Also by this author: Fight or Flight
Published by Berkley on February 2, 2021
Genres: RomCom, Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Small-Town Romance, Self Discovery
Source: Berkley, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Imani Jade Powers
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling's life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she's passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There's no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.
Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she's drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can't deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Samantha Young’s books. This one was on the hearteye, all-the-swoons, I-loved-it-so-much side.
If you are looking for the best book boyfriend, the one that your mom would love for you to date prepare for Roane. He was AWESOME. There isn’t a sweeter, more devoted hero from the get-go, so obviously in love with the heroine that you can already hear the wedding bells. He wants Evie and he’s not afraid to show it. He wears his heart on his sleeve and, while being the most eligible bachelor of a quaint village in Northumberland, he values real connections and honest relationships. The way he was so very gentle with his cousin who’d been abused, gah. Just gah.
Evie Starling travels to the village in England to try to find herself. Relationship after relationship became dumpster fires and she needs a change of scenery. On her journey to self discovery no men are invited. At least not romantically. So when she meets her dream man the friend zone is the best place to put him. But Roane is just an all around amazing person so he gets under her skin pretty quickly. Yet, this is a rather slow burn romance with a delicious constant sizzle between the main characters. Of course there is a secret and if you pay attention it’ll soon become almost too obvious what Roane is hiding.
“I love you. I wanted to tell you that I love you so much…”
He let out a shaky breath, something desperate in his gaze.
So much, Evie, I’m terrified you’ll disappear. I didn’t know this much happiness went hand in hand with fear.”
One thing that I had a small issue with is Evie’s reaction after finding out Roane’s secret. While I did understand that she didn’t give her trust easily and Roane lied to her by omission (which I actually understood), she overreacted in a BIG way.
The other thing that really annoyed me was Evie’s best friend. Instead of being happy for Evie she was irritated with her best friend. I thought that was incredibly petty and awful for a friend.
“You’re not perfect, Evie, rationally I know that.” He let out a long sigh. “But you’re perfect to me.”
Overall I enjoyed my time in this charming English village, that had a character of its own. Samantha Young has crafted a beautiful, sweet and delightful rom-com about self discovery and healing. If the whole village is representative of Northumberland I’m gonna pack my bags and go. There were so many amazing side characters I wouldn’t mind getting a story about. They even have their own Romeo and Juliet couple, of course, when a book title is based on a Shakespeare comedy. Viola and Lucas are so well fleshed out that I’d love to read their story. And Roane’s cousin, Caro, she deserves someone to take care of her. I really hope Samantha Young listens to our pleadings to write more stories in this small community who doesn’t accept outsiders easily but welcomed Evie with open arms. This story was the perfect escape from the craziness we live in at the moment.
“I don’t want you, or anyone, to wake up in ten, twenty years’ time, and wonder what could have been. Such benign little words – ‘what if’. But at some point in life, those two words become the scariest two words in the English language.”