I started this novel they way I always start contemporary romances, with trepidation. I’ve read several bad ones and generally try to stick to historical because I just enjoy them more. However, since I loved Lisa Kleypas’s historicals, I’m always willing to try her contemporaries. She doesn’t disappoint. I had read Christmas At Friday Harbor so I was generally aware of the basic characters that would be in this book. My only complaint on that novel was that it was too short. Seriously, this author’s books typically run almost 400 pages so that measly 200 didn’t seem like enough time to fully develop the characters or the plotline. This book definitely rectifies that problem being slightly over 300 pages.
This story follows Lucy Marinn and Sam Nolan in their journey to love and happiness. [cue sappy music now]
Yeah, I know, but it’s a ROMANCE novel, really what did you expect? Battle the Huns for control of a futuristic society? Anyway, Lucy is going through a tough time. Kevin, her boyfriend of 2 years dumps her to be with her self-absorbed younger sister (not to mention they have been sleeping together behind her back for months) and also kicks her out of their house to move said sister in. Lonely and depressed, she moves in with a few friends until she can sort things out. Sam Nolan is happy in his life just the way it is. He is a bachelor who never gets involved beyond the physical and spends way too much time looking after his vineyard and caring for his niece. So when Kevin shows up asking him to take Lucy out on a date to help her move on, he reluctantly agrees. What harm could starting a new relationship do?
The story obviously gets more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it. I instantly sympathized with Lucy because I’ve experienced several situations in my life where I work my damnedest to accomplish something and then it’s just handed out to people around me like fucking candy. So that feeling of resentment Lucy gets towards Alice (her sister) is something I can relate to completely. I was blown away by Alice’s sheer self-obsession and how she really didn’t see that what she did was truly wrong, saying simple “I did it to make myself happy and since you and Kevin were growing apart, I don’t see why it should bother you. I won’t apologize for working on my happiness.”
Seriously lady?!?!?!? You fucked your sister’s boyfriend and then basically kicked her out of her own house so you could move in! That’s wrong on more levels than I can comprehend. Then Sam shows up claiming her ex is pushing him to date her so she’ll move on and she is beyond enraged…but also charmed by Sam who just radiates charisma. I loved watching them interact and seeing their love spring up and grow despite their best efforts to stay out of an emotional relationship.
I only have one issue with this book. The first is that there are small bits of magic in the book which just felt out of place. Lucy can turn glass into animals when she is highly emotional and Sam can make plants grow and flourish simply by touching them. It’s not something they go into a ton of detail about or is ever really explained. It’s just kind of mentioned off hand and left at that. I felt like this is an adult book so unless we go into to witch and zombie territory, magic should stay out. It didn’t bother me a whole lot, I just felt it would have been better if that wasn’t present.
Anyway, this book is really good and if you like contemporaries or just love Lisa Kleypas’s work in general, this book is for you.
****Thank you to McMillan Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****