Cowboy and country music and small towns oh my!
If you love a romance novel with a million tropes, this is the novel for you!
Sandy Macintosh is a thirtysomething-year-old woman who still lives in the small Ohio town where she grew up. After several unfortunate events, Sandy gives up on her dream of being an artist to stay in her small town and run the local garden center. Though she’s mediocrely happy with her life, she laments her biggest life mistake; breaking up with Hank Tillman, the love of her life, when she was 18.
Hank returns to town for his son to connect with his family and, in turn, causes upheaval in Sandy’s life. Hank is a great guy, almost too great, honestly. The usual conflict comes with a divorced man with a child, but besides that situation, Hank is a bit unbelievable because he has NO flaws. The man is a perfect Hallmark gem. Sandy, however, is much more flawed as a person. She’s so in her head about a decision she made as a high school senior; it has affected every single choice since then. The one issue I had with this novel was something I can easily overlook since it’s a romance, but I will never understand pining after someone for FIFTEEN plus years. Sandy and Hank break up as high school seniors/college freshman but still follow and pine for each other despite not seeing each other for years and marrying/dating other people. I understand why people like second-chance romances, but I find still having this much love for someone you dated as a teenager to be weird and borderline creepy. That’s just my thing, I know; it’s not a trope I enjoy, but constantly hearing the characters talk about how in love they still are with each other despite decades passing made me feel very weird.
When Hank and Sandy finally get together I questioned how there was still almost half the book left, but the author handled it pretty well and made the issues with their relationship internal rather than external, which I enjoyed. Other than those issues, the novel was charming and cute. If you want Hallmark movies where you know the couple will end up together, you’ll enjoy this.
This novel has so many tropes there’s pretty much something for everyone, and it has a nice amount of quirky but fun side characters that keep the book interesting. Shelby was my absolute favorite, along with the eccentric Ed, and I think liking the side characters is what got me through the parts where I found myself rolling my eyes at Sandy. Overall, a very fun read that I would not be shocked to see adapted as a RomCom on Hallmark or Netflix quickly.
Title: Just Another Love Song
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Three Descriptors: Small Town Love, Engaging, Atmospheric
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