Not a Love Song is a second chance romance set over the Christmas holidays. While on a live daytime talk show, Bree has a small meltdown when asked (again) about why she never wrote a breakup song about one of her exes, Colin, an actor who is having a successful year. After walking out of the interview, she plans to spend the holidays holed up alone in a friend’s penthouse.
Instead, Colin shows up at her door, concerned by what he saw in the interview. Of course he still has feelings for her and of course he wants to make sure she’s ok. A consoling hug turns into kitchen counter sex. And then they decide to spend the next few days together.
Colin is fairly open about still having feelings for Bree. Bree is more opaque, still attracted, but does she want a relationship? I really appreciate that Colin never made Bree responsible for his feelings, not does he expect anything from her in return. Not a Love Song is a well told second chance romance. I never clearly understood why their first relationship ended, but got the sense that Bree was very young and trying to to get out from under her mother’s controlling thumb. In a second chance romance, the author has to make the reader believe that whatever broke the couple apart, won’t break them up again. Albright skirts this by making Colin ok with the break up and the years apart.
There is a lot of on page sex, including some playing with toys. The consent is great and they are enthusiastic and creative lovers. Bree is dealing with the grief of losing her mother, with whom she had a complicated relationship. Sex is the way she is willing to connect and be vulnerable. Sometimes she felt so muted as a character that I had a hard time investigating in her happiness.
Veronica Albright is a pen name for historical romance author Jess Michaels. She does a nice lateral move from Dukes and Earls to contemporary celebrities.
CW: grief, past death of parent
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley. My opinions are my own.