Narrated by Julia Whelan, Book Lovers by Emily Henry was recommended to me by a fellow book blogger and I devoured it. From the not so cute meet cute to the small-town with no wi-fi at the coffee shop, and sibling troubles, you’ll want to grab your earbuds and listen.
by Emily Henry
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 11 hours and 23 minutes
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x
An insightful, delightful new novel from the number-one New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming....
Nora Stephens' life is books - she’s read them all - and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away - with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again - in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow - what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
Julia Whelan is one of my favorite narrators, so grabbing this for audio was a no brainer. This was my first experience with Emily Henry, but a romance about two people in the book industry had me excited.
Nora Stephens is a literary agent and a perfectionist who raised her now adult sister Libby after their mom died. I connected with Nora on many levels, from her need to take care of those in her circle to being the oldest sibling.
It seems everyone leaves Nora, or at least that is how she feels. We meet her as she gets the dreaded relationship phone call. Her boyfriend is dumping her. All of which makes her cranky and late for her lunch appointment. She is never late, which has her frazzled. Charlie Lastra, the man she intends to pitch her client’s latest novel to, is already seated. Let’s just say this wasn’t a meet cute. From the onset, I was intrigued. I liked their awkward, snarky conversation and settled in.
In August, the literary world slows down, and Nora is spending some time with her sister before baby number three comes. The two of them are heading to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. I adored the sisters together and laughed at the bucket list Libby put together. We see growth and a change in their dynamics over the course of their month-long stay. Their thread gave this story a women’s fiction vibe that I throughly enjoyed.
I had such fun with this story. Nora is really a fish out of water in Sunshine Falls, from her high heels to her need for strong wi-fi and coffee. While Libby imagines Nora meeting a small-town hero and transforming her life, it is Charlie Lastra that she bumps into. Which is hilarious given the topic of their lunch meeting. Slowly, the two get to know each other and discover something more.
I liked Charlie. He is a solid guy who struggles with communication until he says just the right thing. The author did a stellar job developing the relationship between Charlie and Nora. I laughed and swiped tears while listening. So many quotable lines about perfection and finding the right someone for you. It was pretty low key on the angst and drama but the two had to work through some issues.
The romance is a slow burn with moments of heat. As their relationship grew, we saw behind their carefully crafted personas exposing their vulnerabilities and fears. Both feel a strong obligation toward their family. They bonded over their passion for the written word and the fact that they are a part of the book industry was delightful. The two work on helping a favorite author with her next work, one that seems to have Nora as the heroine. It was hilarious, sweet and allowed them to spend time together.
Book Lovers was fresh, heartwarming and full of humor. I fell in love with the characters and finished the audio with a smile on my face.
Julia Whelan perfectly captured the voices of Nora, Libby and Charlie. She helped set the tone and pulled me into the story. I highly recommend listening.
Never miss a post by adding Caffeinated to your Inbox
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
This book has everything, i love Nora. the amount of time she made me feel like i should get up and work is insane. she’s so motivating and hardworking.
So glad to hear the audiobook is well done. I am on the list at the library for it. Great review, Kimberly.
Anne - Books of My Heart
Yes! Awesome review. I really enjoyed this one and also love Julia Whelan.
Carole @ Carole's Random Life
I just finished this audiobook today and loved it. Nora and Charley were great together.
I will HAVE to get this book tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to it.
I’m a HUGE Whelan fan too Kim. It’s going on my list
Such a fun cover!
Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)
I love Julia Whelan. And I need to read this author, but I’m scared her books might be more women’s fiction than romance. But now I know I’ll be picking this one up! Great review!
I am glad you enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading it soon.
Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out
I just finished this and adored it!