Charming small-town, slow-burn romance
A Novel Love Story Book Cover A Novel Love Story
Ashley Poston
Feel-Good Fiction, Contemporary Women Fiction, Romantic Comedy
June 25, 2024
Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle

A professor of literature finds herself caught up in a work of fiction…literally, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Year Slip and The Dead Romantics. Eileen Merriweather loves to get lost in a good happily-ever-after. The fictional kind, anyway. Because at least imaginary men don’t leave you at the altar. She feels safe in a book. At home. Which might be why she’s so set on going her annual book club retreat this year—she needs good friends, cheap wine, and grand romantic gestures—no matter what. But when her car unexpectedly breaks down on the way, she finds herself stranded in a quaint town that feels like it’s right out of a novel… Because it is. This place can’t be real, and yet… she’s here, in Eloraton, the town of her favorite romance series, where the candy store’s honey taffy is always sweet, the local bar’s burgers are always a little burnt, and rain always comes in the afternoon. It feels like home. It’s perfect—and perfectly frozen, trapped in the late author’s last unfinished story. Elsy is sure that’s why she must be here: to help bring the town to its storybook ending. Except there is a character in Eloraton that she can’t place—a grumpy bookstore owner with mint-green eyes, an irritatingly sexy mouth and impeccable taste in novels. And he does not want her finishing this book. Which is a problem because Elsy is beginning to think the town’s happily-ever-after might just be intertwined with her own.

A Novel Love Story is a love story to love stories

A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston was delightful. I have been on a kick of reading books set in contemporary settings that have a touch of magic—magic that is just generally accepted, embraced, and enjoyed. These stories make me so happy. A Novel Love Story beautifully delivered my magical realism fix.

A bookish romance for the bookish

Elsy, a college professor, avid romance reader, and seeker of happy endings, is struggling. She is recovering from a traumatic breakup and feels left behind. Her best friend is about to get engaged, and all the members of her book club have ditched their annual meetup at the cabin because they have competing plans. She needs a break. She needs her week of reading books in a remote cabin to decompress from all of it, so she decides to go alone.

But life has other plans, and her drive to the cabin is riddled with obstacles, including a terrible storm and no GPS. She pulls off at an exit trying to find her way and almost runs into a man standing in the middle of the road. After her car veers off the road and a subsequent altercation with this man, she decides to stay the night. When she wakes up the next day, she realizes the town is strangely familiar. But it’s not just the town; it’s the residents. She knows all of them intimately because they are all fictional characters in her favorite book series.

Elsy is stranded in a town that doesn’t exist, surrounded by people that should only exist in the pages of her book.

But who’s the moody bookstore owner she almost ran over?

Anders is not a character in the book series, so who is he, and why is he here? Could he be the main character in the unwritten book? Unfortunately, the author died before she could complete the series. This left Elsy with a huge unfinished-story hole in her heart. Can she help fix some of these characters’ journeys to help them find their happy endings? Can she live out the rest of the series? Will she allow herself to fall for a fictional character?

“I wanted him to kiss me again, sitting on this park bench, on such a lovely summer night. The fireflies danced around us, the wind winding through the trees, and when he set his eyes on me, I felt like the only story he wanted to read. And that was dangerous, because he was fictional and Rachel had written someone for him. Someone good.”

A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

Isn’t it every reader’s dream to live in their favorite fictional town?

I enjoyed so much my time with this book. The characters were charming, the magic was perfect and the twist was unexpected. There’s a sweet melancholy that permeates throughout the story, but it has strong waves of happy light shining through. It was an ode to all the small-town love stories I love so much and that I would be elated to live in even for just a few minutes. Thanks to A Novel Love Story, I feel like I did!

This book was provided in exchance for an honest review graphic