A cute rom-com about finding true love despite a rocky start
As happens every so often, I found myself liking Read Between the Lines more at the end than at the beginning.
What the book is about: Rosie inherited her mother’s bookstore, Between the Pages, and couldn’t be happier about her job. She’s a huge book nerd and loves nothing more than recommending the right book to the right person. When she’s not working, she chats, via Twitter DMs, with Brie, her favourite lesfic author. Rosie might even have a crush on Brie… They talk about everything, except their real identities. When Rosie gets a letter from Jane Breslin, property manager at Breslin Property Development, letting her know the bookstore’s lease won’t be renewed, all she tells Brie is that she had a rough day. She doesn’t tell her either about the hot suit-wearing woman who came into the store with her adorable niece. Little does she know that both Brie and the sexy aunt are actually Jane Breslin…
For the first time since I started reading Rachel Lacey’s books, it took me a pretty long time to really feel invested in the story. Maybe because this was marketed as a You’ve Got Mail inspired enemies-to-lovers romance, and I’m not a fan of the movie (I do love Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner, however). I liked both MCs but I didn’t feel the chemistry and while I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t captivated either. Once Jane and Rosie realise who the other is, however, the chemistry is much more obvious, and I really felt the connection.
Read Between the Lines starts indeed as an enemies-to-lovers romance, but it’s mostly opposites attract, with Jane being an introvert and Rosie an extrovert. Jane is sweet but awkward and Rosie is always trying to find the bright side of events. She’s an optimist and a go-getter, and even when she’s scared of losing her beloved bookstore, she keeps looking for ways to beat the odds. Her best friend Lia is wonderfully supportive, as are her other roommates and friends. Jane doesn’t have friends but she can always count on her sister to cheer her on, even against their parents’ will.
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and until that happened, I couldn’t let myself fully enjoy the romance. This feeling of dread wouldn’t leave me. I was actually relieved when it happened because it made sense and also it didn’t, which is kinda what life is about, making do with things that don’t make sense. And the characters could finally work on fixing things. Whether they’d succeed or not was never a real question, since romance demands a HEA or HFN, but how they would, and whether I’d believe it, was.
Rosie and Jane are meant to be together, and them being apart could only last a little while. Their love is too strong and too real, and they’ve addressed their issues from the beginning. They didn’t fix them from the beginning, however (hence the sense of dread), which wouldn’t have been plausible anyway. The ending could have felt rushed but because of what made me uneasy before, it didn’t. I’d been worried as I was reading, that I wasn’t enjoying the story as much as I had hoped. But in the end, it worked. Everything that kept me on my toes, even as it all felt very mellow, led to this ending. I closed this book with a really good feeling. 4 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.