Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 3, 2022
Watching an ice queen's heart melt for the right man is as satisfying as it is unexpected. A love note to book lovers, this literary romance stars the villain of everyone else's story. She's the stereotypical "unfeeling" workaholic; a woman who is successful, beautiful, and comes across as ice cold. She's the woman that the hunky hero leaves behind in every small town romance, and she knows it. This is truly her story, with a great mix of women's fiction and romance told exclusively from the heroine's perspective. The heart of the story is Nora's personal journey towards love and self-acceptance, but the romance is also an integral part of the tale. This romance lover was greedy for the swoony scenes - I loved both characters, and they were electric together. While the love story is not always the focus, it definitely had me caught up, and I also appreciated the smart, impactful moments that make this a well-rounded read.
The story follows Nora, a woman who knows she's not heroine material. As a book agent, she can see the parallels between her own life and the plot of a small town romance novel. Basically, she's the workaholic ice queen that the hero always leaves behind once he finds the love of his life... and that's actually happened to her several times. Nora has always been an unapologetic city girl who is married to her job, so when she suddenly finds herself spending a month in a charming small town, Nora is a fish out of water. She's out of her element, and the only person who seems to understand the feeling is the grumpy editor who is also in town. Nora wrote Charlie off as a jerk when she first met him, but getting to know him better has shown her that there might be more to the story. They might not be anyone else's definition of "perfect," but they shine when they're together.
I was grinning within minutes of reading this, loving the many nods to tropes, rom coms, and classic love stories. It's such an intelligent romance, starring a woman who most would consider unlikable or unrelatable. I loved getting to know Nora better and understanding what makes her tick. This is 100% her story, and that really worked here. Sure, I was impatient to get back to the romance sometimes, but I also enjoyed how unique the storyline feels. It's truly a blend of women's fiction and romance, about finding your own happy place and being loved for who you are. Nora softens so much throughout the story, but I adored that Charlie never asks her to. They make such an interesting combination, with plenty of sexual tension, chemistry, and banter. There's a great mix of small town charm, swoons, humor, emotional moments, and angst - it puts you through your paces, emotionally, and leaves a lasting impression.