Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019
I truly appreciated the style and quality of the writing and the easy-breezy plot exposition in this new romance by Kate Clayborn. So my inability to give the book more than a 3-star rating has more to do with "It's not the book; it's me."
Our heroine Meg is a popular hand-letterer/calligrapher who does intricate hand-written invitations, cards, journals, etc., for her clients. Meg can't resist putting secret messages into her designs, but there's no harm, no foul, since nobody has managed to find them in her work so far.
But that's until the day that she is confronted by a former client, Reid, whose wedding invitations she had created for his future bride with the hidden message M-I-S-T-A-K-E. Turns out that the wedding never occurred and Reid, a quantitative analyst, had discovered the hidden message and now wants to know how she knew his marriage would have been a mistake.
Meg, at this particular moment, is having a problem with creativity block and Reid is disgruntled with life in NYC and plans to leave as soon as is feasible. So she suggests they walk the city, she to find meaning again in her work and he to learn to appreciate the Big Apple.
Along the way, there are issues in the personal lives of both that are revealed and must be addressed. Meg has had a recent devastating revelation about her past and, in addition, is feeling estrangement from her best friend and roommate. Reid has his own problems, both personal and professional to deal with. And, of course, there is the necessary romance between the two which will develop relatively slowly and fairly well.
Okay. Good enough. The story moves along pretty well. The characters are appealing enough. I should have liked this contemporary romance more than I did. As I said earlier, the problem is definitely me. Lately I am feeling older-than-dirt, disgruntled, disheartened, discouraged and saddened by what's going on in the country and even in the world. With the looming threat of climate change, the huge inequality gap between the haves and the have-nots, deregulation of protective measures for the environment and for the consumer, xenophobia and intolerance, and on and on and on, I found it almost impossible to relate to the problems of these characters.
Meg, for example, makes her living by catering to rich clients, the ones who can afford more than the usual mass-produced products that most of us middle class and upper-middle class folks can afford. In other words, her chosen career is not in my list of 21st-century professions that contribute to the common good.
Pay no attention to me. I'm just feeling particularly grumpy and picky and annoyed lately.