor storyline.

I really liked the storyline and I was curious to see where the book would go. There’s a lot of inner-monologue within the whole book so you get a good perspective on how Poppy and Zach feel. Poppy and Zach talk a lot to their friends, family, family friends on how they should proceed. A lot of self-doubt on Poppy’s part.

There’s a little part of the story that isn’t presented in the summary and so I’m not going to give it away. There’s something in the story that kind of drives the character’s character and I’m all for that, but it wasn’t a focal point of the story and that really disappointed me. I know a lot of people are probably scratching their heads wondering what I am talking about and it really isn’t a big deal of the book, but it’s something if I see in books. I really want to see it. If that could have been a FOCAL point of the character and drive the storyline this book would probably have hit the mark for me. BUT that is my personal taste.

Overall, there’s a lot of tension in the book. Poppy doesn’t want to jeopardize her student status and Zach is slightly concerned about his job, but I love that he continues to go after Poppy. Because I love it when a Hero chases after the Heroine. If you are into slightly angsty reads focused around a unique college theme storyline then this one is for you.

An ARC was provided

Profile Image for lucie.
490 reviews618 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 27, 2018
DNF @ 32%

If you EVER see this book somewhere, please, turn back and run. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. It's absolute trash.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,632 reviews3,209 followers
January 25, 2018
3.5 He Makes Mondays Worthwhile Stars
* * *1/2 Spoiler Free
Kendall Ryan has come up with a sweet, sexy read that will make those who were ever needing a Stand-In Boyfriend will want to have someone just like this Zach. This is a man who stepped up and then laid a yummy kiss on Poppy right at the perfect time.

Of course, these two people were destined to cross paths again... and boy, does it work out to be delicious. Zach turns out to be Poppy's Poetry Advisor while she is getting her Masters.


We are there with both of these two fighting all of the feelings they have... She works hard to be "Professional". He enjoys pushing the limits with sexy talk and a mouth that would need cleaning with full strength Tide...

The best is the writing, the heart, the sensual feel and oh, the Sweet Monday Poetry...

Kendall Ryan is in the grove and you will be too if you kick back and enjoy.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,135 reviews1,656 followers
March 16, 2018
I swift through xo, Zach by listening to the audiobook while multi-tasking. The story has one of my favorite tropes - student/teacher romance and I liked it. It was lighthearted and fun novel but ordinary. The plot was weak and has a minimal conflict. It's quite unexciting and I'd give mad props to the narrators Andi Arndt and Sebastian York for keeping it lively.

The protagonists - Poppy Ellis and Zach Austin are nice but they lacked character development. The romance between them was insta-love and have little angst. They met on a bar and Poppy asked Zach to pretend as her boyfriend and shared a kiss. Then she found out at school that the hot stranger was her adviser / mentor. Despite forbidden, Zach couldn't help developing feelings for her. Both of them are aspiring writers and they shared the love for poetry. Their poems are good, not the best one I've encountered but they're honest.

It was a nice ending for these two. I'm a bit underwhelmed because it ended easily. What made up for my disappointment was the humor. Zach's mom was funny as hell! 😂
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,484 reviews692 followers
January 25, 2018
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Genre: New Adult Romance. Forbidden Romance.

Sigh. I loved this book. Hard. It's been a while since I could read a couple of romances in a row because they all seem to blend together now-a-days, but this one was perfect. It soothed my soul and made me fall in love all over again. I actually read it in one sitting as well which has been pretty hard to do these last few weeks, so that tells you something right there! This is just an adorably sweet and somewhat forbidden romance with a bit of humor and a lot of heart. I very much recommend it to all readers.


xo, Zach is described as a steamy forbidden romance. And, while I agree that the couples romance is in fact, forbidden, I wouldn't necessarily call it steamy (only towards the end). Why? Because Kendall Ryan builds up the ROMANCE without all the SEX to muck it up. I truly loved this.

Poppy and Zach meet at a college party. Seems legit for a new adult romance, yea? But their circumstances are a bit unconventional. You see, Poppy had just gotten out of a relationship and in walks her ex with a new girl. So, what does Poppy do? She eyes Zach from across the room and asks that he pretend to be her boyfriend. He agrees.

The two end up sharing a pretty passionate kiss, you know, to make her ex jealous, and learn that they have a ton of chemistry. Too bad Poppy isn't really in the zone for another relationship so quickly. So she tells Zach that if they are meant to be, they will meet again.

Fast forward a couple days (maybe a week) and Poppy goes to meet her writing adviser. Only, this person is not just and adviser... He's also the same man who she shared that passionate kiss with!!! insert ohhhsss and ahhhs .

As the story progresses it's pretty clear that fate has brought these two back together again. Only problem is, Poppy doesn't think it will work and Zach does. So the two have to maneuver around their feelings. One may wonder of they will be together in the end? And, if you know romance, it's fairly certain that they will. But reading about HOW they get there is what makes the story special.


Overall, I loved this book! I thought it was a fantastically written romance with all the right feels and build up. However, had the book been a bit longer and a bit more in depth (I would have loved to see a bit more angst in the story as it was leading that way but didn't quite make it) I think I would have given it 5 stars instead of 4.5.

Another thing I loved about this book was the LACK OF DRAMA. There wasn't any unnecessary drama to mix it all up. It was straight forward, to the point, and heartwarming. A lot of times, romances add crap drama to the story to piss us readers off (or, that's what it does to me anyway). And if that drama doesn't serve a good purpose, it messes with the story. Thankfully, that wasn't the case here so I was really happy.

If you're looking for a sweet romance with a lot of heart- especially one that will make you have a huge smile on your face- then I recommend reading this one. It's a really good story with fantastic characters and a charming romance.

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4.5 stars -- recommended read
Profile Image for Courtney.
1,529 reviews180 followers
January 18, 2018

This book reminds me so much of why I fell in love with Kendall's writing many years ago. This is the what I expect from Kendall Ryan, what I love about her writing; the stories that I fall deeply into and never want them to end.

The blurb says it all - he's her advisor yet they both want so much more. While Zach has no problems in expressing what he wants, Poppy is extremely reluctant to go beyond student and advisor. There is no shortage of sexual tension between these two but they do a great job of trying to maintain that platonic relationship.

Kendall writes a very enthralling story that you feel yourself getting caught up in. Zach holds nothing back with his openness, while Poppy puts up all the stops because of this or that; it's like a neurotic dance between them that just gets more intense with each passing moment.

I love the buildup and how everything plays out. There isn't a singular moment that finally has things falling into place, it's just how it was all suppose to happen. While Poppy did give me whiplash with her back and forth, you totally understood where she is coming from. If she gave in, she wasn't just putting her own future in jeopardy. But damn it's extremely tempting to give into that that temptation, even just once, just to get a taste.

Yea - this book was perfect for me. Nothing was too fast-paced, the timing of everything just flowed perfectly. You want a swoon-worthy man with the perfect amount of sexiness, I highly-recommend xo, Zach. You won't be able to say no to him.
Profile Image for Shayna.
1,813 reviews592 followers
January 10, 2018
xo 4 1/2 STARS xo

“She was pure fire. And I could not have been any more willing to throw myself headlong into the flames.”

Be still my heart, Zach Austin and Poppy Ellis were an absolute DREAM! Kendall Ryan knows the score when it comes to this genre. She knows what her dedicated readers want and what her newbie readers need. She delivers over and over again, with no signs up stopping and I for one, would be heavily heartbroken if it ever came to that. You want a love story full of emotion, passion, humor, steam, and heart? You needn’t look no further than a Kendall Ryan romance. I guarantee whichever the story, whomever the character, you will FALL IN LOVE instantly. Her latest deliciously romantic story - xo, Zach warmed my heart and soul. It lifted my spirits and filled my heart with love and hope. It took me away from reality, if only for a few hours, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Zach and Poppy’s slow burn of a romance, made me swoon from head to toe, leaving me in a constant state of absolute bliss! Ms. Ryan brings such heart and depth to all of her characters but there was something about these two that were a cut above the rest. The secondary characters stole the show on SEVERAL occasions, so be on the lookout for hilariously nosy neighbors and an endearing mother with absolute NO FILTER. To sum it up, Kendall Ryan can do NO WRONG in my book! She brings us beautiful romances EVERY SINGLE TIME. With xo, ZACH she did make us work a little harder for their happily ever after, but in the end, it was well worth it. Get ready to experience ALL THE FEELS! xo, Zach will leave you with the biggest smile on your face!

XO, Zach Teaser

Profile Image for Maria....
419 reviews152 followers
Want to read
November 14, 2017

This is the sweetest blurb I’ve ever read!!!☺️

Ohhh My Gosh Zach sounds so amazing!!!😮❤️

I’m swooning like crazy here...😍😉

Shit get it together Maria!!! 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Profile Image for book bruin.
1,056 reviews277 followers
January 9, 2018
4.5 stars

What a sexy, sweet, and hilarious book! xo, Zach was a fun and flirty romance with a swoony alpha hero, a strong and intelligent heroine, and a colorful cast of secondary characters.

Zach and Poppy had amazing chemistry and I loved the build up between them. They start off under unconventional circumstances and their situation is further complicated by their student/adviser relationship. The forbidden romance between them kept things intriguing and realistic. Even though they aren't teacher and student, a relationship between them would still be taboo and could potentially cause disastrous results for their careers and futures. The back and forth was fun though and added to the will they/won't they push and pull. There is instalust between our hero and heroine, but I liked that a good portion of the book was spent letting a relationship form naturally between them. Yes, Zach is clear with his feelings for Poppy all along, but he also steps back when necessary. I did find him a little over the top at times with the intensity of his attraction to Poppy, but his inner monologue was hilarious and I love how Kendall Ryan writes the male POV. Sweet and professional Zach really surprised me with his dirty mouth, but I guess with a mother like his, it shouldn't be a surprise at all! Between her, Jodee, and Kody, there were plenty of laugh out loud moments! This was a great lighter read and left me smiling ear to ear!

*I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book*
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,577 reviews1,228 followers
January 26, 2018
***Available Now - Full Review***


XO, Zach sits firmly in Kendall Ryan’s wheelhouse. It is light, fun sexy, and super fast with the insta-lust to insta-love plot line.

Zach has a way with words. I can’t recall a hero who has made verse sound so dirty and swoon-worthy. His age and position at the university makes him ready to settle down, and he chases Poppy whole-heartedly, but he also respects her choices when she verbalized them. Overall, he is a hero readers will enjoy, and one they expect from Ryan.

Poppy has two sides - this ball-buster and an insecure woman. These two sides battle over her fears of where the relationship would go and her desires to have him. She wants more but doesn’t want to chance hurt or rejection for real reasons. Readers will connect with her, but they will also become frustrated with her inability to go after something that is clearly good for her.

The plot of this romance moves quickly. The progression from their first meeting, to a physical relationship, and then to more develops quickly. With the amount of sexual tension, one would think XO, Zach would be heavy with the physical moments but it wasn’t. There is a lot of chase, a lot of back and forth. In terms of conflict, there is little to none. A majority of the book is the will they, won’t they, but once these two decided, they stick with it.

Quick. Fun. Dirty. Flirty. Kendal Ryan delivers all of this with XO, Zach.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review
January 22, 2018
Me while reading this book.


Poppy had a recent breakup. While partying one day she sees her ex with a new girl. So to make him jealous she walks over to the Hero (who is just just some hot random guy) and asks him be her fake boyfriend. He agrees, they talk. Then he kisses her to make her ex boyfriend jealous. After the show is over he asks her for date but she refuses. Then he asks for her number, but she again refuses.
She says..
“Who knows, if it’s meant to be, maybe we’ll meet again.”

And they meet again. It turns out that hero is her new poetry adviser. Zach is more than happy to meet her again. But Poppy is not. She has given up on men after her ex dumps her.
And then of course .
So she is reluctant to enter into a relationship. So some time goes by. Both are horny for each other. So ...

This book bored me. And the cover guy is so not the hero. I mean he is completely opposite of what the hero looks like.
Zach and Poppy were okay. Zach's mom was quite an interesting character though.
When she meets Poppy for the first time. She is...

“So lovely to meet you, Poppy. I take it you’re the beautiful woman who has my son masturbating through the night?”

“The beautiful girl who has Zach’s boxers all tented. Or have you finally transitioned to briefs?”

Profile Image for Syndi.
2,799 reviews617 followers
July 20, 2018
i initially want to give this book 2 stars. then i put it 3 stars.

problem with this book:
1. the story. what is exactly the story here? the forbidden relationship between zach and poppy? but why it is forbidden? zach mentions in the book its not forbidden and he is not on the risk of losing his job either. and poppy....
why she pushes zach away? i just dont get it at all.

2. Poppy. she is very very confusing. again, why she pushing zach away? i just dont get it.

3. Zach. he is a jerk. he pushes his way to get laid with poppy. and he is very rude. rude and a jerk. if i were poppy i will bitch slap zach and find another university.

the thing i like:
1. the love of the book and literacy. and i love zach's book shelves. the author describe zach's study room is a ultimate heaven.

so i end up with 3 stars.
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,717 reviews1,266 followers
January 10, 2018
4.5 stars!

Kendall Ryan's books are usually funny and so damn sexy but this book? She took it to another level. And the wit? Lord this book was witty and sarcastic af. It was completely my jam. There's nothing I love more in a book than wit, sarcasm, a sassy heroine and a hot af alpha. Check, Check, check and check! I loved Zach and Poppy and honestly couldn't get enough of that very sexy, dirty and brilliant man.

When Poppy Ellis realizes that the random hot guy she approached for a favor and ulltimately kissed at a houseparty was her new graduate advisor, bottling up all that electric chemistry and fiery attraction between them was hard. But boy was it fun to experience the inevitable combustion! I loved this book!! I loved their banter and sexual tension and the fact that they were both brilliant and perfectly complemented one another!! Gahh! This author nailed it with xo, Zach as their chemistry and attraction was FIRE! I loved this story so much. But while Poppy and Zach looked perfect for one another, there were deeper stakes involved. Could Poppy take a chance on Zach and take the biggest risk of all in the name of love?

I really loved this story! I thought the author had a unique way of presenting the typical teacher/student story and thereby differentiating herself amongst her peers. Furthermore, the storyline was compelling and addicting and the leading characters were such a joy to read. Personally, while I did love Poppy and admired her sass, independence and drive to succeed, I both applauded her resistance at getting involved with Zach but also grew frustrated and tired of the constant back and forth at times. It seemed like for every step forward they took, she took them back two steps. But then again I completely understood it as well. All in all this was an amazinggg book and I look forward to more from this author in the future. Bravo! 4.5 stars! ~Ratula
Profile Image for Andrea Fleury.
923 reviews70 followers
July 23, 2018
Sexy smart man

I simply adored this book. Poppy and Zach were cute and funny. A single mom and a hot advisor. Poppy has a son. She's worried about that. She likes him but doesn't want to get hurt
Profile Image for HeatherP.
1,041 reviews25 followers
January 11, 2018
Xo, Zach was a great afternoon read this past Sunday. Curled up on the couch with a blanket while it's cold outside and a cup of coffee in hand. It was a perfect afternoon with a Kendall Ryan book. 

I loved the way Zach and Poppy meet at the party. It was cute and fun and one of my favorite things about this book. There was an aspect of the way they handled things that I would have liked to seen played up more or become more of a "thing" between them. I think that would have brought so much more to the story for me. The slow burn was great between them though. I would have liked to have seen more of the notes that he said he was giving her, there wasn't a lot about that in the book. The note from the blurb wasn't used in the book in any way and that was disappointing. The only other thing in the book (besides what I've already mentioned) that didn't fit for me was how Zach talked in the bedroom. Yes it's hot but it didn't fit him outside the bedroom. It felt out-of-place and not consistent with the character and not every guy has to talk like that for it to be hot between the sheets. 

Zach had a great relationship with his Mother and those were some of the best scenes for me. I loved the interaction between Poppy and her neighbors. They were so fun! 

This was a great book and I think you should grab it and fall in love with Zach like I did. A few things didn't work for me but I still enjoyed this one.

ARC in exchange for honest review
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