The ironic thing is that most of my criticisms are literally spelled out in the book via our editor hero’s notes on the heroine’s romance novel: “Slow beginning. Get to the meat. Give readers a reason to stay. If you bore them, you lose them. Awkward word choice? Drop this paragraph. We don’t need this character. Rabbit trail, stick to the point.” That quote resonated with me, because it so accurately reflected my issues with this book. It’s a very, very slow burn that barely pays off by the end, with an underdeveloped (PG) romance that bored me when it spent time focusing on other things. There were two characters who I wish hadn’t been included, and the writing didn’t flow well. I think the concept is super cute and I loved the You’ve Got Mail vibes, but the execution just wasn’t there.
The story follows Savannah, a woman who works for a publishing company. Things haven’t been going well at her job, and the situation goes from bad to worse when the boss’s son comes to work for the company. Will is stoic and serious, a suit who barely smiles… and he caught Savannah editing her own romance novel during office hours. Frazzled, Savannah hides the manuscript in the secret room she discovered at the office… and is shocked when someone makes notes on the pages. As Savannah and the mysterious editor continue exchanging notes about the book, they form a friendship that starts to feel like more.
I love the concept of the secret room and exchanging of notes with an unknown editor, so I was really excited to dive into this. And those parts of the book were fun. There was just so much other stuff that got in the way. I don’t know that I’d call this full-on women’s fiction, but the romance is so slow moving and underdeveloped that it’s certainly not the star. It’s single perspective, and Savannah doesn’t confirm her editor’s identity until the final act, but… c’mon. It’s obvious. There’s a lot more that could’ve been done with that. Instead, we get an uncomfortable subplot involving Savannah’s fitness-obsessed sister (who she probably shouldn’t be speaking to) and the ex (she still seems to lust after) who is now her future brother-in-law. I didn’t want any of that, it just made Savannah seem like a doormat, and the time would’ve been better spent on developing the love connection either in person or via the notes. Ultimately, this wasn’t “bad,” but when my criticisms of a book overshadow the story WHILE I’m reading it, then I know it wasn’t successful either. I appreciated receiving an early copy (and am voluntarily leaving a review), but this was more of a miss than a hit for me.
You’ve Got Mail meets The Proposal—this romance is one for the books.
Savannah Cade’s dreams are coming true. The Claire Donovan, editor-in-chief of the most successful romance imprint in the country, has requested to see the manuscript Savannah’s been secretly writing while working as editor herself—except at her publishing house, the philosophy is only highbrow works are worth printing and commercial fiction, particularly romance, should be reserved for the lowest level of Dante’s inferno. But when Savannah drops her manuscript during a staff meeting and nearly exposes herself to the whole company—including William Pennington, new publisher and son of the romance-despising CEO herself—she races to hide her manuscript in the secret turret room of the old Victorian office.
When she returns, she’s dismayed to discover that someone has not only been in her hidden nook but has written notes in the margins—quite critical ones. But when Claire’s own reaction turns out to be nearly identical to the scribbled remarks, and worse, Claire announces that Savannah has six weeks to resubmit before she retires, Savannah finds herself forced to seek the help of the shadowy editor after all.
As their notes back and forth start to fill up the pages, however, Savannah finds him not just becoming pivotal to her work but her life. There’s no doubt about it. She’s falling for her mystery editor. If she only knew who he was.
About the Author:
Melissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she enjoys chasing her children and writing romantic comedies full of humor and heart. Her favorite hobby is taking friends and acquaintances and turning them into characters in her books without their knowledge. She is confident you should read all her novels, starting with this one.
Connect with her (and prepare for the possibility of becoming her next character) at:
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