Cute and forgettable, that’s what I’d call this. It’s a low angst, easy-going, small town romance with a touch of the forbidden, and there were plenty of moments that I enjoyed. I loved the adorable meet cute, and the humor made this a lighthearted, easy read. I also liked the opposites attract vibe, and the combination of these two very different characters had a ton of potential. But, ultimately, it ended up being just that… potential. The romance falls flat after too much push/pull from our hero, and it ended up being pretty unsatisfying. Honestly, there was just something missing from the whole book. I can’t pinpoint any one moment that was a major issue for me, but I also can’t pinpoint any one moment that was particularly great either.
The story follows Nell and Quinn, two strangers who meet on Valentine’s Day. After a disastrous breakup has left Nell alone and brokenhearted on Valentine’s Day, Quinn finds himself offering to split an item from the couples menu at the restaurant they’re both at – which is completely out of character for him. They spend one fun evening together, chatting over dinner and even sharing a steamy kiss, but Quinn flees at the end of the night. He’s a newly single dad who is determined to get his life back together, and that means he needs to focus on his new job. Unfortunately, that new job involves him being Nell’s boss, and their kiss isn’t easy to forget.
On paper, this sounds like just my kind of romance: it’s light, low angst, playful, and the office romance/opposites attract storyline are right up my alley. It’s the writing itself that holds this back, which doesn’t do the storyline any favors. We needed more from Quinn to make this shine, maybe some enthusiasm about the relationship, and a few less instances of him running scared. The most difficult reviews to write are for books that you know you’ll forget in a few days, and that’s absolutely where I’m at with this. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t really say that I liked it either. I received an early copy, and am voluntarily leaving a review of this small town office romance.
Antonella “Nell” Bennett is having the worst day of her life.
Long-term boyfriend broke up with her? Check.
Drove through the pouring rain to a small roadside restaurant, only to be told all the tables were reserved for “Couples Night”? Check.
Definitely no longer one half of a couple? Check.
So maybe she got a little heated with the restaurant’s host, and maybe her voice carried a bit as she lamented—loudly—that she’s never anyone’s “plus-one.” At least an attractive stranger comes to her rescue, inviting her to be seated with him, and when it turns out to be one of the best nights she’s had in a while, even ending in an innocent kiss that becomes anything but? Check please.
Fast forward a week, and Nell’s rant has gone viral. Sure, her tiny hometown of Arbor Bay is collectively buzzing over their latest Internet celebrity, but Nell’s no stranger to attention. Drama seems to follow her whether she likes it or not.
But even she never expected to show up to work only to discover her brand-new boss is a very familiar face…
About the Author:
Anne Harper writes romantic comedy that embodies the shenanigans of an I Love Lucy episode and the awkwardness of saying “you too” after the waiter tells you to enjoy your meal. She lives in South Alabama with her husband, their three cats, and a humidity that threatens to destroy them all. Anne is an advocate for coffee, selfies, and adoption from foster care. When she isn’t dreaming about meeting her future kiddos, she’s getting herself into wild situations and hilarious misunderstandings. #ItsFine
Visit her: http://www.anneharperbooks.com
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