Review: A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

A Novel Love StoryA Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Elsy Merriweather has a few things in her life she knows she can count on: her best friend, Pru, their shared love of Romance novels, and their annual book club retreat.

Elsy, a literature professor, loves getting lost in the pages of a happily-ever-after story, even if she feels like she’ll never live one herself. Been there, tried that.

But things are changing. Pru is on the cusp of getting engaged, her upcoming trip with her boyfriend unfortunately falling on the same week as the book club retreat. Additionally, the rest of the book club has sent their regrets for this years trip; everyone is busy.

Elsy needs the retreat though, whether or not anyone else will be attendance. She decides to go, solo-road trip it to the remote cabin, where she will drink copious amount of wine and read all the Romance.

Honestly, this sounds like heaven to me too, so I was fully supportive of Elsy’s plans. On her way there though, her car breaks down and she finds herself stranded in a quaint little town that seems all too familiar.

It’s Eloraton, the small town setting of her favorite Romance series! How the heck is this possible? Eloraton is a fictional place, yet here she is…

Rachel Flowers, the author of the series, passed away while writing the final novel, so the story was never finished. Because of that, Eloraton is trapped in time, where everything remains the same even as time passes.

Elsy feels like that could be the reason why she’s ended up here. To help the town, and thus all the people in it, find their perfect storybook ending.

There’s a character she doesn’t know however, and wasn’t counting on, a grumpy bookstore owner named Anders, with minty green eyes, and his own reasons to want the town to continue on forever just the way it is.

We follow Elsy, trapped in her favorite fictional town, as she meets the characters she has grown to love over the years of reading this series. It’s so cute, because it’s like she’s meeting celebrities. Of course, they have no idea how infatuated she is with all of them, or why.

I really did love this set-up. It’s so Poston, to have such a creative and quirky twist to an otherwise normal Contemporary Romance story.

I appreciate how unique Poston’s style is now. She’s really created a nice little niche for herself within the genre and her writing is so distinct. You could tell this was one of her books just from the writing and characters alone.

I did enjoy the dynamic between Elsy and Anders; their back-and-forth was entertaining and there was definite chemistry smoldering away.

The middle portion wasn’t quite as exciting for me as some of Poston’s other works. I found some elements a bit repetitive and there were times that I wanted more actual substance from her interactions with the townspeople. I wish it could have had some more drama in that regard.

The highlight of this for me was the growth of Elsy’s character over the course of the story. She comes to some solid revelations about her life while she’s in Eloraton, and I especially enjoyed the exploration of her friendship with her best friend, Pru.

With this being said, this is still an amazing story. I am just comparing it, maybe unfairly, to The Dead Romantics and The Seven Year Slip, both of which I 5-star level loved.

So, while this isn’t my favorite of Poston’s Adult Contemporary novels, it’s still hella cute and enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend it to all Contemporary Romance Readers, particularly if you’ve enjoyed Poston’s style in the past.

There’s just something so cozy and comforting about her stories. It’s almost required to cuddle up under a blanket with a hot drink to read them.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me a copy to read and review. I always look forward to Poston’s new releases and this didn’t disappoint!

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