by Emily Henry
First sentence: “When books are your life — or in my case, your job — you get pretty good at guessing where a story is going.”
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Review copy provided by the publisher
Release date: May 3, 2022
Content: Oh. Well, there’s a LOT of sexytimes. And swearing. It will be in the Romance section of the bookstore.
Nora has grown up in New York, a pair of sisters of a single mother who passed away when she was in her early 20s. She has worked hard, getting a job at a literary agency and working her way up to be a respected and successful literary agent. The problem is that she hasn’t really ever taken time out for her social life. Sure, she has boyfriends, but they never last: inevitably going the “small-town romance cliche” route having their lives changed by a woman they met while on a trip in some small town somewhere. So Nora’s sister, Libby, put together a “small-town romance” checklist, convinces Nora to go to a small town in North Carolina for a month, and proceeds to try to get Nora to have a small-town romance experience of her won. Except, the first person Nora bumps into is Charlie Lastra, an editor from the city who is not Nora’s favorite person.
You probably know where it’s going to go from here. My favorite thing about this — aside from the palpable chemistry betwen Nora and Charlie — is that this is book is perfectly aware of what it is. Henry takes all the small-town romance cliches and satirizes them while absolutely being them at the same time. It made for a smart, fun, thoroughly enjoyable book. And yes, all the sexytimes were very swoon-worthy, adding to the tension between Nora and Charlie. I also liked them as characters, though: Henry gave them each a complex and believable backstory that made them interesting characters to spend time with.
I’ll put it this way: I have enjoyed all of Henry’s romances, but I think this one is my favorite.