I put a hold on Beach Read after narfa reviewed this book back in the summer and I can already tell it’s going to be one of my favourite books of 2021.
This book follows a romance writer who has become cynical about love and a literary writer stuck in the research stage. To get past their writers block, they swap genres for the summer. Shenanigans ensue.
This book tackles what I think is the most taboo subject in romance – deliberate, ongoing infidelity, and does so with a lot of compassion. The reason I love romance so much is because it allows me to explore other world views in a safe environment and this book really challenged my views on this.
This book is very well paced, the characters are fleshed out and three dimensional, the story is one that feels both remote from real life (how many people can relate to finding out their father has a second family after he dies?) but also very grounded and real. There is instant chemistry between the leads but it doesn’t have the air of my biggest pet peeve, instalove. The relationship builds believably over time and provides some very thoughtful commentary on HEAs generally even while delivering the kind of ending most romance readers expect.
There are highly emotional scenes, but the book doesn’t read as maudlin. I agree with narfa that this is not a comedy by any means but it does have a sense of humour and to me, on balance, the book ends up reading pretty funny.
It even helped me get past some writers block myself.