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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

From the blurb:

A hardcore science fiction writer and a soft-hearted romance novelist clash on the sunny South African coast…

Margaret Parker is a hopeless romantic whose fantasies fuel her writing. For Graham Connelly, science fiction is the perfect genre to express his cynical world view. A chance meeting in a lift leaves them both interested and aroused — with no clue as to the other’s identity.

Margaret has been looking for a face to match her new fictional hero — and Graham’s is it. Graham has been looking for proof that innocence and optimism still exist — and he’s found it in Margaret. But fantasy isn’t reality, and both Margaret and Graham are used to controlling their fictional worlds. Can they step off the pages long enough to find their own happy-ever-after?

I requested this book from NetGalley because I loved the idea: a romance that also explores the world of writing fiction? Perfect for me!

If you love a good romance story that moves along at pace with twists and turns, and is unafraid to really explore what modern love is all about, this is definitely one to add to your ‘to read’ list. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading, and devoured the book in little more than a day – always a good sign.

I loved the first meeting of the hero and heroine – wonderful chemistry and misunderstanding to stir the waters in the close confines of a lift. From there on there’s a good deal of coincidence bringing Margaret and Graham together, but a romance reader is, as the author points out, quite happy to suspend disbelief just a little when invested in the characters and story – and I was.

Margaret is a great protagonist. I think most readers will admire this character for her independence, and also identify with her for her love of happy-ever-afters, and her struggle to allow a real man to fit the image of her dream man. Graham is also a really interesting character, and I loved the point-of-view shifts that allow you, as the reader, to get to know how he thinks and feels. He’s not, in fact, as unromantic as Margaret (and he) would at first believe, but he’s very much a modern man who has no intention of modelling himself on Austen’s Darcy, and having been hurt by a woman in the past, he’s no fantasist about happy-ever-afters. The apparent mismatch between these characters’ takes on love makes for a compelling conflict in the book, and I loved the ending and how the author resolved the issue – most mature and satisfying.

But for me by far and away the best aspect of the book is the content on writing and books. I love the idea of Margaret’s book shop – a store that only sells books that have a happy ending. How I wish such a shop existed near me! And I really loved the dualism of Margaret’s hero in her latest novel being Graham, and Graham’s heroine in his latest novel mutating into Margaret. Ultimately, it is their writing that revels their feelings and provides all the clues to unlocking the mystery of how the other feels and what the other wants for the future. Very cleverly and thoughtfully done, I think, and an imaginative and unique take on romance.

Overall, a book I really enjoyed with the ultimate happy – but wonderfully realistic and warm – ending.

Love, in Writing is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.

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