Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Release Date: May 3rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
An insightful, delightful new novel from the number-one New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming….
Nora Stephens’ life is books – she’s read them all – and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away – with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again – in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow – what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
I’m going to start with saying that this felt more like a book about sisters than it did a romance. And if I had known that prior I think I would have enjoyed it more. For too long I sat there wondering WHERE IS THE ROMANCE.
Admittedly, the romance did show up (after 25%) and I was charmed. I adored Nora and Charlie. I was laughing so much at the absolute perfect banter and chemistry between them. The forced proximity between the two was one of my favorite aspects. I liked the small town setting and the slow unraveling of feelings that heated up right on cue.
The main plot with Nora’s sister, Libby grew on me [though, good heavens stop calling her Sissy]. I think both showed some improvement as they reconnected. I liked seeing Nora’s perspective change and really diving into why she feels the way she does (and the responses it causes). These two have the kind of bond I love seeing in sibling books.
Not my favorite of Emily Henry’s books, but still a fantastic read. I look forward to more!
Overall audience notes:
- Contemporary Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: multiple brief open door
- Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, anxiety/panic attacks, stroke (parent, not on page), grief and loss depiction