Title: The Love Note (review copy)
Author: Kate G. Smith
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance, light fiction
Blurb from Goodreads
A wedding dress. A love letter. A secret that will change everything…
When Maggie Burnett discovers her mother’s beautiful wedding dress just days after she passes away, she wonders why she’d been told it was missing…
Pinned to the waistband is a note that reads: ‘E, je t’aime. LS x’ . ‘E’ must be Elizabeth, her mother, but who is ‘LS’? Could he be the father she’s never known?
As Maggie’s seemingly happy life in London unravels, she decides it’s time to go home to Norfolk and figure out the truth once and for all. Even if it means running into Nick Forster, her secret childhood crush. What if this journey to the past is the key to a new beginning?
Warm and uplifting, The Love Note is perfect for fans of Lia Louis and Olivia Beirne.
I’d previously DNFd Smith’s first novel You’ve Got Mail because I’d had issues with the relatability of the MC and with the poorly drawn characteristics of the cast of the book. However I like to give authors a second chance especially when the blurbs of their books just grab me.
And such was the case here.
The blurb sounded so appealing to me. A mysterious love note attached to the MC’s recently deceased mother’s wedding dress that may or may not be from her father… sign me right up! Before I started I was expecting a novel wrapped in swathes of bittersweet romance that would make my heart both ache and sing, and hopefully there would be some wonderfully funny moments along the way.
I got none of that.
Sadly this book suffered from many of the same issues as You’ve Got Mail.
The characters were so limply described on the page. Their actions akin to the immaturity and naïveté of young teenagers (with far too much bawdiness for my personal taste) rather than a group of believably authentic adults. And at times the story just felt nonsensical with poorly plotted story developments. Characters that were described as being hateful or some way shady, suddenly transformed into pillars of decency and compassion! Nothing about the narrative ever flowed well imo. Instead it was stacked full of clichés and bland story developments.
And as for MC Maggie… nope, couldn’t relate. Look I know that all fictional characters don’t have to be likeable, and many of my all time favourite fictional characters are very much not, but when it’s a light, romantic fiction then I have certain expectations about what I’m reading. And the biggest one is that the main character doesn’t infuriate me which sadly is what Maggie did here with so many of her actions and thought processes (particularly re Ed).
Unfortunately this book just wasn’t to my taste and I don’t think I’ll be giving this author a third chance. For whatever reason we are not simpatico it seems.
*An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*
Publishing 12th July 2021, Orion Dash