Leia and Tarquin’s chemistry sizzles from their meet-cute during a blackout in a London IKEA store on New Year’s Eve. Although the plot centers on their budding romance, Middleton smoothly blends aspects of their personal lives into beautifully interwoven subplots set against the backdrop of life in London and New York. The playful and racy banter between Leia and Tarquin is delightful. The heavy internal monologue and British slang may give some readers pause, but others will appreciate the insight it sheds on the characters’ motivations and actions.
Middleton elegantly balances the romance and sensuality by exploring challenges such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression. While readers swoon over Tarquin’s wealth, good looks, and love of Star Wars, they also get to see a strong man’s perspective on struggling with mental illness. Leia’s gratitude journal entries throughout the story add depth to her character and plot, simultaneously highlighting an effective coping mechanism for depression and anxiety. The heaviness in certain scenes is quickly lightened by the characters’ quirks and heightened sexual tension. This sultry, yet sweetly heartfelt romance is a winner.
Takeaway: Fans of contemporary romance will rejoice in this story of falling in love through and despite mental illness.
Great for fans of Candace Bushnell, Alexa Martin.
Design and typography: A+
Marketing copy: A