Pretty Good... for a Romance

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bookishknitter Avatar


This is a tough one for me to rate. I don't typically read romance novels, but thought the premise for this one sounded cute. I'm giving it three stars because while it was probably only a 2 or 3 star read for my personal taste I thought it was a 4 star read for a romance novel considering romance is a genre I don't typically enjoy.

What made it great: Will and Nora just have a great story, from their first meet cute to the development of their relationship. They work really well together. It's also noteworthy that I REALLY liked Will-- I'm typically frustrated by the men in romance novels, but Will was someone I genuinely felt I could be friends with. He's down to-earth almost to a fault, but not arrogant. Nora likewise is incredibly likeable with her strong sense of community and place.

The Midwestern community living in the apartment building in question is delightful. We're talking full-on casserole meal train here, as well as a coworker of Will's who seems to know someone in every field. The side plots of how family and friends shape you for better or for worse are also worth exploring.

What wasn't for me (but might not be an issue for you): I prefer closed-door romances, full stop. I don't want to know what happens in the bedroom. This is my biggest turn-off for the romance genre as a whole, but I realize that other readers can read or skim past these parts without issue. Secondly, while I enjoyed the plot overall, I did feel as though the story started to lean into common romance clichés by the end. Again, these clichés may be adored by other readers, and is less a critique of a the book than it is a reader preference. (I am quite partial to nearly every mystery trope. Gimme rich people stuck in a mansion and I'm a very happy reader. Gimme a girl who hides a smile when a guy runs his fingers through his hair and I want to throw the book across the room. To each his own)

So overall, I don't think this was quite the book for me, but I can't deny that it is a romance done well.