From the publisher:
Love isn’t always by the book in this charming romantic comedy about a bookseller discovering how to be the main character in her story.
As a self-proclaimed book hater and a firm believer that the movie is always better, Drew Young didn’t anticipate inheriting her grandma’s bookstore, the Book Nook. She’s in way over her head even before the shop’s resident book club, comprising seven of the naughtiest old ladies ever, begin to do what they do best—meddle.
Bestselling author Jasper Williams is a hopeless romantic. When he meets Drew at his Book Nook signing event, he becomes determined to show her the beauty of reading. He curates a book bucket list in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for his current manuscript. From going river rafting to trying local restaurants, Drew begins to connect with Jasper in a way she only thought happened in fiction.
When messy family ties jeopardize the future of the Book Nook, Drew is caught between a bookshelf and a hard place. She’s reminded that real life isn’t always big dreams and sweeping romance. But Jasper is the plot twist she never saw coming and he’s writing a happily ever after just for them.
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“Martin (Intercepted) shines in this enchanting tale of a reluctant bookstore owner and the author who shows her love is possible…The charmingly ornery Drew makes a great contrast, and it’s emotionally satisfying to watch her high walls come down. Stellar supporting characters—especially Drew’s bestie, Elsie, and sister, Daisy—add humor throughout. The result is utterly entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly
“Martin’s latest multicultural contemporary rom-com explores grief and anxiety and is romantic with just the right amount of spice.”—Booklisthttps://amzn.to/3Vdm8rf
I loved Alexa Martin’s Playbook series, and while I understand all good things must come to an end. it was still disappointing to hear. But then I read this book – I believe it is a standalone and it was so good! Even if it did feature a main character who hates reading. Cannot relate to that at all, but part of the happy ending, at least for me, is that the book hater gets reformed. Whew!
Drew Young is the book hater who also owns a bookstore. Yeah, does not compute. Turns out she inherited the bookstore from her beloved grandmother, bypassing her vituperative father who is still determined to get his hands on the store, just to sell it for the real estate value. He already sold the house his mother left him without letting Drew even take a memento. Growing up helping out her grandmother in the store didn’t instill a love of reading, but she is determined to keep her grandmother’s store running.
Luckily for Drew, a group of her grandmother’s closest friends, who she dubs the “Dirty Birds” are always around to lend a hand. In fact, they have invited a best-selling author to meet with their book group in the store. Jasper Williams, a sort of Nicholas Sparks type author only his books have the romance standard happily ever after (HEA) while Sparks’ are always tear jerkers. But he’s the only man I know to write straight romance-adjacent books, so that’s where my mind went. Naturally, Drew’s never read his books but is happy to have the author visit, especially since all she has to do is sell books.
When Jasper stops by prior to his event, Drew is shocked to find he is a very good-looking young man, around her age in fact. He seems drawn to Drew as well, and they decide to help one another. Drew has lived in Colorado all her life and is a photographer. She’s given up her dream to run the store. Jasper tends to move for each of his books, so he will be in Colorado for a while. He needs to learn about the area for his latest book, and when Drew gives him a detailed list, he has a counter-offer; he will give her a list of books to read, and she will take him to the places on her list. It’s a good way for these characters to spend time together, but things get complicated the more Drew’s father sticks his nose in.
I loved these characters and a bookstore setting always works for me! The romance is slow building and powerful, there is definitely an HEA, and the “Dirty Birds” add to the fun. Martin has never let me down; all of her books are terrific as is this new one. Highly recommend!
11/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
BETTER THAN FICTION by Alexa Martin. Berkley (November 8, 2022). ISBN: 978-0593337226. 336p.
[…] departure for Martin who has been writing the best sports romances, although her most recent book, Better Than Fiction, didn’t have sports figures but rather was a romance between an author and a bookseller […]