This is the first Kate Clayborn book I am reading and I have to say I really enjoyed it and I’m considering reading some more! I read about one or two contemporary romances each year, one is always by a good friend and favourite author, so I now know where to look for a second!
This whole story started sixteen years ago, when a fifteen year old Will Sterling, kind of saw, but mostly heard the girl of his dreams. It was a brief encounter, as he stood beneath her apartment. This memory stayed with him throughout the years, as he never had a chance to talk to her. But he tried not to cling on it. Now, out of the blue, he finds himself back in that apartment complex. He just inherited an apartment there, which he doesn’t plan to use. Instead, he plans to either sell it or rent it out. But he finds himself talking to a woman two balconies above, in the middle of the night, after one of his very demanding shifts in the hospital.
Nora Clarke has a habit of getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to enjoy what she calls the golden hour. At on of such occasions she notices a handsome stranger standing at the balcony of her late neighbor. They start a conversation and before she has any chance to get to know his plans about the apartment he rushes back to the hospital. Despite her hopes that the tall doctor will appreciate his neighbors and the building, she receives news about short term rental plans that makes everyone unhappy. Not wanting to let down the people she considers to be her family, she sets out to sabotage his efforts, falling in love with him in the process.
This heartwarming story is the best thing to read after all the unpleasantries we went through this year! It surely takes your mind away from all of that, from the reality and sends you away on a journey through love. Reading about the relationship Nora has with her neighbors one can only realize that we actually chose the people that are close to us, the ones we consider to be family, even if we don’t share the same blood. And these people, or chosen family, will always be there for us, as we will be for them. They will always look at for us and they will support us in every decision we make, trying also to help us see what is best for us, without really forcing us on to something.
The characters are so real and so loveable you cannot not feel something about them. I was really emotional with Will’s story. This is something no child should be living and, maybe I am a dreamer, but I really believe this is not many children have to go through. The background with his parents and his relationship with them is not something common, not something you would read in many books about and that made it unique. Even though I was not happy at all with it, I really liked how it was all brought up, bit by bit, through Will’s memories and everyday scenes that really tied up with the rest of the story. And most of all, how it affected Will and his response to that. Self preservation took hold and helped him bare what was coming his way. On the other hand, Nora was so attached to her late grandmother that she almost forgot to live her own life. She lived through her Nonna, one of her most favourite people on earth, that was not with her any more. This is somewhat more relatable, as we usually don’t like changes and we feel more comfortable with life as I knew it so far, even though it doesn’t make our everyday easier.
The romance between them was so beautiful. It was build on bits and pieces of every day and every action and every little thought or discussion. It was a realization of sorts through time and experiences and it came so easily and unrushed that it was most enjoyable! It’s a slow burn romance that I totally recommend to lovers of the genre!
The book comes out on the 23rd of February, so do keep an eye on it!
Thank you to NetGalley & Kensington Books for an advance copy of this book. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.