ROMANCE

It Had To Be You

Emily Bestler: Atria. May 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781982133191. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Brooklyn-based wedding planner Liv Goldenhorn learns that her husband, Eliot, has died and was found by his secret girlfriend. Then that girlfriend, Savannah Shipley, shows up on Liv’s doorstep with the news that Eliot left his half of the wedding planning company to Savannah. She didn’t know Eliot was married or about his will, but Savannah knows that with some optimism and hard work the company can recover. She even has a wedding job lined up, if only she can convince Liv of her professionalism and that they can move beyond the awkwardness. When Liv relents, the wedding becomes a springboard for a number of love stories, including a celebrity looking for a private life, a fake dating proposal between friends, and new twists for a comfortable relationship. For Savannah and Liv, the wedding means a revitalized business and the invitation of new loves into their own lives, although neither was expecting it.
VERDICT Clark creates a quilt of diverse love stories, overlapping and meandering warmly throughout New York City. In her most recent since The Bucket List, each story Clark tells packs an emotional punch, but Savannah’s and Liv’s respective relationships, as well as their own evolution to friends and colleagues, are standouts.

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