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2021 #TBRChallenge for February (New-to-You Author) LOVE LETTERING by Kate Clayborn

Yes, I know it’s not still February. But I finished this one in February, I swear! You can check my Goodreads page for confirmation 😉

Love Lettering cover

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

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Oh, this was delightful! A love letter (see what I did there?) to NYC and to hand-lettering, as well as to love itself.

Love Lettering is an incredibly slooooooow burn romance–in truth, the book itself has a fairly slow start, but once it grabs you? OMG, it grabs you HARD. There are layers here–for people who demand “serious” books to read, this might be a gateway romance read, since symbolism and signs play such a big role in the story.

Meg and Reid were absolutely lovely characters–both have their own obsessions, his with numbers and patterns; hers with words and fonts and visual imagery–and though they are both a bit on the awkward side when it comes to dealing with others, together they are just delightful. Their meet cute isn’t exactly–she’s been hired to hand letter items for his wedding to someone else–but when they connect a year later (the wedding never happened by mutual consent) when Reid finds her to ask about an irregularity in the wedding program she designed, the magic happens.

Well, eventually the magic happens. I did mention the slow burn aspect? 😉

I loved seeing New York through Meg’s eyes as she and Reid explored the city, growing closer through every game they played and reawakening Meg’s stalled creativity along the way. As a hand letterer and artist, Meg talks a lot about how words look–both IRL and in her head. I suspect that some of this might show up visually in print and ebook versions? (Feel free to let me know in the comments!) but since I listened to the audiobook, I had to do all of the hard work in my head. I’m not sure I was 100% successful–I have plans to get my hands on a physical copy of this one in the near future; if it’s half as visual as I am hoping, this is definitely a book I’d be OK with having a print copy of in addition to the audio one I already own. I can absolutely see myself re-reading this one!

I’ve had this one on audio for months; I honestly can’t say why I waited so long to read it but I am so glad I finally picked it up. Ms Clayborn is definitely going on my list of authors to be on the lookout for in the future.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

This book fulfilled the “new-to-you author” prompt for February 2021 #tbrchallenge.

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