The cozy comforts of an English village bookstore open up a world of new possibilities for Evie Starling in this charming new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young.
At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.
Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.
- ISBN10 0593099486
- ISBN13 9780593099483
- Publish Date 2 February 2021
- Publish Status Active
- Publish Country US
- Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc
- Imprint Berkley Publishing Corporation,U.S.
- Format Paperback (US Trade)
- Pages 384
- Language English
- URL https://penguinrandomhouse.com/books/isbn/9780593099483
Evangeline Starling is fed up with where life has taken her in her thirty-three years, and after yet another failed date and being passed over, yet again, for a promotion by her misogynist boss, she is done. She is done with her stupid job. She is done with trying to find love. She is done being the only one of her friends who isn’t married and having babies. Evie needs a break from her life, and she finds it in a little town by the sea in England where she is going to run a bookstore for the next four weeks. A few weeks away from Chicago, doing something fun for her inner nerd is just what she needs to hit the reset button so she can figure out what to do with her life. Evie just didn’t realize that her vacation break would feel more like home than home ever did.
The little town of Alnster has embraced Evie like she was one of their own instead of vacationing tourist. Everyone is lovely and so friendly, especially local farmer Roane Robson. If Evie hadn’t sworn off men in an attempt to clear her brain, she would be so tempted by the soulful eyes that Roane directs her way. Especially since they have such a connection that it feels like she has knowns him forever. But right now, the only thing wants from Roane is friendship, and if she keeps telling herself that every day, maybe she might even believe it. When an opportunity comes for Evie to extend her vacation for another three months, she jumps at the chance, but can she hold back the attraction for Roane or is she going to give in to his sweet smiles. But a relationship with Roane is so much more complex than a simple summer romance should. Falling for Roane means upturning her life permanently or returning home to Chicago and leaving them both broken hearted. Can she take the risk or is all this just much ado about nothing?
Samantha Young is channeling Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as well as Beatrice and Benedict with her newest release but I found her also channeling a little bit of Jane Austin’s Emma in Evie’s desire to matchmake and fix everyone’s problems. As a stranger in this small village, Evie isn’t constrained by old family grudges. She can’t understand why someone can’t look past thirty year old hurts and simply do what is right. So like Emma, she whispers in the right ears and tries to get everyone to make the right decisions.
The only thing I found frustrating, as I have in several other stories, is the fact that Evie has sworn off men because of her bad experiences but when she meets Roane and they have such a instant strong connection, she can’t see that he is the complete polar opposite of all the bad relationships she has ever had? If you know what bad looks like, you should be able to easily recognize good when it is staring you in the face or at least give him a chance rather than holding him at a distance. Evie also has no strong ties to Chicago, except her estranged mother and her college BFF who I thought was very selfish and self-centered in that she doesn’t want Evie to abandon her but Greer has a husband and a baby on the way and her life doesn’t center on Evie, so why be so selfish and not encourage Evie to find a new life. Evie instantly finds her place in this adorable town that has welcomed her with open arms. While I could understand that she wouldn’t want to base her life changing decision on a maybe romance with Roane but what’s the rush to go back? As hard and frightening as it may be to uproot your entire life might, it was all working out for her so why was she planning to leave so quickly instead of embracing this new possibility. It’s time like these where you want to be able to jump in the story, pull these characters aside and go “Stop being a dumbass!”
I actually found some of the “conflict” to be incongruous with the Evie we are introduced to and who tells Roane that she is trying to figure out of she is truly lonely or does she think she is lonely because people make her feel that she should be part of a couple, and is also smart enough, when she decides to give her and Roane a chance, to say I might be leaving when my time is up or I might stay, let’s wait and see where our relationship stands at the time rather than putting so much pressure on it right now. Evie is quite level-headed, which I really liked about her, so when she finds out that Roane is much younger than her and didn’t mention it, because she initially declared that she would never date a younger man again since they are so immature, she completely overreacts from the level-headed Evie who should have immediately realized that Roane never ever acted immature which is why she is surprised to learn his age. She can be shocked but having a fit goes against character. Again, I understand a need for plot and conflict to make for an interesting story but there were moments of that conflict which made Evie go against the character we were given.
This is the perfect book for any book nerd. Really, which one of us wouldn’t dream of taking a vacation where you just got to play with books for a month. This story was simply so enjoyable with Evie being embraced by this adorable small town, even though we do see some of the downside of living in such a small town all of your life, but for us booklovers, it would be the perfect place to escape from our ordinary ho-hum lives.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Evangeline moves to another country discovering love and herself in this disappointing adult contemporary romance.
I either love or dislike Samantha Young books. Unfortunately, this was a hard miss for me. Evie annoyed me to no end. Her treatment of Roane as her friend / boy toy was problematic. Roane’s infatuated for no reasons school boy routine was equally annoying. Their romance was not believable, and certainly not their future. The romance world could use a good age gap romance, but Roane and Evie were not #relationshipgoals by any means.
Additionally, Evie was all up in everyone’s business. In a lot of ways, this story reminded me of Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s the one story I’ve rarely liked – the do-gooder with a heart of gold spending all their time “fixing” the people around them while coming to learn a lesson of their own. If you love Emma (or something similar), you’ll probably enjoy this book.
tl;dr A big miss for me with an unlikable romance and a groan worthy main character.