I have to be honest, this is the second time I waited through a hold list to get this book from the library. I don’t even remember what happened the first time, but the long and short of it is, I didn’t get around to reading it before it was due. In most cases, I take this as a sign that maybe it’s not the right book for me. Which is weird, because sometimes timing is out of my control, but I really don’t think I have ever re-checked out a library book before. Huh. Anyways, there’s just been such a steady stream of people reading this book and enjoying it that I just decided this was worth another hold list wait…and this time I read it in the first week!
This is the adorable love story of Alexa and Drew. Alexa is a JD that works in Berkeley and Drew is an MD that works in LA. But when Drew comes to town for a wedding, and a chance encounter in an elevator (no joke…but the trope totally works here!) leads them to meet, they both start down a decision-making slide that has them feeling and acting in all sorts of ways that aren’t normal for them. But, as with any good love story, second-guessing and drama ensue, and the reader is left wildly flipping pages to see how things work out.
This is, essentially, a chick flick movie in novel form. And I do not mean that as an insult. It’s great! And exactly what I was looking for. Plus, it’s even better, really, because there are lots more steamy sex scenes than you’d normally get in a movie. The romance part of this contemporary romance is definitely on point – super fun to read without overdoing it with the language (thank goodness). I really enjoyed that both characters were comfortable and self-sufficient on their own, and really unsure (in their own ways) how to get romance to fit into that picture. It’s something I think a lot of people can relate to nowadays, and that kind of connection always makes for a better/deeper reading experience.
Other things I liked include the constant talk about food (that speaks right to my soul) and the great relationships between Alexa and Drew and their friends. Also, I thought the side stories here were fairly well developed, considering the genre. Drew has an emotionally difficult patient situation that he is dealing with and Alexa is pouring her heart into a project that means a lot to her but is not something easily accomplished. I also feel like there are some aspects about interracial relationships that are addressed well – not overlooked (because would definitely not be genuine) but not overtaking the light, romantic storyline. Last, I am a big fan of the ending – no spoilers, but I love that no one has to compromise their career, etc., for love…especially the woman. And in fact, the gesture from Drew at the end, in support of the relationship and Alexa’s work, is my absolute favorite!! Other than the elevator meet cute, I think my favorite thing about this book is how true it all rings, throughout the entire development and into the ending. I mean, it is, of course, cheesy (as it needs to be), but it’s not too far-fetched.
The one thing that bugged me, and I totally understand that this is real (I’ve been there), is the incessant assumptions and second guessing about the other person’s intentions/long terms goals for the “relationship” without ever actually talking about it or, even worse, despite evidence to the contrary. Like I said, I’ve been there. Talking is scary and hard and no one wants to be the one who risks it. Plus, I know that no matter how successful you are in life, there’s that little voice in your head that tears down all your confidence. The plot was written very well in order to advance this drama-inducing line of thinking for both characters, so that wasn’t the problem. I don’t know, I just…felt like, for me, it lasted just a little bit too long? (**Note: I mean this only in regards to the relationship itself, I felt the constant concerns Alexa had about her body were absolutely spot on, and was really happy about the general overall message of positive body image layered in with those worries.)
In any case, overall, I was totally charmed by this novel. I actually had to force myself to put it down and sleep after I started it because otherwise I’d have read it all in one sitting and been up WAY too late. So if that’s the mood you’re in – for a sweet, sexy, well developed contemporary romance, reminiscent of a favorite chick flick, then I definitely recommend this one.