Book Lovers by Emily Henry

It has been a while since I’ve read a romance novel, due to a horrible reading slump I’ve been in. So I’m actually kind of lucky that my romance writers group is had a summer book club that read this book, and since I’m on the board I felt like I had to participate. So I actually started Book Lovers, but pretty quick, I was sucked in and read it in a decent amount of time. 

Book Lovers book cover

Nora is badass literary agent with one client who’s a massive star in the world of fiction. Charlie is a well-known editor who rejected Nora’s superstar client’s last book. Nora never quite forgave him for that. But that book blew up, and now Nora’s sister Libby wants to do a sister’s getaway in the town where the book was set. Nora’s shocked when she runs into Charlie in this relatively obscure town. He’s helping out with his family’s business—the town’s bookstore, which also happens to be the only place with internet. So naturally Nora spends her days there. You can’t exactly be a cutthroat literary agent and not actually work. 

One of the things I loved about Nora is her vulnerability. Despite the fact that she is tough in her job and therefore does great work for her clients, she has never fully recovered from her mom’s early death. This, and the fact that she had to parent teenaged Libby when their mom died, makes her super protective of Libby, feeling constantly like she needs to take care of her. This is despite the fact that Libby seems mostly fine. She’s married and has two kids with a third on the way, and her husband is an upstanding guy who Nora adores, too. The protectiveness Nora feels isn’t necessarily 100% appreciated by Libby, but they are truly close and I love how they work through things and Nora finally understands her sister better. 

I’ve heard some people say this isn’t really a romance novel, presumably because of how important the Libby storyline is, but this seems wrong to me. Because the whole book is Nora and Charlie circling each other until the finally get together even though they both have very good reasons it can only be temporary. It is a romance because they do figure it out in the end. That’s the only real requirement of a romance—the HEA or at least the HFN. Subplots are fine, and so Book Lovers fulfills that requirement. 

The book is full of wisdom and Nora’s perspective on things:

That’s the thing about women. There’s no good way to be one. Wear your emotions on your sleeve and you’re hysterical. Keep them tucked away where your boyfriend doesn’t have to tend to them and you’re a heartless bitch.

She’s not wrong. 

If you’re curious how these two overachievers can make things work, check this book out.