I’ve discovered that I tend to be drawn to books that feature bookstores, libraries, or authors/readers. And there are SO MANY OF THEM, in so many (sub)genres to choose from!! This one caught my eye, and I was excited to add another new-to-me author to my “have read” list!
Author: Kellie Hailes
Release Date: July 10, 2019
Review Copy: NetGalley
The start of something wonderful…
Sophie Jones loves her little bookshop at Herring Cove. She’ll never give it up to big property developer, Alexander Fletcher – no matter how handsome he might be…
Yet beneath Alex’s sharp suit and persuasive manner, there’s something about him that makes Sophie want to trust him.
So when he offers to help make her little shop a success again, she wonders whether this could be the start of something wonderful for both Sophie and Alex – together?
This was a new-to-me-author, so I had no expectations there. But the cover was cute, and the writeup sounded good, so I had high hopes for the story.
What I Loved:
Even thought this could have easily been a “You’ve Got Mail” style retelling, there were some specific changes that made it SO much better, IMO. Sophie’s attachment to the bookshop, and her struggles to keep it definitely set the groundwork for the story. It would have driven me nuts to have Alex show up and NOT say who he was — to meet her, start a friendship, and let feeling start to happen without telling her he was “the guy” trying to buy her out. But everyone was up front the entire time, and everything that was said and done just *felt* genuine. The banter between the two was fun, but not overdone. I enjoyed the friends’ popping in and their interactions, as well.
The conflict that Alexander had with his family was unfortunate, but definitely worked for the story. I’d much rather the conflict come from OUTSIDE the couple, rather than between them. It was nice to see him work through the process of going from “Alexander” to “Alex”.
Of course, this is a romance, so we knew it would all work out in the end. I was tickled to find an epilogue, as well. I always love to see how things work out, a little further down the line.
What I Didn’t Love:
I was cruising right along, thinking that I wouldn’t have any “didn’t love” moments… and then Alex’s dad shows up. Sophie and Alex actually had a conversation (which I thought was fantastic) so that she would know to expect ugliness from him. She KNEW that he would use any and all means to push her buttons. And she still fell for it. She’d been so level headed this whole time, and yet she lost it completely over something that she knew might be coming. (Not the specifics, of course, but Alex had been up front with her from the beginning — this was not to be unexpected.) It just bothered me that THIS was the thing that pushed her over the proverbial “edge”. I will say that they recovered nicely in the end, so at least there’s that.
Overall… I really enjoyed the story. It was lighthearted and fun, and exactly what I was looking for. I’ve already purchased the next book I’m going to read from this author, and I’m excited to get started!!