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Book Lovers
Cover of Book Lovers
Book Lovers
Borrow Borrow
“One of my favorite authors.”—Colleen Hoover
An insightful, delightful, instant #1 New York Times bestseller from the author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily ∙ Today ∙ ParadeMarie Claire ∙ Bustle ∙ PopSugar ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ Book Bub ∙ SheReads ∙ Medium ∙ The Washington Post ∙ and more!
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.
“One of my favorite authors.”—Colleen Hoover
An insightful, delightful, instant #1 New York Times bestseller from the author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily ∙ Today ∙ ParadeMarie Claire ∙ Bustle ∙ PopSugar ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ Book Bub ∙ SheReads ∙ Medium ∙ The Washington Post ∙ and more!
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.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover PROLOGUE

    When books are your life—­or in my case, your job— ­you get pretty good at guessing where a story is going. The tropes, the archetypes, the common plot twists all start to organize themselves into a catalogue inside your brain, divided by category and genre.

    The husband is the killer.

    The nerd gets a makeover, and without her glasses, she’s smoking hot.

    The guy gets the girl—­or the other girl does.

    Someone explains a complicated scientific concept, and someone else says, “Um, in English, please?”

    The details may change from book to book, but there’s nothing truly new under the sun.

    Take, for example, the small-­town love story.

    The kind where a cynical hotshot from New York or Los Angeles gets shipped off to Smalltown, USA—­to, like, run a family-­owned Christmas tree farm out of business to make room for a soulless corporation.

    But while said City Person is in town, things don’t go to plan. Because, of course, the Christmas tree farm—­or bakery, or whatever the hero’s been sent to destroy—­is owned and operated by someone ridiculously attractive and suitably available for wooing.

    Back in the city, the lead has a romantic partner. Someone ruthless who encourages him to do what he’s set out to do and ruin some lives in exchange for that big promotion. He fields calls from her, during which she interrupts him, barking heartless advice from the seat of her Peloton bike.

    You can tell she’s evil because her hair is an unnatural blond, slicked back à la Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, and also, she hates Christmas decorations.

    As the hero spends more time with the charming baker/seamstress/tree farm . . . person, things change for him. He learns the true meaning of life!

    He returns home, transformed by the love of a good woman. There he asks his ice-­queen girlfriend to take a walk with him. She gapes, says something like, In these Manolos?

    It will be fun, he tells her. On the walk, he might ask her to look up at the stars.

    She snaps, You know I can’t look up right now! I just got Botox!

    And then he realizes: he can’t go back to his old life. He doesn’t want to! He ends his cold, unsatisfying relationship and proposes to his new sweetheart. (Who needs dating?)

    At this point, you find yourself screaming at the book, You don’t even know her! What’s her middle name, bitch? From across the room, your sister, Libby, hushes you, throws popcorn at your head without lifting her gaze from her own crinkly-­covered library book.

    And that’s why I’m running late to this lunch meeting.

    Because that’s my life. The trope that governs my days. The archetype over which my details are superimposed.

    I’m the city person. Not the one who meets the hot farmer. The other one.

    The uptight, manicured literary agent, reading manuscripts from atop her Peloton while a serene beach scene screen saver drifts, unnoticed, across her computer screen.

    I’m the one who gets dumped.

    I’ve read this story, and lived it, enough to know it’s happening again right now, as I’m weaving through late-­afternoon foot traffic in Midtown, my phone clutched to my ear.

    He hasn’t said it yet, but the hairs on the back of my neck are rising, the pit opening in my stomach as he maneuvers the conversation toward a cartoon-­style drop off a cliff.

    Grant was only supposed to be in Texas for two weeks, just long enough to...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 21, 2022
    A summer trip spurs unexpected self-discovery in bestseller Henry’s latest rom-com (after People We Meet on Vacation), a moving examination of love, belonging, and family. Since childhood, literary agent Nora Stephens has structured her life around taking care of her sister, Libby, four years her junior, so when an exhausted and—Nora fears—increasingly distant Libby suggests a monthlong trip to small-town Sunshine Falls, N.C., Nora eagerly agrees. As she wrestles with Libby’s irritability and strives to make her happy while trying to find her own equilibrium—including making a surprising connection with her professional nemesis, editor Charlie Lastra, a Sunshine Falls native—Nora must turn fresh eyes on old problems. Meanwhile, things heat up between Charlie and Nora, but the demands of their professional lives may keep them apart. Henry expertly captures the complexities of close but unbalanced familial relationships along with the distance between the dreams of youth and the realities of adulthood. As usual, her sharp eye for detail in establishing setting and creating empathetic characters engages the reader, and Nora’s well-shaded emotional struggles complement the steamy enemies-to-lovers plot and lovely scenery. This introspective romance is sure to please. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2022

    Literary agent Nora is tired of always playing the ambitious big-city ice queen whose boyfriends leave her for new lives (and new relationships) in small-town America. That's why, when Nora's sister insists on taking her on a trip to a little town that's straight out of one of her authors' novels, and imposes a list of romance tropes to experience, Nora is doubtful she can find her happily-ever-after. Cue Charlie, an editor and Nora's nemesis from New York, who mysteriously shows up in town and slowly reveals that there's a lot more to him than his surly exterior. Will Nora finally break out of her doomed pattern and find true love? Henry (Beach Read; People We Meet on Vacation) has written another sweet and swoon-worthy novel with plenty of witty dialogue, an evocative setting, and strong characters. VERDICT Truly a book for book lovers and a romance for romance lovers, this novel will delight Henry's fans, as well as readers of smart, sexy, and funny romances with emotional depth and storylines featuring family dynamics.--Migdalia Jimenez

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2022
    Henry's latest is a witty, rapidly unfolding novel set in New York's publishing world, where literary agent Nora Stephens is known as a shark. Scary, precise, and organized, she works tirelessly. She is someone people can count on, whether they're her clients, her colleagues, or her sister, with whom she's spending August in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. Charlie Lastra is a talented editor with a reputation for brusqueness, broodiness, and acerbic editorial comments. He craves complete honesty at all times. While wanting to understand how things work in the world, he has learned not to trust it. They meet over Nora's client's book, which Charlie badly wants to edit after rejecting her former book. He, too, is in Sunshine Falls, and as they work together, their initial hostility sparks romance. They are both true big-city workaholics who appreciate each other's ethics and brilliance, but both struggle with insecurities and the sense that they will always be watching life from the outside. Like Henry's two previous runaway bestsellers, People We Meet on Vacation (2021) and Beach Read (2020), Book Lovers is poised to capture readers' hearts and minds.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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