Release date: February 28, 2023
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
In this heart-fluttering romance by Kristina Forest, a shy bookworm enlists her charming neighbor to help her score a date, not knowing he’s the obscure author she’s been corresponding with.
Shy, bookish, and admittedly awkward, Lily Greene has always felt inadequate compared to the rest of her accomplished family, who strive for Black excellence. She dreams of becoming an editor of children’s books but has been frustratingly stuck in the nonfiction division for years without a promotion in sight. Lily finds escapism in her correspondences with her favorite fantasy author, and what begins as two lonely people connecting over e-mail turns into a tentative friendship and possibly something else Lily won’t let herself entertain–until he ghosts her.
Months later, still crushed but determined to take charge of her life, Lily seeks a date to her sister’s wedding. And the perfect person to help her is Nick Brown, her charming, attractive new neighbor, whom she feels drawn to for unexplainable reasons. Little does she know that Nick is an author–her favorite fantasy author.
Nick, who has his reasons for using a pen name and for pushing people away, soon realizes that the beautiful, quiet woman from down the hall is the same Lily he fell in love with over e-mail months ago. Unwilling to complicate things even more between them, he agrees to set her up with someone else, though this simple favor between two neighbors is anything but–not when he can’t get her off his mind.
This was super cute and felt like such a mature romance without many of the same old same old problems and issues. Yes, Nick lies about being the same person Lily emailed with but the way he handled it was so much better than I’ve seen in other books. I loved seeing these two bookworms together and they built a strong connection as friends that made me feel like they’ll have such a stable future together. Lily’s sisters were such great side characters and there were some other amazing secondary characters as well. I liked her sisters so much I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this could be the beginning of a new series. I did a combination of print and audio and Keylor Leigh and Malik Rashad were both incredible. It was my first time listening to both of them and they were so excellent I’ll be looking up some of their other work!
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.