Love at First

Love at First

eBook - 2021
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"Quirky and winning." 'USA Today on Love Lettering From Kate Clayborn, the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, comes a sparkling, tender novel about bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love ... Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw'or rather, heard'the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It's a memory that's never faded, though he's put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who's uncannily familiar ... No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won't let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by a promise she made to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting'maybe it's the kind of story that can't work out in the end. Or maybe, it's the perfect second chance ... Praise for Love Lettering "A novel of lush complexity, one bursting with humor, a tender melancholy, and meditations on love, friendship, and life any reader can find solace and inspiration in." 'Entertainment Weekly, A+ "Fresh, funny, clever, and deeply satisfying."'Kirkus Reviews STARRED review "[A] lush, languid romance that merges the nostalgic past with the technological present." 'The Washington Post.
Publisher: New York : Kensington Books, 2021
ISBN: 9781496725202
1496725204
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Recorded Books, Inc

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a
A1305846801
Apr 01, 2021

3.5 stars
I loved Kate Clayborn's book Love Lettering and her Chance of a Lifetime series. Love Lettering was an especially delightful read. Therefore, I was very excited to dive into Love at First. The first half of the book was boring, boring boring. Ugh. I was really irritated with the characters in the book until about the middle of the book (when the female protagonist became ill). Prior to that, I found the female protagonist and her neighbors annoying and didn't understand the fuss about Will renting out his unit. The beginning of the book was slow and plodding and the side characters were tiresome (except the medical professionals, including the male lead's boss and his ex-wife). The author was unable to create chemistry between the two leads and I didn't buy that the male lead fell in love with his female counterpart when he heard her voice as a teenager. Hogwash! The latter part of the novel saves it from complete disaster and makes it a passable read. Unfortunately, I cannot give this book more than 3.5 stars.

l
labraden
Mar 23, 2021

Will Sterling has made the most of his life after struggling through a childhood in which he came in a distant second behind his parents and then surviving their deaths when he was a teenager. Nora Clarke lives in the apartment left to her by her grandmother where the residents have become like a second family to her since her globetrotting archaeologist parents are never around. When Will's uncle dies and leaves his apartment to him, he decides to flip it and make it into a short term rental, but the residents, including Nora, have other ideas and find as many ways as they can to make the transition as difficult as possible.

Love at First is a sweet, fun romance about two people who are afraid to give up too much of themselves to love. Adding to the love story are the quirky residents of the apartment building and some of the cute, clever ways they come up with to make it harder for Will to make his apartment into a rental. He is inundated with food, and he is interrupted so much, he thinks he will never finish with the apartment. Especially funny and poignant is the poetry reading staged in the backyard with a microphone and crowns of flowers. Overall this is a quick and enjoyable read that would be great for the beach.

r
RosaReads2
Mar 14, 2021

Was this book supposed to make me cry? More than once? Please explain, because I didn’t get that memo.

While I enjoyed this book from it's opening chapter, I'll admit, I wasn't initially getting the all-encompassing awe of it's gorgeous prose that I felt from the very first word in her previous book, Love Lettering. Granted, the opening chapter of LL was one of the best I've ever read. The writing in Love at First was, of course, as stellar as always, but the story was a sly little thing. It built ever so subtly into this crescendo of emotions, heart-heaving romance AND friendships, as well as all the beautiful prose (without crossing into purple) that I’ve come to expect from this author. I really need to remember not to underestimate her. She brings it. Every. Time.

I'd like to note that Kate Clayborn’s books are not for those who want a swiftly moving romance that then moves quickly to sexual intimacy. They aren’t for those who crave melodrama and lots of angst. They aren’t for those who want to leave the cerebral to another genre. Also, no alphas here. And all this is why her books are absolutely perfect for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional quickie and alpha hero, but they don’t sustain me for the long haul. I need thoughtful dialogue, meaningful insight, realistic conflict and story progression. I need to respect the intellect of my characters and understand their decisions. Empathize with them. In this story and every one before, Clayborn writes:

✔️ exceptional dialogue
✔️ realistic and non-redundant internalizations
✔️ lovely independent and intelligent females (albeit, not perfect)
✔️ non-toxic, female empowering, role-model heroes (again, not perfect)
✔️ (and because it's worth mentioning again) beautiful prose

The gentle wording and pacing in this story was just as luscious and compelling as every prior book, but her books also read completely different than each other. I love that I don't get the same story twice and to always expect a distinct experience.

Love at First had very realistic romantic development. The slow burn enemies—to friends-to love loaded me up with those bosom-heavy feels. No less surprising were the original ideas for character conflict, how that conflict manifested itself within both mc's, and how it evolved throughout the story and was eventually confronted and worked through. This author not only utilized the character back stories, but the numerous and sometimes surprising (I'm looking at you Gerald - cue tears #1) secondary characters that fit seamlessly into the flow of the overall story. None were overly developed, but I felt that I really understood their placement and enjoyed them all.

In the end, I think I've doted more heavily on the author, rather than this particular piece of work. At the same time it's the author that I can count on to consistently deliver. The story is almost secondary, because I already know from past experience that I'm going to be immersed into a seemingly simple romance that ends up being So Much More. This book was an easy 5 stars and I may even add it to my all-time favorite list in the near future, surpassing Love Lettering as my favorite KC book. I'll have to see how it resonates over time, but right now, I'm kind of sad to let it go.

a
A1305846801
Mar 03, 2021

3.5 stars
I loved Kate Clayborn's book Love Lettering and her Chance of a Lifetime series. Love Lettering was an especially delightful read. Therefore, I was very excited to dive into Love at First. The first half of the book was boring, boring boring. Ugh. I was really irritated with the characters in the book until about the middle of the book (when the female protagonist became ill). Prior to that, I found the female protagonist and her neighbors annoying and didn't understand the fuss about Will renting out his unit. The beginning of the book was slow and plodding and the side characters were tiresome (except the medical professionals, including the male lead's boss and his ex-wife). The author was unable to create chemistry between the two leads and I didn't buy that the male lead fell in love with his female counterpart when he heard her voice as a teenager. Hogwash! The latter part of the novel saves it from complete disaster and makes it a passable read. Unfortunately, I cannot give this book more than 3.5 stars.

v
VolunteerVal
Feb 26, 2021

Nora and Will's story, set in Chicago, features an Airbnb-esque apartment, definitely a unique reflection of our time. The novel includes several additional themes (poetry, parental loss, progress vs. honoring tradition) with the most important: friendships can be found in the most surprising circumstances, and family is defined by love and support rather than by blood and genetics. The moment when the author explains the title's meaning - just 20 pages from the end - was completely worth the wait.

This is an open door romance with a moderate amount of details.

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