Love's Secrets | Romance Reviews, Dec. 2019

Clayborn delivers an emotionally resonant love story filled with charming details of city life; Ferguson’s debut is a touch disjointed but ultimately a heartening read

Cover of Love LetteringClayborn, Kate. Love Lettering. Kensington. Dec. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781496725172. pap. $15.95. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Meg Mackworth built a business and a reputation through her fine ability for hand-lettering and is now in demand as the “Planner of Park Slope,” designing custom journals and invitations for Brooklyn’s well-heeled. On an impulse, and based on her finely tuned intuition, Meg decides to hide a secret message in a wedding program she’s designing for Reid Sutherland and his fiancée, warning that the marriage will fail. To her surprise, he appears one year later with no wife and questions her about the hidden word. To assuage her guilt and hopefully overcome her own creative block, Meg invites Reid on walking tours of New York’s best signage. Against all odds, the two develop a sigh-inducingly satisfying relationship that’s threatened by the secrets they both are keeping.
VERDICT Clayborn (Beginner’s Luck) delivers an emotionally resonant love story filled with charming details of city life and the artisanal trendiness of hand-lettering and calligraphy that adorns the urban setting. This will be popular among the enthusiastic and growing audience for romantic comedies.—Meagan Day, High Plains Lib. Dist., CO

Ferguson, Melissa. The Dating Charade. Thomas Nelson. Dec. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9780785231004. pap. $15.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT After a string of bad dates, Cassie Everson is ready to give up on dating altogether, until she meets Jett Bentley. Jett remembers Cassie as the unreachable girl from high school, so he’s thrilled after their date goes so well. When Jett and Cassie each find themselves in charge of three kids, they independently decide that hiding their new responsibilities from the other is the only way to keep the fledgling relationship alive. Things fall apart quickly and Cassie and Jett need to figure out where their dreams for the future lead given the six new priorities in their lives.
VERDICT Ferguson’s debut is part zany rom-com, part family drama. The combination is a touch disjointed but makes for what is ultimately a heartening read.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash

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