This one grew on me after kind of a rocky start. A combination of it taking it’s time working through an awkward setup and taking some time to warm up to the writing style meant that I spent the first couple of sessions pretty cold on the whole thing, but I came around by the mid point.
Rosie and Jane are many things to each other – Customer and bookshop owner, author and reader, twitter mutuals with a budding friendship, Awkardly, between an online pseudonym and a pen name, they don’t actually know each of these. And unfortuantely for them both, Jane also works for the company that owns the building that Rosie rents for her store. And then the building is scheduled for demolition and Rosie is out a business location.
Read Between the Lines has a lot of charm, and the characters are fun to follow, but it does struggle a bit with the initial setup. The dynamic between the characters at the beginning is a little too close to landlord and tenant to make me feel entirely comfortable with the whole affair. There’s an obvious riff on 90s romcom You’ve Got Mail at play, and whilst that is a fun gimmick to hang a romcom on, I haven’t revisited that film recently enough to know if that kind of thing would be as uncomfortable there too. Fortunately, by the half way point this dynamic has been mostly de-emphasised and it has been made clear that Jane does not in fact like or want her job, and has only had it foisted on her by her family. It doesn’t solve all of the issues, but it backgrounds it enough that I mostly enjoyed the second half of the book and did not feel worried that I had already purchased the sequel (No Rings Attached).