I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Shirley Jump
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Publish Date: April 21, 2020
This book is perfect for those that like: Second Chance Romances, Wise Grandmothers, and Learning to Take Risks.
You might not like this book if you aren’t into: A Lot of Work Talk, Villains Who Don’t Get Their Due, or Weird Chicken Restaurants.
From Goodreads: When Kate’s agent gets her the job of writing Trent’s autobiography, she almost balks. The charismatic founder of his own outdoor clothing company dumped her when they were in college. But she needs the money.
Trent’s been so busy lately, he completely forgot he was supposed to be writing a book, and the draft is due soon. He wants Kate as the ghostwriter: she’s experienced, and she was always smart and hard-working. They can keep things professional, right?
In funny and touching ways, the project gives them a fresh perspective on the past, even prompting a road trip to Trent’s hometown that uncovers forgotten feelings. But will they both have the courage to start a new chapter in life?
Will I sound like a broken record if I say that Second Chance romances are NOT my thing? Basically, when it comes to break-ups, I’m very much New Moon Edward – “It will be as though I never existed.”, aka once we’re done, we’re done. There’s only been one exception to that rule and he ended up one of the groomsmen at my wedding, but that’s another story for another type of blog.
But I digress…
The premise of In Other Words, Love is a good one– finding out that the person you have to work for is a former ex? Despite the Second Chance foundation, this story also had “One-Night-Stand but wait, OMG, YOU’RE MY NEW BOSS” vibes, which I’m always here for, but in this case, a Hallmark Version of that. Because of that spin on an old favorite, I was eager to give this book a chance.
The romance itself was fine, if stunted a bit by a lot of business talk and A LOT of “do I still have feelings for this person? NO, THIS IS ONLY WORK” inner monologues that started to feel excessive in my opinion. It felt like I was being told to see how much these two struggled with their renewed attraction instead of feeling it and watching it unfold.
The real gems of this story are Kate’s relationship with her Grandma Wanda and Trent, Kate’s ex, and his journey to reconnect with his family.
Grandma Wanda is Perfection, y’all. Maybe I read this too close to losing my own Grandma a couple of weeks ago, but the scenes with Kate and her were my favorites of the book. She practically raised Kate and is still there for her, guiding her to realize how brave and strong she’s been. All this with lots and lots of cookies, of course.
While I loved Grandma Wanda for the warmth she brought to the book, it was Trent that I identified with the most. Like Trent, I too left home at an early age, eager to Make My Own Way and Prove That I Could. And, also like Trent, the longer I stayed away the more it changed my relationship with my family. He misses out on so much and realizes, with Kate’s help, that he needs to change his priorities in life. Those parts weren’t easy for me to read as they hit home more than I would have liked, but, because of that, I felt Trent was one of the most authentic male leads I’ve read in a while.
Overall, I felt this book was more Family Drama than Romance, but I still enjoyed it. It’s very much a case of Come for the Promise of Romance but Stay for the Power of Family and Forgiveness.