Sometimes we are the people with the stop sign on the road that is our life. We need to get out of our own way.
What was the book about?:
Having endured a gruelling international flight and a difficult meeting, all lawyer Cameron Kassen wants is some caffeine. When screenwriter Julie Carter accidentally spills hot coffee all over her, Cameron is convinced that her day can’t get any worse. But Cameron’s mood quickly improves when Julie starts to flirt with her. Only in town for a couple of days, they both lament that the flirtation can go nowhere. The pair keep in touch but are kept apart by distance and commitments. When Cameron jokingly asks Julie to write her a love story—Julie agrees. Fiction mirrors reality and when Julie decides to add a surprise alternate ending to the story, Cameron is presented with a puzzle. Only by solving it will she be able to unlock the ending Julie intends just for her, but will it also unlock her heart, which has been frozen since the death of her wife three years ago.
Featured Tropes: Long-distance relationship, grief, moving on, Angst (there’s a capital letter there for a reason)
This book reminded me very strongly of the 2007 Georgia Beers novel, ‘Mine’, with the plot points of partner death, trying to move on, can’t, tries again, new love interest helps in the grief. It’s a heartfelt and interesting trope. I was thrilled that the MCs actually communicate their issues, problems, and dilemmas. The lack of communication between MCs in a lot of lesfic does drive me a little bonkers.
Dialogue is a bit contrived, and the story gets bogged down in the middle.
In a romance you stand on the sidelines and wave pompoms for the main characters. “Give me an ‘L’, give me an ‘O’, give me a ‘V’, give me an ‘E’. And look, it’s understandable why Cam is reluctant to move forward with any relationship, particularly the one with Julie. But I just wanted to grab her shoulders and give her a decent shake and talking to. I’d say, “Cam, love, honey, sweetie, you cannot string that poor woman along, no matter how noble and soul-wrenching the reasons are, for a whole two years, then get jealous when she moves on, for God’s sakes, woman. Stop being a bloody martyr.” I’d have opinions. See? Aaangst. So, yes, there is chemistry, but it takes a while to develop a balance.
The two MCs spend a lot of time at the beach. Waves come in and out, and this is very much like the push-pull of their relationship, which is mostly from Cam, and somewhat from Julie. This may not be Baxter Brown’s best book (it’s a debut) but I’d read another book by this author in the future.
Star Rating: 3 stars
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