I’ve got a lot of thoughts about this one, a lot of thoughts. Women’s fiction lovers are likely to enjoy this more than romance readers, though even telling you if this is ultimately a romance feels like a spoiler. I was really loving this for the first 30% or so – the laidback, emotional feel and unique storyline definitely kept my interest, and it just flew by. It had the potential to be a great read, and unlike any story I’ve read before. And then things kinda spiraled, and they continued spiraling for the entire second half. Perhaps if the “before” had been around 100 pages longer (this is a SHORT book), then the “after” would’ve worked better, but it felt like the romance was so fast and then so disjointed. And it was all resolved so quickly that I had whiplash. So… yeah. Lots of thoughts on this.
The story follows Nora, a newly divorced mom who turned everything she felt after the end of her marriage into a screenplay – and the movie is now being made. The film crew is on location at her family home for a few days, and it’s quite the experience to watch the demise of her relationship through the lens. The actor who plays her ex-husband, Leo, is also a drunken mess, so it’s been an interesting experience all around. When the film crew leaves, Leo ends up staying behind. He’s loved the slice of normalcy Nora’s family home provides, and he wants to bask in it a little longer. As the two get to know each other better, they realize that they have a connection neither one anticipated, but their vastly different lifestyles are sure to get in the way.
Let’s talk about the good for a minute, because I really was loving this for quite awhile. I loved the exploration of family, home, and what’s important in life. Nora is so down on herself, and it was interesting to see how Leo coveted everything she has. Sure, he’s got money and fame, but he doesn’t have those quieter moments or close connections. That part of the book was great. I also appreciated how much growth Nora has throughout the book, which gives this a definite women’s fiction feel. Unfortunately, the romance felt like it happened at lightning speed, and then it was just… over. The reader was as confused as the characters, and the level of miscommunication was endlessly frustrating. Then to wrap everything up so quickly, well, it just didn’t work. It was quite the twist, sure, but the book ended with so many questions. It’s told exclusively from Nora’s point of view, so we have no idea what Leo experienced during the “after.” The pacing issues are a MAJOR problem, but there’s a lot of good in the book, so I’m really not sure what to think. I would read another book by the author though, because there are some intriguing concepts at play. Does it have a HEA? Yes.
Evvie Drake Starts Over meets Beach Read in this heartwarming and hilarious novel about a divorced romance channel screenwriter whose script about her marriage’s collapse just might help her reclaim her life and find love.
Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…
Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.
The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.
Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story—the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.
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