As a lover of books, no one would be surprised to learn that I’d love to open a bookstore (with a café) one day. It’s one of those “if I were to win the lottery and were able to quit my day job” kind of dreams. I think that’s why I was especially drawn to Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee (in stores July 26!), because taking a vacation from my day job to help revamp a bookstore is exactly what I’d like to do right now. And who doesn’t love a friends-to-lovers rom-com in the summer?
Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. has her life mapped out neatly:
* Become a lawyer. Check.
* Join a prestigious law firm. Check.
* Make partner. In progress.
If all goes to plan, she will check off that last box in a couple years, make her parents proud, and live a successful, fulfilled life in L.A. What was not in her plans was passing out from a panic attack during a pivotal moment in her career. A few deep breaths and a four-hour drive later, Lizzy is in Weldon for three weeks to shed the burnout and figure out what went wrong. And what better place to recharge than the small California town where she spent her childhood summers with her best friend, Jack Park.
Jack Park didn’t expect to see Lizzy back in Weldon, but now he’s got three weeks to spend with the girl of his dreams. Except she doesn’t know of his decades-long crush on her—and he intends to keep it that way. She’s a high-powered attorney who lives in L.A. and he’s a bookkeeper at his family’s brewery who never left his hometown. He can’t risk their friendship on a long shot. Can he? When Lizzy decides that the local bookstore needs a little revamp, of course, Jack is going to help her bring it back to life. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore there might be more than just friendship among the dusty shelves and books…
Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along.
Overall, Booked on a Feeling was a cute, pretty predictable rom-com that we book lovers are especially drawn to because it takes place in a bookstore, which is secretly a dream for all of us. Lizzy and Jack are clearly drawn to each other—and you get the POV from both sides so you know that they are both heading in the direction of romance, though it takes a long time to get there.
Though the story was sweet, nothing really happened with the plot. I found myself skimming through sections of it to find some sort of action or conflict and never really got too much of anything. The plot is slow and I felt that I didn’t really understand why Lizzy and Jack were friends or how their relationship worked before this point in the story. Childhood best friends usually have more inside jokes and quirks that only they know about each other, and I really didn’t see that here.
Without giving too much away, though, I did like the ending and I liked that neither of them had to change to be together—they were already friends, so it wouldn’t have made sense if someone had to give up part of who they wanted to be to make it work. Also, the secondary characters in the book were really great, especially the bookstore owner and Jack’s sister.
If you’re a lover of the friends-to-lovers trope and have an affinity for rom-coms and bookstores, you’ll want to grab a copy to breeze through it. You’ll get exactly what you’re looking for!
“Having him look at her that way made her feel like she was…enough, and something unfurled inside her—a want to have the man who made her feel that way.” —Jayci Lee, Booked on a Feeling
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the advanced copy, and to Hatice Yardim for the featured photo.