This second chance romance set in a small press is just my cup of tea
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Second chance romance is one of my favourite tropes, when it’s done well and you can see that there was a valid reason for why they didn’t work at the time and why things have changed.
Here you get just that. When Auden and Carter split in their early 20s after a fairly lengthy college romance, a lot of it was to do with wrong place, wrong time and outside forces they had little control over.
When they meet again a decade later, it’s clear not only did the feelings never go, but also the pain and longing of knowing you had the one but just couldn’t hold onto them.
The way this is resolved works perfectly. The next bit may be slightly spoilerish, although nothing major so I shall hide it.
Although at times Auden irritated me beyond words because, while I could understand he’d been dealing with unresolved trauma from his own personal circumstances, I felt he placed too much weight on his mum’s experiences and not on the difference in his own life.
What I loved most about this book was that it emphasises the frailties of humanity, our fears, our flaws, the courage needed to put your heart on the line even knowing it might get stomped on. All of this is present in both Auden and Carter.
It also shows that people make mistakes they live to regret and that pride (looking at you Carter’s dad!) is more often than not the bogeyman in any type of relationship, whether it’s family or lover.
Also, as someone who started their journalism career at a newspaper still printed on hot metal, I absolutely adored all the luxury handpress stationary elements in this story.
This is a lovely romance, it’s quite gentle with a bit of angst, there are family tensions which add to the plot but nothing is overwrought or dramatic.
I loved Carter’s meddling aunt Bee and her wife Gracie, Olivia who comes to interview at the press only had a tiny bit of page time, but she’s fully realised and I loved her too.
My frustrations with Auden knocked half a star off but this really is a wonderful romance.
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Hearts Eye Press in return for an honest and unbiased review