The story is fast-paced and heartwarming as Arnie battles his self-doubts and confidence, while falling in love with Peter, his boss’s nephew. Struggling with the new dynamic of being embraced by his boss’s family, concerns over Peter’s age, and ongoing trouble with a workplace rival, Arnie at last is on path to taking control of his life and possibly finding happiness—or letting it all slip through his fingers. VanPatten keeps alive the possibility that something could go wrong, adding welcome tension. Accounts of Arnie's childhood and everyday routines—gym, Starbucks, local bars, driving with pop radio playing, all now haunted by the “ghost” of Peter’s kiss—both deftly establish character while giving readers reason to root for Arnie’s growth.
While this romance is a page-turner, it is a slow burn full of tension-building character encounters and plot twists, all set in convincingly real world and lives and building to a satisfying (yet somewhat unexpected) conclusion. Fans of character-driven contemporary fiction with strong romance angles will find much here to enjoy. This is a story that will tug at heart strings and inspire readers to just "lean into" the happiness and loved ones that life can bring.
Takeaway: A charming character-driven romance about finding confidence and love.
Great for fans of: Jude Sierra’s A Tiny Piece of Something Greater, Morgan Rogers’s Honey Girl.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A