Nora is a bad-ass boss bitch, on the top of her game as a literary agent. She meets editor Charlie for a lunch meeting that goes sour. His serious, grumpy attitude clashes with her determined attempt at staying polite while arguing over one of her projects. When Nora gets dumped by her boyfriend, she flees with her sister to a small town and who does she run into? Exactly, Charlie.
Charlie catches my forearms before I can tumble all the way down, steadying me with the words “What the hell?” fly out of him.
After the pain and shock comes recognition, followed swiftly by confusion.
“Nora Stephens.” My name sounds like a swear.
He gapes at me; I gape back.
I blurt, “I’m on vacation!”
His confusion deepens.
“I just… I’m not stalking you.”
His eyebrows furrow. “Okay?”
He releases my forearms. “More convincing every time you say it.”
It’s not exactly an enemies-turn-to-lovers trope, but it’s not far off. A grumpy man getting chipped away at by a successful, happy woman. And then that man working to open up her heart to allow for a relationship. And of course, a delicious happy ending!
“I love you, Nora,” he says when we pull apart a few inches to breathe. “I think I love everything about you.”
“Even my Peloton?” I ask.
“Great piece of equipment,” he says.
“The fact that I check my email after work hours?”
“Just makes it easier to share Bigfoot erotica without having to walk across the room,” he says.
“Sometimes I wear very impractical shoes,” I add.
“Nothing impractical about looking hot,” he says.
“And what about my bloodlust?”
His eyes go heavy as he smiles. “That,” he says, “might be my favorite thing. Be my shark, Stephens.”
“Already was,” I say. “Always have been.”
“I love you,” he says again.
“I love you too.” I don’t have to force it past a knot or through the vise of a tight throat. It’s simply the truth, and it breathes out of me, a wisp of smoke, a sigh, another floating blossom on a current carrying billions of them.
“I know,” he says. “I can ready you like a book.”
And then there is an epilogue that was written in a very elegant way. The whole book is narrated through Nora’s eyes. But it’s not anymore in the last chapter. The last chapter is written as if narrated by an outside observer. The narrator describes a party and tries to figure out who it is for by describing the scene and the happy people present.
Another great summer read!