A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
This was so much more than I expected! Thank the literary gods I saw a warning that this wasn’t a feel good fluffy romance because that’s exactly what I expected when I bought this paperback months ago.
What we actually get is a story that is rich, heartfelt, sometimes difficult, but so very rewarding. I picked this book up after watching a live video in which the author made a huge impression on me. I’m so happy I happened across the video because this book cemented those thoughts. It’s interesting, engaging, and thought provoking.
What I loved:
Gus is so complicated. His past and secrets kept me on the hook for much of the story, but once his walls started to crumble and the truth of his experiences were uncovered, I couldn’t help but fall for him. He is broken, but finds hope in January.
January is one of my favorites! Purse wine for the win, right?!!! Hahahaha She’s a hot mess and of so real. I think that’s why I loved the story so much. It’s real and messy. While dissecting her writing and past relationships, it becomes glaringly obvious that the romantic, but fake happiness she’d lived in the past is all a ruse. Real life and true love are not always attractive and put together. Love is made of practical things!
All in all, I loved this thought-provoking, well plotted, and executed novel. Looking forward to reading more from this talented author!