Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Synopsis (via Goodreads): In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts one woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy...

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid...

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late...


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I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Love Lettering was my first Kate Clayborn book, but I will definitely be reading more! I really enjoyed the ebb and flow of this story, and thought Meg's hand-lettering was a unique skill and an interesting profession. I've never really thought about hand-lettered signs, or how certain scripts can convey a specific feeling, but Meg's talents allowed Clayborn to tell a story within a story. Meg sees the world through a colorful lens, which sometimes produced somewhat-tangible words, and each one was tied to an emotion. It was a lovely way to experience the world, and it translated well in this story.

My one quibble would be the chilliness of the slow burn romance (personal preference). I did like that their relationship was rooted in friendship first and foremost, but I went into this one thinking it would be on the steamier side. They're obviously attracted to each other, but neither of them act on it right away. I thought their relationship developed authentically, and appreciated how mature their conversations and interactions were. Meg mentioned being on her period, and I was shocked to see a woman's menstrual cycle so normalized in a contemporary romance. It was even better when Reid didn't immediately bolt or act awkward. He simply asked if she needed him to go to the store! What a gentleman.

I normally dislike it when one of the main characters withholds essential information or keeps secrets, but it weirdly didn't bother me in Love Lettering. Reid was honest to a fault, so his reluctance to share something meant he was deeply troubled by it. I never doubted his intentions, or thought he wasn't sharing for malicious reasons. He cared about Meg, and he wanted her to be happy. I was completely surprised by the twist at the end, but think it really rounded out the rest of the story. We get an explanation that didn't make me roll my eyes or groan in frustration, but appreciate the efforts both parties made to make it work. Meg trusted Reid, and her trust paid off.

Sibby (Meg's roommate and best friend) was incredibly annoying at first. I'm still not sure how I feel about their friendship, but can appreciate where the author left things. People do change and grow over time, and that does impact relationships and circumstances. I understood Sibby, even if I didn't agree with how she handled herself.

Overall, I thought Love Lettering was wonderfully witty and creative. I look forward to reading more books by this author, and will likely read this one again in the future.

10 comments:

  1. Great review, Lindsi! I really like the sound of this one. I was interested when I first saw the cover and read the synopsis a while back, but reading your review makes me think I need to pick it up. I like the way you describe Clayborn's writing and I love the sound of both Meg and Reid.

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    1. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one, only that Sam said she'd enjoyed it! I won a copy on Goodreads, and started it shortly after it arrived. <3 I thought the author crafted a really great story with very little drama and wonderful characters. I think it's one you'll like, Tanya! :)

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  2. I loved Clayborn's last series, and I really enjoyed this book as well. I found the whole lettering angle fascinating, and loved the way Clayborn's prose seemed to flow like the pen strokes. Sibby was horrible, but at least her alienation pushed Meg and Reid together. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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    1. I really want to read her other books now! Yes! The hand-lettering was such a unique concept that really added layers to the story. I've never thought to look at the signs around me, and I doubt I would see too many that were done by hand. Sibby WAS horrible, but I also like that Meg didn't wallow in her worry, and instead chose to go out and make another connection. <3

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  3. I like the sound of this, thanks for sharing

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    1. Happy to help! I love feeding other people's TBR Monsters. ;)

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  4. I like the sounds of this! I'm super curious about what word she worked into the doomed wedding programme! I've never given lettering much thought at all so this should also be an eye-opening experience. :)

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    1. I thought the wedding program was cleverly written, and the hidden word was subtle unless you knew what to look for. Same! I've never really thought about hand-lettering or calligraphy, but loved learning more while reading this book. It made me wish I was more artistic, haha.

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  5. This book sounds so interesting - I want to know more about Meg's career and her special "talent" of seeing things.

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    1. She'll see the words play out in front of her while she's having a conversation! Not all of them... just the ones that stand out in some way! The descriptions were stunning. <3

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