CW: Death of a Parent
Florence Day has been a successful ghostwriter for one of the bestselling romance author’s for a number of years. Or she was until last year when her latest breakup convinced her that romance is dead. Unfortunately for her, she has one more romance novel to produce due to her current contract. Her first meeting with her new editor doesn’t go well either when she asks for an extension and he refuses to give her won. Then she gets the phone call that her father has died, sending Florence back to the town that she ran away from to bury him. She has a rather love hate relationship with her hometown, and now she’s forced to face so many things she’s tried to ignore for the past ten years. And then her editor shows up. Or his ghost. Florence has always been able to see ghosts, just like her father, and she figures that the incomplete manuscript must be Ben Andor’s unfinished business. It make take a ghost to help her put her own past to rest and convince Florence that romance isn’t dead.
This is a love story about grief. Florence has a lot to grieve that she hasn’t really let herself face: the loss of a relationship, the loss in her belief in love, the loss of her ability to trust, the loss of her dad. In a lot of ways, it’s the catalyst of her father’s death that forces her to face her grief. And while this book is heavily about grief and loss, it’s not a heavy book or a particularly sad one. There are moments yes, but there’s a lot of laughter as well. Because this is a love story, and not only about romantic love. It’s also about community and family and the love one finds there. A big part of Florence’s journey is her realizing that she doesn’t have to tackle everything on her own. I cried several times during this book which is not typical of me, but it struck quite a few chords, and as an eldest daughter in my family, I really related to Florence.
And I loved Ben and Florence as a couple. They work incredibly well together, and I especially liked the fact that they get mad for each other for the right things. They are actually very well matched personality wise despite what one might assume from their first meeting. Ben is a great romantic lead, and I really appreciated the fact that Ben was so much softer as a person than his first impression would lead you to think. I also loved the several Princess Bride references that are sprinkled through the book. There was a moment when I was concerned about where the end of the book was heading, but it was incredibly satisfying. This book had just the right combination of romance, humor, and sadness to make for a wonderful read. Five out of five stars.