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By a Thread

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Dominic was staring at me like he couldn’t decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.

I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that her first day of her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.

So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation asshole, but I am not my father.

She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel away all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.

Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.

Author’s Note: A steamy, swoony workplace romantic comedy with a grumpy boss hero determined to save the day and a plucky heroine who is starting to wonder if there might actually be a beating heart just beneath her boss’s sexy vests.

584 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 23, 2020

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About the author

Lucy Score

52 books20.7k followers
Lucy is a Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle Store bestseller of romantic comedies and contemporary romance. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania with a lot of time on her hands and a big imagination. She was the oldest of three in a book-obsessed household. Dinners were often spent in silence while family members had their noses buried in books. A passion for writing took hold at five when she taught her brother to write his name on the bathroom door.

She started writing (on paper) in the second grade, first about pilgrims on the Mayflower and over the years graduated to essays, articles, blogs, and finally books. "Pretend You're Mine" was her runaway hit and she's been writing full-time ever since.

Non-romance-writing jobs have included event planner, bartender, newspaper lackey, and yoga instructor.

Lucy and Mr. Lucy, enjoy spending time with their 1.7 million nieces and nephews and laying on beaches with umbrella drinks.

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5 stars
35,864 (43%)
4 stars
29,135 (35%)
3 stars
13,354 (16%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,267 reviews
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,317 followers
March 4, 2021
*2.5 stars*

An okay-ish read that had several issues, chief of them being the 44yo (hero) and 39yo (heroine) main characters
. The thing is it makes little sense to have older characters if all you're going to do is make them act as if they're 20 something.

Secondly, I would have liked a bit more backstory for both Dominic and Ally and it seemed too convenient that Ally would turn out to be good at everything (including being a muse for a top designer).

Lastly, it was so darn looooooooong. 🥱🥱😯
Profile Image for Ali Goodwin.
122 reviews9,288 followers
March 16, 2023
SO GOOD. ✍🏻Adding ✍🏻Lucy Score to my new auto-buy author list✍🏻 This book is a work place romance, grumpy boss, enemies to lovers ish, a slow burn, and spicy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Could I get more of my favorite things in one book???? Literally all my favorite tropes.

I love love love the romance. Obviously. But beyond that, I also loved the side characters and loved the side plots, especially delving into the issues at Label magazine where our two main characters work. I also love that this book is set in New York City at a fashion magazine!!

Now that I've said the word 'love' about 498753984 times, I think it's time to end this review. But just know I love this book ;)
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
608 reviews4,664 followers
July 23, 2022
——— ☆ re-read #2 (july 22): still love this senior citizen couple 🥰 ☆ ———

– 4.5 stars

“Five minutes, and then we abandon these people so I can fuck you in the car,” he whispered in my ear.
“An hour,” I countered. Those blue eyes narrowed on me.
“Thirty minutes, and you take your underwear off in the restroom so we don’t waste any time later.” I licked my lips, and he followed the motion.
“Deal.” His expression softened, lips lifted. “Look at us negotiating.”
“And they say relationships are hard,” I joked.

I had such a fun time with this book! By a Thread might be my favorite book of the year so far, cause I was just grinning the whole time reading this and gave me so much happiness in a few hours. 🦋💫🥰

Ally (h) and Dominic (H) are quite immature for their age (39 & 44) and I can understand why other ppl didn’t like their characters, but I was LOVING how petty they were with each other. 😂 it’s really not how adults with that age should behave, but I’m blind and going to pretend that each of the characters was at least 10 years younger to justify some of their behavior.

↬ that lap dance scene in the strip club was hot! 😈😏 or that scene when Ally saw Dominic masturbating in his office in the evening. 😏 basically every scene that got slightly sexual without going full penetration was so well done.

↬ The sexual tension between Ally and Dominic was delicious and I was just waiting for them to bang their brains out and when it happened I was not disappointed. Hallelujah. Their banter also cracked me tf up. Dominic and Ally already bickering like an old married couple.

↬ The scene where Dominic was drunk and Ally had to take care of him was so out of character for him and I love it!! When the H is completely drunk and confesses all kind of things to the heroine he wouldn't normally do >>>

↬ I love how Lucy Score always writes an epilogue and gives us an extra epilogue with years down the line to see the couples being domestic with their kids and friends. Other authors take notes.

↬ The only negative thing I can say is that Dominic should have that kind of daddy issues in his mid 40s, i’m sorry but he should have gotten therapy years ago and he went down the attraction scale a bit bc of how he handled the conflict. It was so stupid. This book was maybe 100 pages too long and didn’t need to be almost 600 pages long, but since I read this book so quickly maybe I don’t care about that page length that much.


This was such a fun slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, grumpy-sunshine, office-romance book with tons of banter. Let's just forget for a second or for how long it took me to read this book that the characters were not acting their age at all and need serious help. 😇
Profile Image for Khadidja .
518 reviews359 followers
January 20, 2023
"His mammoth penis definitely had a case of amnesia because he was stone hard."


Mammoths didn't die for this.

500 pages of the dumbest shit you could ever possibly read in your lifetime, i need to know why romance authors hate women so much they write stories like.....this.

The book follows:

Ally, the main character, who is broke poor gorgeous but doesn't know it beautiful even though she has no money to put effort into her looks live in a house with a broken ceiling has a father in a nursing home whom she pays all the bills for and also never forget that she is a feisty
woman pushing forty with a heart of gold.

Dominic filthy rich with daddy issues who only dates 20 something women at the big age of forty five.

Now you might think that this is a story about two grown adults who know what they know in life and are not hormone driven teenagers but no it isn't. If it wasnt mentioned that they were middle age i would have thought that they were in early twenties tops because they are fucking stupid and if i behave the way Ally did at forty i hope someone takes me out (a hitman)
Profile Image for Isabella. R.
754 reviews1,384 followers
April 25, 2020
5 Hot Mess Stars ⭐

By A Thread seriously made me breakout into a happy dance. I think I wore a permanent smile the entire time reading this book and the banter just made me giddy!

"Was grumpy and rude suddenly the new hot? My vagina seemed to think so."

Ally Morales is the ultimate kickass heroine. Even with all the hardship she is enduring, she remains vibrant. Juggling too many jobs to count, she doesn’t need some uptight prick to get her fired from her waitressing gig. Because in her current predicament, every penny counts.

Dominic Russo, heir to the Label Magazine empire, is uptight, surly and unrepentant. Being forced to partake in the family business has him feeling out of his element and unhappy. In the event leading to his demise, his anger wasn’t meant to stretch that far, and getting the waitress fired; well he almost felt bad…

"Can I get you a drink?" Rude Sex Hair was back.

"I don’t know. Can you?" I shot back.

"We’re fresh out of the blood of children, Satan. How about something that matches your personality?" She was saying the words nicely. Sweetly even.

From their very first encounter, they crackled and popped in each other’s company. Hate at first sight, yet an unexplanatory attraction. Their situation only gets a whole lot more complicated when Ally finds herself in Dominic’s employ, well actually his mother’s. And keeping away from each other becomes futile as they can’t ignore their interest. But pretending is so much fun.

"Yesterday, I’d run into her in the stairwell. I’d asked her politely to get the hell out of my way. She’d offered—less politely—to help me down the stairs, head first."

So, here’s the deal, neither of them has the time or the inclination to date. Ally’s life is barely held together by a thread, even if Dominic in a vest makes her salivate. Whereas Dominic is consumed with a job policy that presently makes him miserable and a surname that attracts piranhas. Yet it doesn’t stop him from desperately wanting Ally and making her life hell. Unfortunately, the attraction is real, and their dislike is the perfect foreplay. And eventually all that tension will erupt…

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and there were so many memorable moments that made this book simply charming. I guess the only criticism I have is that the reasons holding them back became repetitive and a little too annoying. Slow burn lovers will devour this.

"I’m not looking for anything", I insisted, nerves getting the best of me.

"I wasn’t looking for you. But I still found you."
Profile Image for mel ☽.
365 reviews6,980 followers
May 19, 2020
3.5 stars

this took me waaaaay too long to finish but i don't care cuz it gave me 2000s rom com flashbacks and I. LOVED. IT.
➝ heroine working at a fashion magazine company? ✓
➝ hero is the grumpy boss of the heroine? ✓
➝ hate to love and cute banter where the MCs are seconds away from either killing each other or taking each others clothes off? ✓
➝ NYC setting? ✓
➝ cute scenes filled with sexual tension?? ✓✓✓

this honestly just gave me nostalgia cuz i watched a lot of rom-com movies when i was a kid and this reminded me of 13 going on 30, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Devil Wears Prada, etc. and now after reading this, I JUST WANNA WORK AT A FASHION MAGAZINE COMPANY AND HAVE A HOT BOSS!!

so this book starts with Dominic Russo (H) going to a pizza restaurant where he's supposed to meet his mother (owner of the magazine company he works at) and a waitress told him that there were no phones allowed but he's an asshole so he ignores her then proceeds to be rude to her. the waitress, who is none other than our heroine Ally Morales, isn't taking any of his shit so obviously, she's rude too and she makes him a pizza where the pepperonis are written in "FU". he gets her fired cuz again, he's an asshole, plus all his frustration from the past year finally blew up and he took it out on her. his mother was having none of his attitude and chased after Ally and then proceeded to hire her.

then obviously after that there was a ton of push and pull, cute situations with sexual tension and the MCs "fighting" but its just foreplay, the whole "i want you but i can't be with you" trope from the H, etc.

Dominic annoyed the hell out of me in the first half. it just seemed like he wanted Ally just for sex cuz his inner monologue is him whining over and over and over about sex and how much he wants her but can't have her cuz his dad used to sexually harass female employees before he got hired and he didn't wanna be like him.
"I've never not wanted you. I only want you. I'm no better than that dickhead you went out with. I don't want a relationship with you. I want a quick, dirty fuck to get you out of my system. But we both know it won't be enough. You'll get your hooks into my soul and-"

see what i mean? i don't mind this in other books but it was just sooo excessive here since 95% of his inner monologue in the first half revolved around him wanting to have sex with Ally but can't do anything about it so he just "uses" his hand every night.
like, ok?? thank you for not sleeping with OWs while thinking about the h i guess. plus, he kept rejecting her and kept giving her mixed signals which made me wanna smack him in the head a couple times.

honestly, if you're planning on reading this, this would be a great drinking game where you take a shot every time he lusts after Ally and only talks about her physical description cuz y'all would 100% blackout. fun right??

he does get better after their first kiss tho which was around 60% so yup, this was also a slowburn. he was sweet and started to become the alpha possessive asshole we all know and like BUT he does have idiot moments in the last 20%, though, there is GROVELLING and i was all for that.

as for Ally, i LOVE her. she didn't take any shit from Dominic and even called him out for playing games with her.
"You say you care about me. You're obviously attracted to me. And as much as you bitch and moan about me ruining you life, I think you actually like me. But not enough to want to be with me. And because of that, I can't trust you, Dominic. I'm not going to open up and share my life story with you. You haven't earned that access."

like yess bish THANK YOU. i have another one
"You showed up on my date. You showed up at the club. You say you don't want to want me, yet it was your idea to get to know each other better. You wear vests just to mess with me. Then you tell me to quit the job that I desperately need so you can feel better about wanting to fuck me."

so yup. Dominic told her to quit just so he could fuck her. granted, he didn't know her situation where she's literally working 4 jobs so he could take care of her dad who has dementia but since he's obsessed with her and read all her files, doesn't he think that there's something fishy?? working 4 jobs is A LOT. but did he think about that? nooo because all he ever did was lust after her. ANYWAYS, im glad he felt bad once he realized what's happening and tried to help her.

as for the drama (spoilers), there were a few OM drama here but nothing too serious. Ally went on a date, Dominic showed up and ruined that cuz he was jealous. Ally "flirting" with this hot designer, Dominic got drunk cuz he was jealous. this is actually my favorite part in the book cuz Drunk Dominic was adorable!! i wish he was drunk all the time honestly. and Dominic accusing Ally of cheating on him with said designer and also accused her for basically using him for his money.

i mainly liked this but even as a slowburn lover, i was impatient as hell. the cute moments filled with sexual tension? loved them but also disliked them cuz there was just too much. it's a perfect contradiction really.
January 19, 2023
4.25 ⭐️ i love this book. the banter, the workplace romance, the grumpy boss vibe, the slowburn + it’s hilarious? yes.

it’s only not a five star for me because the pacing from being annoyed of each other to being attracted to each other was a little weird. and they talked about their sexual tension for the entire beginning and i would’ve liked it to be more emotional than that.

but it gave everything it needed to give. i’m quite literally obsessed w lucy score and i’d trust her w my unborn child.
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,041 reviews383 followers
July 15, 2020
***A 2020 TOP PICK***

5+ STARS!!
Your hopeful heart is the most beautiful thing I've ever known.
How is this my first book by Lucy Score? How?! I guess because I don't read many rom-com's . . . but this one pushed ALL the right buttons for me. I LOVED EVERY WORD OF IT!!

Plot in a nutshell: Ally's already been having a very hard day when Dominic walks into the pizzeria where she's a server.

He acts like a jackass.

She reacts badly and unleashes her hard-core sarcasm.

He gets her fired.

Dominic's dinner companion - his mother - is appalled by his behavior and offers Ally a job at her company . . . a place where Dominic also works.

And one of my all-time favorite arch-nemesis relationships in the workplace is born. 😍

OMG, I laughed my ass off so many times while reading this book! Lucy Score's quirky sense of humor matches my own perfectly.
She laughed in that way that born-rich people did. Not too loudly and with absolutely no snorting.
I adored everything about Dominic and Ally; the way they lobbed their insults back and forth from an even footing was nothing short of genius.
"You're fired, Maleficent."
"Good luck with that, Charming."
Ally was wonderfully full of self-esteem.
Shame wasn't a feeling I harbored regarding my financial situation. It was an obstacle to overcome. A challenge. And I had no intention of failing.
She had the type of confidence that comes from getting older, making you mostly impervious to cheap shots that you know aren't true.
He didn't want to want me. But if he had to, he wanted me to suffer with him. Ass.
And Dominic, the resident grumpy boss, had some serious issues, lol.
Clearly she wasn't intimidated by an asshole in Hugo Boss with a haircut that cost more than her entire outfit. I basked in her disdain.
That love of her disdain, of her ability to stand up to him made for so many amazing moments.
Dominic was staring at me like he couldn't decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.
And I savored every word of the way the author chose to move the story forward.
"Think about it. The more you get to know me, the less atrractive you'll find me, and the better I know you, the more repulsive you'll be."
These two were hilarious together . . . and Ally's vest fetish, I swear, was the funniest thing ever.
"What I mean to say," I said, clearing my throat, "is that neither one of us is up for a workplace affair. So we won't have one. It's as simple as that."

"What if I keep wearing vests?"
And poor Dominic's arrogance and iron-clad sense of self sure took some hits.
"Stop worrying," he insisted.

"Of course. Why didn't I think of that? You're so handsome and smart."
Actually, watching them both chip away at each other's armor was so utterly satisfying.
"I'm on your team, whether you want me or not."
So I'll stop my fan-girling now and just insist that you read this one if enemies-to-lovers is your thing. READ THIS BOOK!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,752 reviews31.9k followers
June 30, 2020
4 stars


I love Lucy Score's slow burn romances, and add in enemies to lovers, well, I was not so patiently waiting for this to come to audio. As soon as it did, I started listening. This isn't my favorite Score book, but I still enjoyed it lots.

Ally meets Dom in a very unique way. He gets her fired after she writes something inappropriate on his pizza. Ally's life hasn't been easy as of late and this was the last straw. Although it was awful at the time, it was the best thing that could have happened to her as Dom's mom gave her a job that helps her out so much.

Ally and Dom go from hating each other to having to tolerate each other at work. It's one of those relationships that go from enemies to frienemies to so much more. You can tell these two really don't hate one another and start to catch the feelings pretty quickly. Even though Ally is quick to deny them.

Ally and Dominic have a lot of chemistry and it's obvious that they have it bad for each other. Their banter is fun and I liked them as a couple. Both characters are in their late 30's/early 40's but honestly, it reads like they're in their 20's IMO. I wish that they were more... mature in some ways, but I still liked them both and enjoyed watching their characters grow and develop.

By a Thread is a book with lots of humor, heart, and heat. If you love a good enemies to lovers romance/slow burn I recommend you pick this up. And I can't recommend the audio book enough! It has two of my favorite narrators (Sebastian York and Erin Mallon) who do an incredible job!
Profile Image for Arini.
696 reviews1,541 followers
August 8, 2020
3.5 Stars

I laughed and I had fun! For having unclear direction/plotline and minimal character backstory, I did think the book was too long. I could see myself getting impatient and annoyed, but since I listened to it on audio (and I typically read faster that way), I never felt like I wasted my time.

I loved the humor, the banter, and the workplace setting. Dang, working in the fashion industry would be a dream come true. Ugh, lucky b*tch. 😂😒 I feel like Ally was the Cinderella with top designers fairy godmother at her whim and I was the jealous sister. It’s simply unfair. *SMH*

It was a solid 4 stars up until the last 30% because seriously, that fiasco with Dominic was just stupid. The man had some serious trust issues. Sheesh, what an idiot! Regardless of the fact that he grovelled and did romantic gestures like a champ.

I also couldn’t get over the fact that these characters were in their late thirties and early forties, but they behaved as if they were still in their twenties. I feel like Dominic should’ve made me feel like I wanted to be his sugar baby, but that didn’t happen. 🙈 I don’t think I even swooned. So yeah, rounded down it is.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Kristina.
551 reviews109 followers
January 19, 2023
I could not finish this. It was way too long. The hero was a huge asshole and the heroine tstl. It had promise as a premise but I got 300 pages in and they hadn’t even banged yet. There are 73 chapters in this thing and I do not have the will to read anymore of this immature nonsense. Who even are these characters? They have almost zero backstory and the withholding of information to create angst got real old, real fast. No thanks, I don’t have the patience to see this through. Also the strip club scene is not hot, it’s depressing. Being so desperate for money that you almost unwillingly strip for it and the hero of the book pays you five grand for a lap dance AND HE IS YOUR BOSS, then you proceed grind him to the point of cumming in his pants to prove he wants you, is not funny or sexy in any way. It’s sad and cringey. Sorry. No. I bailed shortly after this. This book was just all over misguided and badly executed.
Profile Image for Matilda.
227 reviews1,344 followers
June 20, 2022
4.5 stars 🍕

i don’t even know how to express how much i loved this book. The dynamic between dom (H) and ally (h) was absolutely incredible. this book is one of those “i hate how much i want you” books.

→so much pining
→grumpy hero/sunshine-ish heroine
fake enemies to lovers because they secretly never hated each other

ally is a waitress holding down 5 jobs to make ends meet. dom is the creative director of a fashion magazine called Label. they meet when Dom comes to the restaurant Ally was waitressing at. they instantly start sparing over each other’s attitude-

“Can I get you a drink?” Rude Sex Hair was back.
“I don’t know. Can you?” I shot back.
“We’re fresh out of the blood of children, Satan. How about something that matches your personality?”

dom, being the grumpy asshole he is, gets ally fired after she writes the letters “FU” with pepperoni on his pizza. his mom chases ally down and offers her a job at Label, which she accepts because she’s strapped really low on cash.

and so it begins 🥰🥰🥰

dom is such a simp for her, it’s hilarious.

I’d avoided her since Tuesday just to prove that I could. Just to prove to my stupid cock that it did not run my life.

he refuses to make a move on her because his dad was involved in some disgusting sexual harassment when he was part of the company.. dom doesn’t want to be his dad, so he battles his attraction with ally with his desire to not be his father's son. Even though he can’t have her, he makes sure no one else can 🤪🤪

like when he crashed ally’s date with some guy online by bringing his friend's wife 🥰—

If Dominic Russo hadn’t wedged himself in between me and his date, I would have been thinking about the tips the bartender was making. Instead, I was thinking about my boss’s hand resting on the back of my stool. His leg pressing into my knee.

when ally goes to the bathroom, he follows her there and confesses that his “date” is not a date. ally gets mad because she knows he’s playing mind games with her. so he says—

“You think I like this? You think I like being the asshole who can’t have you so I don’t want anyone else to either? Do you know how I felt all day just knowing that you were dressing for someone else? That you were going out with someone? That another man was going to touch you tonight?”


or when this designer named christian was flirting with her at a party. dom gets so pissed off that he breaks his glass—

Someone at the bar behind us slammed a crystal glass down hard enough to crack it.
“Let me help you with that, sir,” the bartender said, taking the broken glass from Dominic.

at that same party, dom gets unbelievably drunk and makes Ally drive him home. drunk dom is so cute AHHHHHH! he gets all sweet and starts telling ally how much she means to him (which at this point he’s been hiding) and even secretly smells her hair

“You’re nothing like your father. You never have been, and you never will be. You’re a good man. You take care of people who need it. You protect them and build them up. You’re going to make some woman very lucky someday.”
“Wish it was you.”

when she gets home he drunk texts her—

Dominic: You’re beautiful. And not just tonight.


i want to talk about every scene in this book, but for your guys’s sake, i’ll pick the one that gave me SO MANY BUTTERFLIES 🦋🦋🦋 the reason ally has so many jobs and why she’s broke is a really long story. to sum it up, her dad lives in a nursing home and she was behind on payments

ally had to pay off all the money she owed to the nursing home, but her pay check from Label wasn’t coming in till after the payments were due. feeling like she had no choice, she called her best friend, who happens to own a strip club


ally decides to partake in “amateur” night since she would get the amount of money she needs. WELL, UNKNOWINGLY TO HER, DOM HEARD HER TALKING TO HER FRIEND AND SHOWS UP AT THE STRIP CLUB.

he watches her dance and he’s FUMING. ally finds out that someone offered $5k for a private dance with her. she accepts because she doesn't think she can turn it and GUESS WHO’S IN THE ROOM—

“No touching,” I snapped.
“Do what I paid you to do,” he demanded, his voice had a gravelly abrasion to it that gave me as much pleasure as dread. Even in the dim light, I could see he was hard.


“I hate how much I want you,” he whispered brokenly, nuzzling at the curves, nipping at the pasties. “I despise the fact that I can’t think of anything else but you.”

honorable mentions: favorite pining moments in dom’s POV—

❛I felt compelled to do a lot of things where Ally was concerned.
Avoid her.
Ignore her.
Make up reasons to talk to her.
Pick a fight with her.
Touch her.❜

❛All I could picture was bending her over the railing and dragging that flirty little skirt up to her waist. I’d made it back to my office, locked myself in the washroom, and masturbated violently while thinking about her.

❝I wasn’t looking for you. But I still found you.”
“What are you saying?” I squeaked.
“I’m saying I found you. And I’m not fighting it anymore. You’re mine.❞

readers note: pretend the heroine and hero aren't old enough to be your parents and imagine them as being in their late 20s to early 30s 🥰
Profile Image for Karla Espinosa.
57 reviews2,264 followers
January 15, 2023
Workplace romance, grumpy/sunshine, enemies to lovers! So many great tropes in this one! There were some parts that were just a little bit questionable but overall this was a very cute story! I thought the ending also offered the perfect amount of closure. Something about Lucy Score's writing style just makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable!
Profile Image for Natasha.
298 reviews280 followers
March 30, 2022
the banter was perfection.

their age however a little unbelievable.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,645 reviews3,215 followers
April 29, 2021
5 OK, OK, OK, Fantastic Stars
Happy B-Day, ONLY 99 CENTS!!!
* * * * * Congratulations, Being #10 of Amazon’s Most Popular Romance Novels of 2020! Review Spoiler Free
Yeah, I know that title is like What???? But you have to think Joe Pesci and him going Ok Ok Ok to get where I am going. This Book Was Everything. PERIOD. It was so good right off the bat, I sent an email to the author letting her know I was howling and snorting and sore from laughing so hard. This book started at a really high level and pedal to metal kept up the banter, the pacing, the frustration and stubbornness, and seriously smokin' hot sexy times. (I am talking really sexy times, people)

Like I said it was EVERYTHING.

Now the blurb and the notes by Ms. Score tell you exactly what you are going to get. Yet, even with those descriptions and how accurate they are, you will not be prepared for the heart squeezes, the swoon-worthy moments, or the overwhelming wishes to slap an idiot.

There is a lot in this story that rings very current and true.
It is handled well as nothing is perfect, it is dealt with in the manner all too much as it has been in the past. What works so well is the way growth happens and the care given in confronting it.

All of the characters rock...from the main couple to their parents, to friends and co-workers. There wasn't a missed step in creating this world and the people in it. Did everyone DO everything right...No, because that is not how we humans behave. Instead of a la de da fairy tale (there were fairy tale elements, I admit), you got the messy, the real, and in the end a HEA to totally love.

IF you want to be thoroughly engaged, to laugh your head off, and then feel like a cold shower is needed, then Please, Please get this book. You will not be sorry.

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

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Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,894 reviews1,501 followers
May 2, 2020
I made it past halfway but it's just too much that doesn't work. Though I am glad I made it far enough to see Drunk Dom. That was hilarious. Which is kind of why I kept going, I think. There are some great back-and-forth and not just between Dom and Ally. The thing is, I have to ignore two big things to stay with the humor.

The first problem is that the main characters read decades younger than their stated ages. They're both immature and rootless in ways that just don't fit people past their mid-thirties (he's in his forties, for heaven's sake!). It wasn't hard for me to just subtract a decade (and some) in my head, so this wasn't that big a barrier.

But the second problem is huge and nearly had me cashing out a half dozen times before I finally did. And that's because Dom doesn't work as a character at all. It's bad enough when an author leans into a negative motivation* for their romantic conflict, particularly when it is literally the only thing keeping these two apart. But it is worse when that motivation can't survive scrutiny at all so you have to be keenly aware that you are in romance-land so that a character like that can survive the length of an entire story. I mean, Dom's entire resistance is that he doesn't want to be like his womanizing user of a father. Because not only is morality heritable, but inevitable, I guess? I suppose this could be a possible thing somebody, somewhere believes, but if so, that person has problems way beyond being the main character in a romance novel. Yes, you look at your family for proclivities and vulnerabilities and potential; as I know all too well having a family history of alcoholism and addiction. And I even get the hyper-awareness of how you treat others because my paternal ancestors includes some deeply unsavory people and that includes my father and grandfather. But that's just it. Nobody takes that kind of heritage as destiny and nobody continues to believe that they may break out into sexual harassment out of the blue when they are in their mid forties and haven't had any history at all of that kind of behavior. Dom is 44. If he was going to be inappropriately, exploitatively sexual with people under his power he'd have done so by now.

So his entire resistance to Ally is stupid, nonsensical, and completely impossible in an actual person living an actual life.

I let that go for half a book because it had some great humor and I liked the characters when they threw off the shackles of nonsense. But there's still no sign of loosening those shackles and I've had enough. I'm adding a star because I laughed a bit and, as I said, Drunk Dom was a hoot.

I have a review policy. Which is weird, I know. It turns out my first stab at it wasn't working out for me, so if you care, you might give it a look.

* Negative Motivations: I kind of hate that the term "negative motivation" isn't widespread, yet. Since it isn't, I'm going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term. Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back (or, if that link doesn't work, here's a cache of the original) and it changed how I understand story. The problem with the term is that if you've never heard it before, you'd assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral. Not so. What it refers to is motivations not to do something. The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons. The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot—particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don't care any more (or, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing). So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind. Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him/herself already and do the thing we want them to do. Conflict drives story. Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story.
Profile Image for Ainhoa.
378 reviews17 followers
March 29, 2022
Best banter I’ve read in a long time.

1 - Maleficent and Charming were so good at being enemies.

2 - Then they were good at being lovers.

3 - But then it dragged for a looong time at being “in a relationship”.

4 - And the last 10% was back to good and addictive.

PS: Who should I send the monthly therapy bill for the protein shake paragraph? 🤢
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,250 reviews424 followers
July 2, 2020
1,5 stars

DNF because I don't want to hate-read this...
I am sorry I just can't continue...
There is a line between enemies to lovers and plain childish insults...

I didn't find it funny...

moving on...

Profile Image for Kati *☘︎・゚ readsRomance.
459 reviews97 followers
January 21, 2023
dnf @20%, 2** stars

God, this plot had so much potential, but really, NO WOMAN needs this kind of sexist shit in her romances!

Dominic (mmc): 🤜💥
Ally (fmc): 👍
side characters: 👍

First I want to state that I usually don’t rate dnf’s but sexism is something we have to deal with enough in our real world so we don’t need to see our heroine being reduced to sex, her body and gender by the love interest (!!!) in our romances, too. This guy is not grumpy (as stated by the author), this guy is just an asshole.

So here I was, anticipating a fabulous read full of banter and yet I hadn’t even made to page five when I was already only hanging by a thread (pun intended) and ready to dnf.

The book starts with Dominics POV and the first thing he does when laying eyes on Ally is immediately name-calling her "Curves and Curls" in his mind. Followed by "Sex Hair" a minute later. To get an impression of the woman he sees I think it’s totally fine to describe her appearance. But that’s not enough for our Hero, no. He has to instantly compare her attributes to other women he’s been with in the past - who were (ofc) the total opposite of her (taller, slimmer, younger… you name it.), complimented by "[her hair] styled in lazy, loose waves that made me think of putting my hands in it while she breathed my name under me.".

He later even calls her "Sausage Fingers" out loud in a room full of co-workers.

Charming, isn’t he? I don’t mind if the mmc is grumpy and a bit of an asshole, it makes for funny banter with a strong fmc. But the sexism… no. Not when I intend to fall in love with the male main character of a book. —and don’t want to kick him in the balls constantly. This was so bad I couldn’t even make to the smut. But what I find really problematic here, seeing this many raving reviews, is, that this kind of disrespectful acting and thinking is considered sexy and swoony in a man.

It’s pretty obvious that Lucy Score and I have very different preferences when it comes to hot and lovable love interests so I better go look somewhere else to read about mine.

To close my review I want to point out that I would’ve loved to read the whole story because the premise and what I read so far was very promising and I liked that Ally was older (39) than your usual heroine. Pity, this waste of potential. But 100 pages of this were more than enough for me.
Profile Image for ❦ jazmin.
511 reviews711 followers
February 22, 2022
“You want someone you can trust with your nightmares. Not just your dreams.”

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

This book was so long, and yet I read it so quickly?? It’s the magic of romance books, I guess.

⇢The Plot

This book was really cute. Like, extremely cute. So cute that I’d say that the summary for this book is the tiniest bit misleading, because it seemed like there was going to be a lot more of a rivalry than there actually was.

“I hated it when she walked away from me. It always felt like she took the light and heat with her. I added that to my Hate List.”

But you know what, I honestly didn’t mind that because the plot itself was so entertaining and fulfilling. My favourite thing ever is when you actually feel like the couple will last after the book finishes because their relationship faced reasonable trials and whatnot, and the various things that happened in this book did a great job convincing me of this couple.

⇢The Characters

The characters themselves were great. Nothing I haven’t seen before because I mean, there are a LOT of romance books that take place at the office of a fashion magazine and there’s only so many things you can do, but like I said, this book super entertaining and I definitely think that was because of how well-written the characters were.

I will say that at times their relationship was a bit too back and forth for me, like the third act breakup was really unnecessary or at least some of the conflicts that their relationship faced could have been timed a lot better.

⇢Realistic topics

The last thing I want to say is that this book handled the topics of workplace harassment and sexual harassment really well. It was realistic while also resolving things in a way that would leave the reader happy and that wasn't triggering. Honestly, seeing how well it was done here, I'm surprised that more workplace romances don't discuss it at all.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧


Profile Image for Heroesinbooks.
1,042 reviews274 followers
July 15, 2022
Beyond 5 Dominic and Ally Stars

I loved and relished every single page of this book. It is pretty long at 582 pages on my Kindle but I never once rushed it . I took my time and devoured this enemies to lovers romance that kept me up until the early hours and occupied my mind even when I really should have been concentrating on other things. It is simply a fantastic book to read.

Ally Morales , aka Maleficent , is a 39yr old semi successful graphic designer who has given up her work to move back to New Jersey for family reasons. She is living on the breadline and working multiple jobs to renovate her Dad's house. He has been admitted to a care facility because he has advanced dementia and Ally needs to sell the house to pay for his future care. As a heroine , Ally ticks every box for me. She is strong , funny , warm and witty. Her loyalty to those she loves is unending and the way she looks at life warms your heart. Life seems to keep kicking our girl but she kicks back and never gives up. There were times I felt like crying for her but most of the time I was cheering her on and rooting for the magnificent Maleficient. For example when the office bitch was coming for her she dished it back...

“Did you ever have it checked?” I asked.
“What checked?”
“The thing that crawled up your skinny ass and died.”
“The weak never understand,” she scoffed. “The weak?” I laughed. Seriously, someone had seen Mean Girls one too many times.

Dominic Russo aka Charming, just smashed down the doors into my Hero Hall of Fame. At 44 he is older than many of the Heroes in contemporary romance but Oh. My. God. he is HOT.

We stared at each other while he shrugged out of his coat. He was dressed more casually than he had been in the office. Jeans and a well-fitting gray sweater that made his blue eyes look more silver. His sleeves were shoved up, revealing tattoos on both forearms. Yum.

He is also a sarcastic arse with one of the best driest sense of humour's I have read in a leading MC in a while. He is uptight, tense and wound up because of everything going on around him. His life has also been upended. It is interesting that both he and Ally find themselves in that position because of their loyalty to their families.
Reading his verbal sparring with Ally was so entertaining. These two fire off of each other for much of the book yet, underneath the verbal foreplay and the palpable sexual tension, Dominic slowly starts to feel things for her outside of just physical attraction.

She scanned the subsequent shots, and I leaned in with her, just wanting to be closer to her. There was something about her that lured me in like a siren yet made me feel… safe. Comfortable. Fucking hard.

Dominic is so strong but his heart is incredibly vulnerable in a very endearing way. His emotions are fragile underneath that frosty and aloof exterior which is why I completely forgave him for his epic cock up - plus he did an excellent job of winning our girl back. Oh my. I fell in love with him all over again when he realised what a mistake he had made and was trying so hard to get her forgiveness.

I’ve never been around someone who always believed that things would work out. I hope I didn’t break that because your hopeful heart is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever known.

The secondary characters are brilliantly written and I loved all the different dynamics and relationships. Faith and Christian fascinated me - I hope they get their own story. Can I also please give special mention to the gorgeous Brownie. What a darling.

This story does have a kind of Cinderella vibe to it because Dominic has the means and the ability to make life much easier for Ally. But the richest thing of all is how Ally brings out the fun side of him and how she gets him to really live rather than just exist. I could almost feel the ice thawing around him.

I hated it when she walked away from me. It always felt like she took the light and heat with her.

The passion in this story is scorching between Ally and Dom. You will need kindle freezer moments...just saying....

There are some brilliantly written laugh out loud scenes. I love this author's wit and she writes comedy incredibly well.

There are some sadder moments - my Mum had Alzheimer's and reading the interactions between Ally and her Dad was very emotional and hit close to home but it was written so well and with sensitivity I thought.

I highly, highly recommend this book. Lucy Score is a hugely talented and gifted writer who creates characters and stories that stay with you long after the last page is read. Enjoy this gorgeous novel , it is worth every moment of your time.

HEA? Yes. Beautiful epilogue.
Cheating? No. Nope. Cheating was never going to happen because these two are so passionate about each other and so loyal.

OCTOBER 2020 - Listened on Audible. Absolutely fantastic narration by Erin Mallon and Sebastian York. This reinforced that this is the best book I have read so far in 2020. I fell in love with Dominic and Ally all over again.

July 2022 - Listened again on audible. I love this book so much and I needed an old favourite to lose myself in for a few days. It's a long listen but I relished every minute. Dominic still does one of the best ever grovels post his colossal mess up.
Profile Image for ☽ mira.
738 reviews764 followers
March 31, 2022

“Sometimes I feel like I’m holding my breath all day just waiting for someone to say your name around me. I don’t ever want a life without your name in it.”

i have been sitting on this book for like a year now. everytime i picked it up, i would say "not today mira" why? bc they fucking OLD. ugh and before anyone comes at me and tells me 39 and 44 isn't old then... just please... its not even an age gap romance its not taboo. its just OLD PEOPLE HAVING SEX. but ya after 2 years i said, "fuck it" might as well get through this but and you know what? it was still old people having sex but it was good old people having sex.

overall, i really liked this book. i wish it was 100 or so pages shorter for it being an insta lust AND a slowburn book but oh well. and yes i did imagine them in their 20's or else i would've puked.

the list below includes everything in the book that usually makes me rate books 1 star but this book? made it good???

1. chest hair
2. old people having sex
3. insta lust
4. old people
5.inappropriate bickering and just rude behaviour during work hours
6. how they were both equals (sex wise: i like dom guys and sub girls, but they were equal in this book and it was shockingly good)

what surprised me:

1. they communicated
2. raw sex
3. the hero
4. the dog
5. the hero
6. the stalking
7. the strip club dance thing
8. the grovelling (i'm a sucker for emails)
9. the sexual tension
10. the starring
11. the accidental touching
12. the "i-hate-you-but-wanna-fuck-you-and-won't-let-anyone-else-touch-you trope"

things i didn’t like:

1. how long this book was even though they wanted to have sex since chapter 1
2. how fast dom comes (this is the old people shit)
3. i could’ve gone without the drama at the end but it was ok bc we got grovelling dom

now the quote that had me screaming, shaking and crying (idk the order i have to say that phrasing)

“Oh, I get it loud and clear. And just what exactly will you be doing while I’m not dating? Fucking your way through every woman in Manhattan who doesn’t work for you?”
He was back in my space again, and I could feel the pulse of his anger. It matched my own.
“I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing since I met you,” he rasped.
“What’s that?”
“Fucking my goddamn hand and wishing it was you.”

there are more but this is the highlight of my day.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,832 reviews621 followers
July 30, 2020
I am surprise to like this book more than I expected. Miss Score have this quirky humor that goes with her romance story. By a Thread is full of laughter, sexy, sweet, naughty banter. I like Dominic. Behind his moody and sexy alpha male, he is such a softie. His chemistry with Ally is explosive.

The shortcoming of this book is actually Ally. Now she is a bitch. Just because someone is mean to you, does not gives her the right to be angry at the world and throwing tantrum. That is what I feel about Ally. She is such a drama queen. Everything must be about her.

It is a pity for such heroine to be portrays as a bitch. A nasty bitch.

Overall I do enjoy this book very much.

4 stars
Profile Image for Tara.
86 reviews15 followers
March 10, 2021
I was 1000% into this book and then the absolute mishandling of the out of left field stripping plot completely ruined it for me. To be clear, zero judgement on the heroine whatsoever. My problem is with the hero. He heard and saw how devastated and upset she was to have to do it and then found her desperation on stage ultra hot. It was absolutely revolting to me that anyone could find a devastated, choiceless woman being forced to be sexual for you a turn on. He even said she looked terrified on the stage, yet was getting turned on by it....? How is that attractive to a non-piece of shit man? If I were with a man and he looked scared that would 100% physiologically shut down any sexual ANYTHING within me in concern for him. Yet so many people just normalize men finding choiceless, visibly upset women supernaturally attractive if they are naked enough.No thank you. It just absolutely killed him in my eyes that he could be wealthy beyond imagining, and literally gets hard from an impoverished women doing something out of desperation that is visibly upsetting her. What a heartless, privileged piece of shit ..... who I’m also supposed to find hot??

Then I find out through spoilers that he

Also huuuuge thumbs down to her terrible friend, the owner of what is supposed to be a different kind of strip club, who could clearly see that the mc was NOT doing this because she wanted to claim her sexuality, but because she felt like she didn’t have a choice and most importantly she was clearly not ok.

Also from our piece of shit hero when he found out she is going to strip: “She was going to pay for this tonight.” Shes going to pay for it??? For doing what??? Making a choice out of desperation because your company fucked up her paycheck? This normalized sexist bullshit is just so revolting to me. I think I was supposed to find that threat titillating. I actually found it tragic that another person thought a woman would find that statement from a man titillating.

I just didn’t sign up for this bs when I read the description, especially when the book was initially very vocal about innate power imbalances, sexual coercion/assault that can and does occur within the power imbalances between a rich, powerful boss and an impoverished female employee. Like, this is the best you can come up with?? Again, no fucking thank you.
Profile Image for Megan.
360 reviews900 followers
March 14, 2023
Was By a Thread the best book I’ve ever read? No. Did I have a ton of fun while reading it? Yes.
Profile Image for Gretchen.
860 reviews120 followers
November 10, 2022
This was an exceptional story filled with heart, humor, and heat that had me laughing and smiling my way through! A seriously scorching hot and hilarious page-turner! I loved the characters, the animosity and bickering, the tension and angst, the emotion and drama, and the building love between two stubborn and determined characters. This checked every box of things I love about romance!

This story kicked things off with a seriously hilarious start and I was all in, rooting for Dominic and Ally. They had fun, antagonistic banter, and bickering happening that had me laughing. Ally was awesome. I loved her determination and fierceness as she worked to improve things in her life. She was strong, beautiful, and smart, and I loved that she stood up for herself. Mr. Grumpy Face Dominic is my new favorite. I adore characters like this, full of attitude but there’s so much more going on with them and I love learning the why behind it. There was an excellent build to their developing relationship with off-the-charts sexual tension happening. I loved Dominic and Ally’s vulnerable moments and when they open up and share as well. I loved their struggle and conflict as they get closer and more emotion comes into play. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for them to get together. These two are scorching hot!

This was incredibly entertaining to read and the writing was exceptional. A laugh-out-loud story that filled me up. There were so many wonderful secondary characters in the mix that made it feel rich and full. Those characters helped to create so many fun and meaningful scenes. There was great attention to detail throughout and I loved how some things came back around at the end making it that much more significant.

This is one of those books I started reading and everything immediately clicked for me. Humor and heart with a fantastic amount of sexiness mixed in. I just had a blast reading this and losing myself in Dominic and Ally’s lives. By a Thread is officially a new favorite!

Complimentary copy received.
Profile Image for val୨୧.
259 reviews110 followers
April 24, 2022
umm IM OBSESSED?? This book was everything omg!! it had me smiling and doing laps around my room the whole time.

Dom and Ally!! they had one of the best banters I’ve ever read, just from their first interaction it had me laughing so hard, THE TENSION, their fights, and their nicknames, best thing EVER. Dominic oh lord, I love me a grumpy man with daddy issues,it just gets me every time.

This author surely knows how to write grumpy men because I devoured this book just like l ate TWNGO so I’m definitely going to read more of her books, im obsessed.

ps: I pretended the characters weren’t 40+ because there was no point in it.
Profile Image for Dora Koutsoukou.
1,755 reviews357 followers
April 27, 2020
4,5 💖💖💖💖 🍕👗💥🔥💥🌟🌟🌟🌟s❣️❣️❣️❣️

Originally, I would have given 4 stars, because it was slow burn and lengthy.
But I enjoyed it soooo much!!!

Dominic and Ally were impressive characters and shared a fantastic chemistry and connection.
Their interactions were filled with witty repartee that kept me engrossed and amused.
The most amazing spectacle was watching Dominic - the grumpy boss, Charming, falling for Ally!! It was a splendid sight for sore eyes!!!

By A Thread was an amazing emotional romance comedy read!
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