Heat Factor: It’s got its moments of heat but it’s not a rip-roaring fire of a book.
Character Chemistry: They’re very real characters–so their chemistry isn’t overpoweringly “meant to be” but it’s adorable the way they work through things together.
Plot: Adi is desperately chasing a story that could make or break her career–and on the way she stumbles into Finn, a dreamy project manager whose company helps lessen the blow when her whole project falls apart.
Overall: This is a very relaxing and sweet read, which makes sense considering Hallmark movies are an integral part of the plot.
This book opens with Adi in New York City, desperately trying to find something to write about that will launch her writing career. As it is, she’s piecing together an income with three different jobs while still living with her mother in an apartment that they’re about to be priced out of. While moping one night, she stumbles across an article about a small town a few hours outside New York called Pleasant Hollow, where a developer is working to build a high rise for commuters. She immediately thinks about Hallmark movies and pitches an idea to her editor about a real-life Hallmark movie scenario, and rushes off to Pleasant Hollow to fall in love with small-town life.
Only the small town isn’t like the small towns on TV. It’s like small towns in real life. It’s boring, the people aren’t quaint and charming, and most of them are either ambivalent or excited about the upcoming developments. Enter Finn, the project manager for the development company, who is actually the most supportive and charming person in town, and Adi is essentially out of a story.
Finn’s not actually interested in a relationship because he’s carrying the dead weight of his alcoholic father’s dysfunction. And Adi is really struggling under the impossible pressure of her own perfectionist thinking. So it’s not a huge surprise when the story falls apart and so does their blossoming relationship.
The story is really about letting go of expectations and learning to live and love with what we really have. It’s a very sweet and charming story, with very real characters–they’re not idealized and sweepingly perfect. On the other hand, the story Adi ends up coming up with was really actually kind of underwhelming, and so the subsequent ending was kind of out of place for me. I really loved their reunion and mutual grand gestures–it was very sweet.
Ultimately I felt like it was a nice book even though it wasn’t utterly gripping–which wasn’t, I think, the point. Much like a Hallmark Movie, it’s easy to read, sweet, and very low on stress. Which is sometimes just what you need.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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