Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Penguin Books
First Published: 12 May 2022
“Sometimes, even when you start with the last pages and you think you know everything, a book finds a way to surprise you.”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank so much to the team over at Penguin Books and NetGalley for sending a copy my way!
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…
Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.
Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.
Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.
She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?
Emily Henry has done it again! I adore Nora and Charlie their banter is next level, honestly, the scene with the Bigfoot erotica left me in a fit of giggles. But don’t let the Bigfoot erotica fool you, Book Lovers does deal with grief and family drama. Henry can balance the fun rom-com vibes with the raw explorations of grief and fear of change effortlessly.
To Nora, work is everything. She is not your typical rom-com heroine. In fact, she is more like the stereotypical “other woman” — the career-driven, ambitious city girl who spends way too much money on shoes and she’s not long-term relationship material. The most important person in Nora’s life is her sister, Libby. Nora only agrees to the month-long holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina because Libby begs her to go. The town is straight out of small-town romance and Libby has a to-do list to match. But, instead of Nora finding a hero befitting of the rom-com setting, she keeps bumping into Charlie, her work nemesis.
I adore Nora. She is a city girl through and through. Work takes up way too much head space and she has a tendency to overthink everything. All of which I find entirely too relatable. Nora is ruled by her need to fix things and to be in control. Uncovering why Nora is fixated on having this control broke my heart. My all-time favourite thing about Book Lovers is that Nora is not punished or forced to change her city-living, career-driven ways. Instead, her ambition and hard work are celebrated. I would love to see more of this, please!
Charlie is a grumpy hero, who we all know is a trope that owns my very heart and soul, and boy, did he make me swoon so many times. He is the perfect combination of sarcastic, blunt, sweet and but brooding. Once he get a look into his own dark history, it all makes sense. There is a reason for his cold, reserved front. He is not being a just dick because he can be. The fact he takes the time to listen to Nora and remembers the little things she says in passing, honestly melted me. Who knew paying attention and listening could be so sexy?
I adore watching Nora and Charlie’s relationship unfold as they keep bumping into each before finally working together on an upcoming manuscript for one of Nora’s clients. It feels natural to see how they open up to each other. The pair realize that there is more to the other person than their first bad impression.
Apart from the romance, Nora’s relationship with Libby is a huge focal point of the story. Libby is the reason for the trip and the mastermind behind the small-town, rom-com to-do list. Up to this point, the sister’s relationship has become strained. Libby is about to have her third child and money is tight. With Nora’s need to control, she tends to jump into fix-it mode, which does not help when all Libby wants is to vent to her sister. It was wonderful to see them work through it and finally communicate!
I love how books and writing are always a major element of Henry’s work. Nora is a literary agent, and Charlie is a fiction editor. I love, love love, how Nora narrates and describes the world and people in terms of romance tropes. It feels very meta, like an ode to the genre.
In true Emily Henry style, Book Lovers is a fun read with a surprising emotional hit. The ending was pure perfection, it gave me all the warm and fuzzies! I am beyond excited for her next release. If you want a funny book, that has fantastic character development and celebrates all things books, then this one is for you.