TITLE: Love Lettering
AUTHOR: Kate Clayborn
RELEASED: December 31, 2019
PUBLISHER: Kensington Books
FORMAT: eBook [ARC – Ad]
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
GOODREADS RATING: 4.22
TRIGGERS: Side character in toxic relationship
Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .
A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .
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Love Lettering is one I picked up on NetGalley while browsing. It simply sounded so good at the time, but.. was it? Did I enjoy the creative aspect? The romantic one? The expected drama? Let’s see!
[Let’s applaud this review for being the first one of 2020 – wow!]
Normalize periods! This book does just that! She flat-out mentions to Reid how she isn’t feeling well due to having her period and he responds in a normal way. Truly, in a “do I need to go to the store?”-kind of way. Can you imagine a guy reacting like that? Because all I see is wincing men with a “let’s bolt”-instinct? [Sorry, I just don’t have the best experience with men responding to me saying I’m on my period.]
Another one? She actually tells Reid how “it isn’t easy for her to come”. I can’t imagine having the guts to say that to someone, in their face. Another thing that should be totally normal and okay to do, right?!
Anyway – on to the story itself. On one hand, this story consists of a romance budding and building and growing slowly and genuinely. Two characters – one looking for ways to rebuild her life after her best friend and housemate announces she’s moving in with her boyfriend. Another one trying to find a way to deal with a city he hates, a job he loathes and a broken engagement. The way they find each other and slowly let one another in was done nicely. I’m all for slow-burn romance, people!
The second part to this story, is the creative one. Our main character’s job – Meg’s job – consists of hand lettering invitations, planners, murals, anything really. It’s the thing that brings brings them together, since she’s struggling with an artist’s block. Even though it’s the way they connect, she still has to find her own creativity as well. I enjoyed seeing Meg’s attempts at figuring it all out.
The final thing I simply need to mention in this part of my review? Do you know how most romances have this twist or turn you can see coming a mile off because it’s commonly done? I’m happy to announce the twist in this one was completely unexpected for me. I knew something was going to happen, of course, but I was very much mistaken what that something would be. Can’t say I’m sorry about that!
I have to admit it took me an awful long time before I got into the story well enough to want to read it. I’m not sure whether it was the writing, the way the story didn’t click with me at first or simply my mood. I wish I could tell you, but I honestly don’t know. It did ruin a bit of the reading experience for me, since I had a time where I dreaded picking it up and felt like I had to. Pretty sure you understand how that isn’t the best feeling to have, especially when it comes to an ARC!
Thinking back, it also could’ve been caused by the main character’s insistent describing of the way she’d see certain feelings written. Like, a flourish here and sans serif there and cursive or bold added. I don’t know. Maybe it distracted me too much? I can see how it adds to Meg’s character, but it felt repetitive after a while.
I enjoyed it, but I still struggled reading it at first. It took me a while to get used to the writing, to the main character’s nonstop mentioning and describing of fonts and hand lettering. Once I got over that, I truly got to enjoy the story.
What’s something you struggle with in an author’s writing?
Do you have a creative outlet – outside of blogging of course?