Delightful, New Adult, romantic comedy
Reading Level: New Adult
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Length: 221 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Clementine Daly is a 23-year-old trust-fund baby who completed a BA in history and English literature and currently lives, rent free, in a family-owned apartment building in a nice area of Chicago. Her parents are globe-trotting, hippie-like anthropologists who abandoned their four children to Clementine’s uber-wealthy paternal grandparents to raise when she was only five. All three of her siblings are happily ambitious, actively working toward achieving challenging careers, but Clem is stuck. She knows what she loves to do: voraciously read romance novels, and write reviews for a book blog she created several years ago under a pseudonym. But that could never be an actual career–could it?
Then a totally unexpected encounter shakes up her life and interrupts her twenty-something identity crisis. While at the Chicago airport awaiting a plane to California, where her younger brother and she are flying to visit an equally rich Daly relative to scope out potential future employment for the two siblings in his real estate empire, Clem accidentally trips over a gorgeous young guy, almost lands in his lap, and is instantly attracted to him. Unfortunately, nothing can come of it, because they are just the proverbial ships passing in the night. Or so she thinks, until her brother accidentally grabs a cell phone, that he mistakenly thinks is Clem’s, from the table between Mr. Georgeous’s chair and theirs when he is ushering Clem quickly to board their flight.
I’ve wondered a time or two, in the advent of the age of the cell phone, how any romance author could ever again manage to write a, “You’ve got the wrong phone number,” type of romantic comedy. This author does a wonderful job pulling off an updated version of that “meet cute” setup in a very believable and charming manner. It also helps this setup that the two romantic protagonists meet face-to-face and are obviously mutually attracted before the phone mixup happens, and that they are both about the same age, Justin only two years older than Clem at age 25.
I really enjoyed these two protagonists. Both are writers, and both love to read, making this what I fondly call a “nerds in love story,” with a particularly adorable, Beta Male hero. Beta Males, in general, are extremely unusual in a New Adult romance, and I am delighted whenever I run across one. Unlike the typical Alpha Male NA hero, Justin has no tattoos, is not muscled up like a Wide World of Wrestling star, and though he has evident trust issues–as does Clem–neither is “mysterious,” “dark” or “broken,” which seems to be the main descriptors for 90% of NA protagonists in the teaser blurbs for these books. Which, of course, is why there are so very few romantic comedies in the NA genre.
The author of this romantic comedy has also achieved something that is extremely difficult to do, and which virtually no romantic comedy movies ever manage: she provides a witty, light touch without sacrificing sensuality or strong emotion. Which brings me to the sex scenes: None of the sex scenes are gratuitous or coarse, they are always romantic, and they always contribute to the overall plot of the story.
All in all, this is a very refreshing and very enjoyable NA romance, and I particularly appreciated that the author has provided, free to readers of this book, a bonus epilogue for this couple that I was delighted to download from Amazon.
I rate this book as follows:
Romance Plot: 4
Heroine’s Family Subplot: 4