Author: Kate Clayborn
What I’m Talking About:
Note: I received an audiobook review copy of this title from Recorded Books. This version, narrated by Brittany Pressley, was not released to the public, therefore I will only be reviewing the story/content, without the narration. If you are interested in the audiobook version of the book, it was released by Tantor Audio, with Nicol Zanzarella narrating the title.
Meg is a talented, hand-lettering artist, well-known for her personalized planners. She used to do weddings, but one year ago, she did her last wedding. That was when she put a secret code into Ashley and Reid’s wedding program… one that spelled “Mistake.”
Unhappy and suffering a creative block, Meg has spent the last several months mostly alone and isolated. Her best friend and roommate has grown distant, and her work is frustrating. Meg is good at hiding her feelings and goes along with those around her in an effort to avoid conflict and confrontation. She is filling in at the shop she once worked on a quiet Sunday afternoon when Reid comes back into the shop to find her and ask her how she knew his marriage would fail (he never got married). He shows her he found the code – the secret that would destroy her career if it ever got out.
Recognizing something has to change in order to get her life on track, she enlists the help of Reid to join her on “city walks,” so that they can look at different signs and lettering around New York. This is awkward and difficult because she feels she ruined his life by interfering with his wedding. As we experience these painful moments alongside of Meg, we feel her struggling. Ms. Clayborn expertly expresses Meg’s emotions, making them relatable. Something, including an unmentionable attraction, keeps Meg going – gets her to try and try again. I love how Reid also seems to be drawn to Meg (we don’t know because the story is shared via Meg’s first person POV). He struggles and missteps, but he adds so much to the walks. He helps Meg enjoy letters again.
But the story isn’t just about Meg’s work or the budding romance with Reid, it’s about her growth as an individual. Growing up in a household with parents who didn’t like each other colored Meg’s view of the world and how relationships work. She avoids conflict and keeps her feelings bottled up inside. When she finally opens up to her friends, they explain that fights and confrontation aren’t bad, and that she just doesn’t know how to do it right. I love how it gets Meg to think about her choices; how she realizes that to keep her friendships with Sybie, Lark, and Reid, she needs to confront her feelings.
Additionally, one of the things I loved about Love Lettering is Meg’s lovely artistic view of words. Ms. Clayborn gets us into Meg’s mind as she describes in detail how Meg visualizes the words around her, the words she’s feeling, the words spoken to her. It’s a beautiful way to immerse the reader into the story and Meg’s point-of-view.
Love Lettering is a wonderful, slow burn smolder about real people and hard issues; about growing into the person you were meant to be with the love and support of others; about finding true love and fighting to keep it through the good and hard times. The story is passionate and passion-filled. Meg’s love for words and letters is poetic and moving. Her story is moving. This is a wonderful romance and deserves all the praise.
My Rating: A, Loved It
Love Lettering also receives an honorable mention as one of my favorite books.
About the Book:
Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .
A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .
Release Date: December 31, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (320 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Recorded Books
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