I’ll openly admit that I was hoping this would be more of a romance (given Rockaway’s other books), but it’s definitely women’s fiction with a side of (closed door) romance. Our heroine is the star, and the story is very much about her personal journey – coming to terms with the fact that her job has overtaken her life, and it’s no longer healthy for her. While heavy subjects like alcoholism, addiction, and body image issues are discussed, the overall tone remains light and relatively low angst. I’ll warn you now: Nicole’s job is THE star of the show, with nearly every page devoted to her career. That’s why this isn’t getting 5 stars from me, and why I considered a lower rating. But this is well done women’s fiction, with solid writing, an engaging (if a little slow) storyline, and enough romance to add in something extra.
The story follows Nicole, a woman who thinks about her job from the time she gets up in the morning until the time she goes to sleep at night. She enjoys what she does and has made some friendships at work – and every one of her co-workers has the same kind of work schedule. Though Nicole’s other friends have tried to tell her that she works too much, it’s not until Nicole takes on the role of maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding that it becomes obvious to her as well. And when Nicole meets a great guy, she realizes that she might miss out on something amazing if she sidelines their relationship for her work.
The romance lover in me appreciated how integral Nicole’s guy is to her personal growth – even if he’s in the background for a lot of the book. Brandon is seriously the book boyfriend that dreams are made of: a perfectly swoony, sweet lumberjack. I personally would’ve loved a LOT more of them together, but this is more women’s fiction than anything else. There are only a few PG kissing scenes and much of their relationship is glossed over in favor of Nicole’s work. Which… yeah, not my favorite. This loses major points because it is SOOOO focused on Nicole’s job. I loved the subtle storyline about addiction and unhealthy habits as much as the romantic element, and I think that could’ve been highlighted instead of so many scenes about her job. But that’s also sort of the point of the book, so I get it. This one will be a win for women’s fiction fans, or romance lovers who appreciate a slow burn and don’t need the love story to be the star.
A smart, modern novel about a woman trying to balance her career, her best friend, and falling in love without crashing and burning.
Nicole Palmieri is married to her job. As a user experience designer at Virtuality, an artificial intelligence company in Los Angeles, Nicole is at her desk from sunrise to sunset. She doesn’t have time for a social life (or a love life), but that’s perfectly fine with her. Until her best friend, Parisa Shahin, announces her engagement and asks Nicole to be her maid of honor.
That’s when Nicole decides to meticulously schedule out the next six months of her life—from her project due dates to her dress-fitting appointments to how many hours she plans to sleep each night. If she can stick to her schedule, she’ll balance everything fine. Of course, that’s a really big if. And after she crosses paths with emerging restaurateur Brandon Phelps, Nicole is feeling feelings she hasn’t felt in…well, ever. But scheduling time to fall in love might push even the most meticulous plans into pure chaos.
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About the Author:
Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker and recovering corporate software engineer. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of code. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and trying to catch up on sleep.
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