Monday, June 24, 2024

Book Review: A Novel Love Story

By Allyson Bales

Eileen Merriweather loves to get lost in a good happily-ever-after. The fictional kind, anyway. Because at least imaginary men don’t leave you at the altar. She feels safe in a book. At home. Which might be why she’s so set on going her annual book club retreat this year—she needs good friends, cheap wine, and grand romantic gestures—no matter what.

But when her car unexpectedly breaks down on the way, she finds herself stranded in a quaint town that feels like it’s right out of a novel…

Because it is.

This place can’t be real, and yet… she’s here, in Eloraton, the town of her favorite romance series, where the candy store’s honey taffy is always sweet, the local bar’s burgers are always a little burnt, and rain always comes in the afternoon. It feels like home. It’s perfect—and perfectly frozen, trapped in the late author’s last unfinished story.

Elsy is sure that’s why she must be here: to help bring the town to its storybook ending.

Except there is a character in Eloraton that she can’t place—a grumpy bookstore owner with mint-green eyes, an irritatingly sexy mouth and impeccable taste in novels. And he does not want her finishing this book.

Which is a problem because Elsy is beginning to think the town’s happily-ever-after might just be intertwined with her own.
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

A Novel Love Story is an ode to book lovers everywhere and I absolutely loved this premise. 

Imagine being able to visit the setting of your favorite book. To meet the characters and sit next to them. To bring to life what you imagined in your head. I just could not get enough! 

Poston effortlessly blends magical realism and romance and has become an auto-buy author for me. I wish I could live in her brain for a day! I loved the characters of this story, especially Elsy. I loved the small town vibes and the little mysteries of what has happened there and the descriptive writing that brought it all to life.

I loved how much Poston made me think and reflect while reading this story. I loved the themes of self discovery and personal growth. I love that I am a romance reader and that was celebrated with this story. I also really enjoyed thinking about what an author goes through once they publish a book. 

“I argued, often, that once a book was done, once it was written and published and sent out into the world, it was no longer yours. It turned into ours-together. You, telling the story, and us, interpreting it.”

I think as readers we can really forget that a book is often so personal and important to the author and the story and its characters should be handled with care. 

If you love romance and have favorite characters you wish could be your best friends. . .read this. It will definitely be a favorite of the year for me and one I recommend to everyone I know!

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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