I am a fan of Booth’s after having read her second-chance rock & roll book, Bring Me Back several years ago. I also belong to a Facebook group that she co-started called Seasoned Romance, focused on romances with older (40+) characters. All this to say I am a Booth fan and I was pretty excited to get this ARC. Second chance romance is one of my favorite tropes. I read this book knowing it is labeled Romance & Women’s Fiction and both are true. I love when authors, publishers, etc help set expectations in the beginning. Anywho, back to this book.
The protagonist, Katherine, has a rather skewed view on love. Her parents had a rather dysfunctional love. As she’s gotten older, she has pretty much given up on love. Her sister, Amy, is newly engaged and planning a wedding. Katherine has a lot of mixed feelings about this and does her best to be supportive. During a sisterly night out, Amy takes Katherine to a concert of a musician and we quickly find out that Katherine dated this guy Eamon about 12 years ago when she was in college. And so the second chance at love begins.
There are really two main love stories in this book. Katherine and Eamon and Katherine and her sister Amy. The romantic love story fell a little flat for me. It felt too easy and a bit superficial. I think this is partially a byproduct of the book being romance/women’s fiction. I just wanted a little more from it. They spent 12 years apart and were college aged when they were first in love. They quickly were back in love and everything was so very easy. Because the book also focuses on the sister relationship, I felt a little cheated on the romantic love.
As for Amy and Katherine’s relationship I loved it. I LOVE books that explore sister relationships. My sister is 11 years younger than me. We have had a complicated relationship, but within the last few years she has become my best friend. Full disclosure, we lost our dad in 2016 in a car crash. So books with sisters dealing with their grief over a loss of a parent will always, always be complicated for me. Add in to the fact that Katherine’s mother died as a result of a car crash, well I become a slightly unreliable reviewer for the book. I can 100% relate to the way that Amy and Katherine leaned on each other. How they supported each other. How Katherine felt a bit threatened by Amy getting married and not needing her. I really enjoyed their sisterly relationship and wanted more of it. This is definitely the women’s fiction angle of the book and I wanted more.
I did enjoy this book. But I probably would have liked it better if it had really focused on either the romantic relationship or the sister relationship. I think particularly the ARC of the romantic relationship suffered some because of how big the sister relationship was. I fully recognize that because of my own life experiences that are similar to the experiences in this book, another reader my not view it that way. Because of this, I am not giving this book a grade. But I do think this is a good read and romance readers who are open to books with story arcs that aren’t just about the love match will enjoy this too.