Author: Kathryn Freeman
Mia Abbott’s move to Manchester was supposed to give her time and space from all the disastrous romantic choices she’s made in her past. But then the hot guy who lives opposite – the one who works out every day at exactly 10 a.m., not that Mia has noticed thank-you-very-much – starts leaving notes in his window…for her.
Bar owner Luke Doyle has his own issues to deal with but as he shows Mia the sites of her new city he also shows her what real romance looks like for the first time. And when he cooks up a signature cocktail in her honour, she realises that the man behind the bar is even more enticing than any of his creations. And once she’s had a taste she knows it will never be enough!
This book is insanely sweet with characters that are all semi-perfect. Depending on the type of reader you are, you may either love this one or just find it okay. For me, I fell somewhere between as I am a huge romance fan and I enjoy some sweetness, but I also enjoy some “sour” notes to my tales. I still loved reading this novel as it was a nice escape read with some great obstacles added for both the main characters.
Mia Abbott is 30-years-old and has moved to Manchester for a fresh start after she broke up with her possessive ex-boyfriend (this is further explored in the story). She works from home in graphics/computers and can see the flats/apartments across the way. In one apartment lives the Immaculate Woman who always seems put together no matter the time of day and in the other lives Hot Guy Opposite who works out directly across from her window every day at 10am. One day, Mia decides to break her stay at home routine and go to the local pub for a drink. While ordering her drink at the bar, she sees that the bar is run by Hot Guy Opposite, also known as Luke, and she also meets some local women who frequent the bar.
Both Luke and Mia have instant chemistry and excellent banter upon first interacting and it continues into the rest of the novel. Luke asks Mia out during their first meeting, but Mia rejects him due to his reputation of a player and her wariness due to her romantic past. One day, Luke notices Mia in the window opposite his and places a hand-written note in the window for Mia. Their main interactions start when Luke asks Mia to design a website for his bar and Mia, in turn, has Luke act as a tour guide for her new city of Manchester.
Luke and Mia’s nondates are cute and sound like a fun time. It made me want to go to the snow to ride those donuts! They have great chemistry together and it is entertaining how their attraction is incredibly obvious to those around them. Mateo and Sandy were great as Luke’s support system and I loved their interactions with Mia, as well. Stan was the real MVP as he was the grumpy older neighbor of Mia’s that became a father/grandfather figure to her and I loved their interactions. He helped Mia out even if she interrupted his current routine and I loved that he always looked out for her best interest. I feel that Freya and Grace are explored too late in the novel as there are some plot points that central around them and I felt that their parts with Mia were very rushed. For me, I would have reduced the initial build-up of Mia and Luke first getting together and instead focused on Freya and Grace’s fit between Luke and Mia’s relationship.
The other background characters were also enjoyable for the most part. I love how the women in the bar instantly “adopt” Mia as she was there alone and they let her join them. They were a fun group of women, but I wish Mia would stop comparing how she looked/dressed compared to them (and to every other woman). The women took Mia in as she was and did not make comments about the way she dressed so it did not bother them to the point where it needed to be mentioned in the story. It becomes a lot when Mia puts herself down due to the way she dresses as if it is a bad thing. It made me question, then why she did not dress up if it was so important to her. It was hard to understand as a person who typically is underdressed, such as Mia, but I do not care if others are dressed better because I chose to be the opposite based on what I felt like wearing. I also did not understand how Mia kept saying that she was not good enough for handsome Luke as the writing makes it seem as all of her past boyfriends were good-looking and Mia was never described as having body issues (just general clothing/style issues).
Overall, I just had a hard time connecting to Mia’s character, as she was surprised to find different people that Luke slept with and sometimes held it against him. I understand this might be in issue when you are first together, but it is extremely unfair to continue to judge him about his past while also saying that you are okay with it. Mia and Luke though were cute together and I loved the overall events that brought them to initially meeting. It is really a sweet concept to live across from someone and actually start a relationship with each other by communicating through notes in your windows. I am not sure how I would react if someone random did it, but it is cute in this instance as they at least met and got along first. This novel is light-hearted with a few heavier topics and was an incredibly cute concept that made for an entertaining read!
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and HaperCollins UK, One More Chapter for the ARC to read and review. The opinions expressed are completely my own. **