Book Lovers by Emily Henry

It took me two attempts to get into Book Lovers, the first time I gave up as it didn’t grab me, but I kept reading glowing reviews so thought I’d give it another go. I am so glad I did. Nora is a successful literary agent and a bit of a workaholic; Charlie is an editor with a reputation for discovering bestsellers. Their first meeting is not a success. Nora wants Charlie to work on the new book by her client, Dusty Fielding, which is set in the small town of Sunshine Falls, N Carolina. He turns her down.

Two years later, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ is a bestseller, and Nora’s sister Libby persuades her to go away for a few weeks for a break before her third child is born. Unbeknown to Nora, their destination is Sunshine Falls. What follows could be the script of a rom-com – I could almost see it playing in my head – as Nora and Charlie get to know each other and fall in love. There are obviously obstacles in their way, but no spoilers so you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

The story is told entirely from Nora’s point of view so we know what she’s thinking and how her views change as the story unfolds. The characters are well written and believable, there is a lot of humour at the expense of small-town life where everyone knows your business, and we get fascinating glimpses into the world of books and bookshops.

The outstanding feature of Book Lovers is the relationship between Nora and Charlie. The witty banter, amusing emails, and the fact that there is enough interaction between them for their romance to be believable make this one of the best romance novels I have read in a long time. The narrative strand about Nora trying to sort out all her sister’s problems did become a bit repetitive after a while, but I thought the ending worked really well, and am looking forward to reading Emily Henry’s next book.