Primary Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Published: 25 Jun 2019 by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Page count: 304
My Format: eARC from NetGalley
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy on Amazon
My rating: ★★★★☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn’t correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy’s childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and he can’t figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken–and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they’ll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they’ve broken, the plans they’ve changed, and the secrets they’ve kept. They’ll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance–right up until the last out.
I’ve said in the past I am not a huge fan of the “romance” genre, but I am finding that some of the contemporary romance novels are quite enjoyable. I may have to rethink my status on romance novels! Here are my pros and cons about this book:
- This book had a great “voice”. All of the dialogue felt honest and witty and genuine.
- The characters were real people, with real issues, real fears, real pain, real friendships, real emotions… they seemed like they were a slice of real life. Part of why I don’t tend to enjoy the romance genre in general is that the characters and their whirlwind relationships tend to be so corny and fake and over-the-top. The “romance” in this book felt like a genuine relationship between two adults. Adults who actually communicated with each other instead of playing silly games.
- The story tackled some heavy topics like grief, difficult family relationships, mental health issues, forgiveness, and guilt. Of course it also included fun, flirting, love, and new beginnings. This book isn’t heavy-handed, but it isn’t necessarily a completely light read either. The story was hopeful and humorous though, and I thought it was refreshing that the characters were actually complex, flawed and authentic.
- I liked the relationship between Evvie and her best friend Andy. I thought that was an interesting peek how platonic friendships can be impacted when outside love interests enter the picture.
- I don’t like the synopsis provided for this book. I don’t think it is a good description of the story. I think the synopsis makes the book seem overly simplistic.
This book is a authentic look at an adult relationship between two interesting, flawed individuals. It is also a realistic look at platonic friendships and family relationships. Overall, it is a great glimpse into the impact of human relationships and how sometimes we all just need someone to lean on, talk to, and love.
Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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