Love At First
Love At First
by Kate Clayborn
Published February 23, 2021
by Kensington Books
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
From the Publisher:
Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .
No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .
Love At First was a delightful read. It was a combination of the love-at-first-sight trope and the enemies-to-lovers trope, but with twists. There are also echoes of Romeo and Juliet, with its emphasis on balcony scenes, and a love of poetry shines throughout.
Both main characters, Will and Nora, had not-so-typical childhoods and are still dealing with their emotional baggage (they are around age 30). Both sets of parents were very wrapped up in each other in different ways and didn’t have a whole lot of time or emotional space left for their children. The additional characters from Nora’s Chicago apartment building are well-defined, diverse, and non-stereotypical. In addition, Will’s boss, Dr. Gerald Abraham is terrific and I loved seeing the progression of Will’s relationship with this man. Kate Clayborn lets you into the inner thoughts of both main characters, which was a nice change of pace from many romances. The book drives home the message that family isn’t always your blood relatives.
I was very excited to read this new book from Kate Clayborn as I loved her other recent book, Love Lettering. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.