Review of ‘No Parking’ by Valentine Wheeler
This was a nice read. My first by Wheeler and I believe her full-length debut. For some reason, I thought this was a novella but according to my Kindle it was a full-length story and it felt like it. This was a little different than I expected, but I’m a fan of different so I appreciate those aspects. There were a few parts that I felt could have been stronger but it was a sweet romance in the bisexual books category for sure.
This is a story about two bisexual women -either 59 or 60- who work next door to each other in the same building. The main character whose point of view is written is Marianne. Marianne runs a bakery and owns half the building and the parking lot that is always filled with no parking left for her customers. While she is in a mini parking war with her neighbor, she can’t help but find that same neighbor attractive. Is there a chance at something more for the two women or will bad blood get in the way?
I think the best way to describe this book would be contemporary fiction but with a light romance. I found the romance really took a back seat. The main character Marianne believes she might be asexual, so there are no sex scenes in this book. I just want to make clear that Marianne being asexual has nothing to do with this not having much romance. It was just that much more time was spent on family, food, and the whole parking issue which got more interesting as the book went on. Part of the romance issue was that the main characters would see each other once but then go ages without seeing each other again. Funny enough they actually moved too fast for me in the beginning, but then they slowed down to a snail’s pace. This was a part of the book that I felt could have been stronger. I wanted their relationship to be sturdier with a better connection, and there is plenty of ways to do that without having to add sex scenes.
One thing I really liked was the diversity. This is a very LGBTQ friendly town and it was nice to see. There were multiple bisexual characters, lesbians, trans, and even gender fluid. I also appreciated that the mains were older since we don’t see a ton of characters that are 59, 60. Both had been married to men before and it was nice to see their second chance at love story.
The parking wars part turned into a major storyline. Way bigger than it seemed in the beginning. I liked how the storyline twisted and turned into something different. There was almost a mini baby mystery to figure out what was going on. Add in some small-town politics and a fun court scene and I enjoyed this storyline quite a bit.
Overall, I like this read. It wasn’t the strong romance I was hoping for, but I enjoyed the other storylines. If you are looking for a book with some diversity both in age and sexuality, this is a good choice. It’s different than a lot of books out there, which I see as a good thing. 3.5 stars
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.