Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Q: what’s your opinion about a You’ve Got Mail situation in books or movies?
Lauren Layne’s books always feel so glossy & sophisticated to me—like they’re letting me peek into another possible life—but they’re also still warm & gently amusing. It’s been a couple of years since I devoured her backlist & it’s always a pleasure stepping back into her voice.
But To Sir, with Love isn’t an unqualified “love” for me.
Likened to You’ve Got Mail & other examples featuring that dynamic, To Sir is about a fairy-tale obsessed woman, Gracie Cooper, who’s taken on a job at her family’s champagne store out of familial obligation & hasn’t found a (reciprocated) love…despite her very romantic nature.
But she does regularly correspond with “Sir” as “Lady,” & they share news & feelings & thoughts with each other through an anonymous dating app. But Sir has a girlfriend. His friend entered him on the app as a joke.
Sebastian Andrews, the totally awful man trying to buy out the lease on her family’s store, has a gf too. But also Sebastian is handsome & surprises Gracies sometimes with flashes of non-shark behavior.
Two men. Two possibilities. & also zero possibilities.
The interplay between Gracie & “both” men is charming, particularly between Gracie & Sebastian. I really go for a charmer lead / more uptight lead sighing in exasperation dynamic. The use of 1st person & the overall premise feels really relatable to my look-for-romance under every rainbow personality.
But the “You’ve Got Mail”-esque plot complications aren’t executed pleasingly. I often feel frustrated & or question how it’s present in the book—how the leads are acting, what is supported & not supported by the story itself, etc.
There’s a conflict moment to me that also feels shallow & kinda “huh?”
This is a fun read mainly because of LL’s voice & flair, but it stalls on the You’ve Got Mail angle for me.
4 ⭐️. Release date: 06/29
Give me that HEA, please.
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