Monday, 31 October 2022

CBR14 Book 32: "Love Lettering" by Kate Clayborn

Page count: 320 pages
Rating: 4 stars

CBR14 Bingo: Fonts (Meg's whole livelihood involves lettering, fonts, and calligraphy. Also, this was the first book on my TBR I could think of when I saw the bingo prompt.)

Meg Mackworth is known as "the Planner of Park Slope" and uses her hand lettering skills and creativity to design custom journals and planners for the rich and influential in New York City. Lately, she's really feeling the pressure of all the work and suffering from a creative block - not exactly a good thing when she's trying to complete the pitch of a lifetime. She's not sure why she keeps growing more and more estranged from her best friend and roommate. So when a former client shows up at the shop where she works and confronts her about the wedding program she designed for him and his fiancée, a beautifully decorated piece where she hid the word "mistake" from everyone, or so she believed. Reid Sutherland is a financial analyst who's excellent at spotting patterns, and he wants to know how Meg could be so sure that his relationship was doomed even before the wedding took place.

Meg obviously feels bad for Reid and admits that her action was rather unprofessional. She apologises and reckons that she's unlikely to ever see the handsome man again. She's surprised to hear that not only is he not married, but he's also shortly going to be leaving New York, claiming he never really liked it there. As Meg adores New York, she decides to apologise to Reid by trying to make him see the magic of the city, which she figures might help her find new inspiration for her work, as well. She plans a number of walking tours and invites Reid along. He not only agrees to come with her, but he also challenges her to little games and friendly competitions while they wander. The more time they spend with each other, the more their attraction grows. But is there any future for the two of them if Reid is going to be leaving the city soon? 

This is one of those romances that pretty much got rave reviews all over the place when it came out, and I didn't have the opportunity to read it back then but snapped it up in a sale, whereupon I of course promptly forgot about it, until the Bingo challenge came along and made me examine my digital library when planning my reading list. Having now finished it at last, I think it may be my favourite of Clayborn's books so far. 

I wouldn't describe the romance as angsty as such, but both Meg and Reid have some baggage to work through, and it turns out that the very private Reid has also been keeping some secrets from Meg that are revealed in the final act and complicate their relationship quite a bit. I'm not sure I was entirely happy with that whole plot strand, I thought it made things a bit too melodramatic. Apart from that, I liked the slow burn of Meg and Reid getting to know one another on their walks all over New York, and the little games they made up with letters and signs to pass the time. I also liked Meg's growing friendship with her movie star client (who I will insist in my head is Anne Hathaway, and you can't tell me any different) and the other found family friendships she had to support her. The most angsty aspect of this book was probably Meg's sort of relationship breakdown with her roommate, but I thought that was solved really well at the end of the book as well.

I'm glad I finally got round to reading this one. Clayborn is a good writer, and while she might not blow my socks off, I had a good time reading the book, and can recommend it for anyone wanting a cozy read. 

Judging a book by its cover: The cover is cute, but I think that a book that is so focused on writing and fonts could have a more exciting cover, featuring more interesting graphics. 

Crossposted on Cannonball Read

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