Release date: October 27, 2020
Publisher: Dial Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers’ retreat in coastal Italy. She’s determined to finish writing the novel she’s been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.
At the retreat, she’s not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by “Aria,” meets “Dutch,” a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.
But then their real identities–Ava and Matt–must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there’s the prickly situation with Matt’s ex-girlfriend, who isn’t too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can’t love each other’s lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together?
I really loved the premise of this one, what happens after the fade to black, HEA moment? You know, when the newly loved up couple have to go back to their real lives and see if they’re truly compatible after a holiday romance. Does insta love really have the power to be long lasting? All super interesting to me!
Ava was what I’d call a typical SK character, slightly over the top but highly entertaining and endearing with plenty of charm. Matt was also a typical SK hero, again nothing wrong with that though, her formula is tried and true and the plot was fresh enough I wasn’t bothered. The side characters were also hugely entertaining and likable, if you’re a dog lover Ava’s pup Harold plays a large role. Overall another charming, light and fun read from one of my go to authors.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.