New Beginnings, Book 2
Heat Factor: “…if I were reading into my countenance on a purely superficial level I’d attribute it to getting stellar pipe as the sun rose…”
Character Chemistry: When you know what you want, you know what you want.
Plot: Shocked by a personal loss, a young woman decides to shake things up. The man she made a marriage pact with during a vacation years ago lets her know he’d like to collect.
Overall: I was looking for a soccer romance, and this is not that, but it was totally sweet.
I have been on a sportsball romance kick, and I wanted more soccer romance, so I asked Twitter for recommendations, and here we are! If you, too, are looking for sportsball romance, I personally would not include this novella because neither protagonist is actively involved in athletics as either an athlete or coach or sports-adjacent career for at least 98% of the book.
The length of this novella suits the level of drama. Although it begins with Blair, the story’s narrator, being shocked by the news that her dear friend and mentor has unexpectedly died, most of the story is light and fun with a generally mature approach to relationshipping. Blair, in her grief, realizes that she’s not entirely happy with her current life trajectory and starts to make some small changes (like telling her sometimes booty call she’s not going to come when beckoned anymore). She starts Facebook stalking outstanding-vacation-sex Leighton “Leigh” Forbes and, wouldn’t you know it? It’s his birthday. She messages him a HBD, and he messages back with a reminder that they made a pact to get married if they were still single when he turned 30. It’s totally cute because he got all into the idea while watching My Best Friend’s Wedding with her and also because they notarized the agreement.
Anyway, Leigh messages Blair like, “Check your email, we’re going to Vegas where it all started because you’re my future wife,” and Blair is like, “You must be smoking something.” I paraphrase. And then she gets on a plane and goes to Vegas. I would like to think that I would also do something wild to reach for something possibly totally amazing, but I have doubts about myself.
Once Blair and Leigh meet in Vegas, things really move, and it’s a nice story. As I mentioned, I appreciated that Leigh and Blair handled their relationship in a mature way, and I appreciated that they decided to really make an effort for a long distance relationship once they committed to each other. (And that they talked about how they were going to navigate this aspect of their relationship without one of them moving to the other’s city as part of a grand gesture.) It might at first seem like there could not possibly be any substance to this relationship if it was based on two holiday weekends in Vegas about six years apart, but Falls does create the impression that these protagonists understand the inherent personality of each other. They don’t only click sexually, they want to be their best selves together. Leigh is a sweet, thoughtful, attentive cinnamon roll. I rather enjoy the idea that it doesn’t need to take years to know that something is forever.
If you’re looking for a short, sweet romance without a ton of outrageous drama, this is a good choice. Especially if you like a first person narrator who uses a lot of colloquialisms, like you’re just a part of the conversation. The metaphors are something else, too. If you’re looking for romance with positively portrayed female besties, this is a good one.
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