‘Terms and Conditions’ by Lauren Asher Review

Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher cover featuring the greenhouse  Declan buys Iris.
©Lauren Asher

Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher is yet another swoon-worthy, thoroughly compelling addition to the Dreamland Billionaires series. One hit after another, Asher proves that this is the kind of series Hollywood could build an entire franchise for. Whether it’s the inclusivity in these books or the heart-squeezing romances, it’s astounding how she turns male main characters into unforgettable heroes.

In some ways, Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher is a lot like The Fine PrintWhile both women are utter rays of sunshine, too good for this world, the men are questionable when we first meet them. Yet, they’re still comparatively different because here, we thoroughly explore the marriage of convenience trope. As noted in previous reviews, some of the beats in this story are undoubtedly toxic when we initially look into the power imbalance of it all. Still, at the same time, none of the women are docile or ever coerced into something they don’t want. If there’s one thing Asher knows how to write best in an environment that’s often challenging to tackle, it’s female agency. 

When we first meet Declan Kane, he’s inarguably worse than Rowan, but that’s largely what makes his character journey so rewarding. The plot is also more vile than Succession because his inheritance relying on an heir is too gross of a concept to consider in the 21st century. Yet, the story unfolds through dual agency, ensuring that both Iris and Declan make choices that matter to themselves and the other. While the novel doesn’t explore much of their past, it provides enough close junctures to show Declan’s motives as well as the detail that authenticates how he often looks out for Iris despite his snarky demeanor. (Kaz Brekker would understand.)

Iris Landry is also a brilliant representation of anyone with learning disabilities. How Asher notes her dyslexia and threads it into the narrative effectively exhibits that those of us who suffer from any form of learning disability aren’t less capable of handling complex tasks. Declan Kane would fall apart with her, even if he has to make accommodations to make jobs easier for her. There’s no part of Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher that she’s anything but extraordinary. Thus, one of the critical features that consistently stands out is Iris’ unapologetic adoration for plants and the warmth which she excitedly shows, often wearing her whole heart on her sleeve. Whether it’s scenes where she’s with her family or the first visit to Dreamland, Iris is the type of person whose presence lights up every room she’s in, making their romance that much more enjoyable. And even amidst all her kindness, she’s a riveting character who holds her own astoundingly, proving that empathy doesn’t equate to delicacy or passiveness. Her layers make her even more brilliant as a character and relatable.

What’s most perplexing to me is how much I enjoy this series when workplace romances aren’t my jam. It’s also impressive how well Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher handles the marriage of convenience trope in the 21st century by placing characters in the driver’s seats. The plot is impressive, but the narrative works entirely because of the characters and their love for one another. Lauren Asher is phenomenal at building tension and longing, which Terms and Conditions is brimming with. From the first page to the last, it’s effortless to tell that Declan will easily give Iris the world, and he does so in the form of a greenhouse—a place that represents light and growth. A symbol of their love that’s so sweet (and hot), it makes the novel another glowing success.

Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher is now available wherever books are sold.

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