ROMANCE

The Boy with the Bookstore

Berkley Sept. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593545980. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Opposites do attract in this contemporary romance. Joelle Prima is the stereotypical shy, hardworking girl next door and owner of Lanie’s bakery. She can never take a day off and has succeeded because of her work ethic and the support of her extended family. Joelle’s specialties include ube lattes, Filipino baked goods, and secretly salivating over Max Boyson, the tattooed owner of the bookstore next door. Max, the Insta-handsome, moody bookworm has also noticed Joelle but knows that the family-oriented sweetheart could never understand his background. When Joelle and Max are forced to share space due to building renovations, they soon discover how deep their attraction and differences run. The dual narrative propels the story, and readers get a chance to experience some turmoil before being rewarded with a happily ever after.
VERDICT Smith (On Location) provides characters with well-developed family backstories, albeit with a main character who’s a little too good to be true.
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