It’s going to be quite awhile before the newest from Sophie Cousens releases (at least in the US), but my ARC hit my Kindle over the weekend and I just dove in! I was in the mood for an interesting meet cute, and I’ve been meaning to check out the author’s work. It certainly satisfied!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartfelt and unique
I can already picture this as a movie, and it would be GREAT. It’s got serious Bridget Jones vibes, pairing classic rom com moments with a healthy dose of reality. Our heroine is the star of the show, and she’s convinced that she knows exactly what type of guy she wants. But as the book progresses and history starts to unravel, she sees things from a different perspective. I loved the contrasts, the slow reveals, and the visual transformations along the way. There’s a subtle and somber tone to much of the story, mixed with some humor and lighthearted moments. It’s most definitely a romance, but there’s a significant amount of introspection and personal growth, with a more women’s fiction feel in the back half. While the story was occasionally a little slow for me, I was completely invested in Laura’s journey, and I wanted to see how it all worked out.
The story follows Laura, a woman who writes about perfect meet cutes. She holds her parents’ love story in high regard, so nothing she’s ever experienced has come even close to it. But when Laura discovers that she’s accidentally swapped suitcases with a stranger, it feels like her own perfect meet cute come to life. The stranger’s personal items resonate with Laura, and she feels destined to meet him. While Laura travels around the places where her parents fell in love, she meets a cabdriver with sad eyes and plenty of knowledge about the area. The two strike up a friendship, and Ted becomes Laura’s companion as she digs deeper into her parents’ history while daydreaming about the sexy stranger that she’s swapped suitcases with.
This is a slower paced romance that will probably resonate the most with fans of quiet British humor and stories that straddle the line between (closed door) romance and women’s fiction. We only get Laura’s perspective, but the love story is front and center. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a love triangle, but there is a decent amount of time spent on the “wrong” guy, which is probably the only thing that I didn’t like about this. I get why it was necessary and the whole thing is well done, so I’m sticking with my 5-star rating. But I had a clear favorite very early on, and I liked him more and more as the story went on. There are some great themes focused on here, with heavier subjects and an overall message that no love story is picture perfect but that doesn’t make it any less special. It’s a rich, well written book, and I love how unique it felt. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this strangers to lovers romance.
Releases on November 9th!
Above: the UK cover. I like ours better!
From the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year comes a heartwarming and hilarious tale that asks: What if you picked up the wrong suitcase and fell head over heels for its mystery owner?
Hopeless romantic and lifestyle reporter Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t off to a great start. After an embarrassing encounter with the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel and realizes she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation is its irresistible contents, each of which intrigues her more and more. The owner of this suitcase is clearly Laura’s dream man. Now, all she has to do is find him.
Besides, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same island where her parents first met and fell in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. But as Laura’s mystery man proves difficult to find—and as she uncovers family secrets—she may have to reimagine the life, and love, she always thought she wanted.
Releases on November 9th!
While you wait!
Cousens’ debut, This Time Next Year, was a huge hit, and I remember seeing it all over GoodReads after its release. I never managed to carve out room in my TBR to read it, but I might just need to move it up the list now! This one has another original meet cute, and I’m sure that the vibe is along the same lines as Just Haven’t Met You Yet.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
Their lives began together, but their worlds couldn’t be more different. After thirty years of missed connections, they’re about to meet again…
Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990–and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.
When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all–while Minnie’s on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?
A moving, joyful love story, This Time Next Year explores the way fate leads us to the people we least expect–no matter what the odds.
About the Author:
Sophie Cousens started her career in television, where she produced, among other things, The Graham Norton Show, Big Brother, Ant and Dec and Russell Howard’s Good News. Working in TV taught her three things:
1 – Wearing a lanyard makes you look as though you know what you are doing.
2 -The best phrase you can contribute in meetings is “let’s action that!”If you say it often enough, hopefully someone else will do your work for you.
3 – If in doubt, find someone wearing a lanyard – they’ll know what to do.
Sophie currently lives in Jersey where she now writes full time. She lives with her husband Tim and has two small children who keep her occupied with important questions such as ‘but did Cinderella have a toothbrush?’ and ‘do giraffe’s know they have really long necks?’ She yearns for a time when she will be able to add a miniature dachshund to the party.
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