After the success of her debut novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey gives us a follow up featuring the two people her heroine, Annie, wrote her screenplay, Chloe and Nick. Chloe seems like she has it all with her positive attitude, unique style, and never-ending charm, but in actuality she’s got a load of stress balanced on her small shoulders. She’s approaching thirty and is still working in a coffee shop, her father’s in a facility because of his Alzheimer’s, she’s helping Annie plan her wedding, and she’s taking online classes to try to get a degree so she can one day have her dream, opening a bakery. When Annie’s screenplay based on Chloe’s life gets made into a movie it seems the world wants a piece of her that she can’t afford to give away and the one constant in her life, Nick, her boss and friend, starts looking very very good. How will her life change if Chloe starts seeing him as more than a friend?
Not Like the Movies had the charm of Kerry Winfrey’s first novel, but had an underlying depth that took the story beyond the fluffy love story into a well written piece of fiction. Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Winfrey still wrote some great rom-com banter and had all of those movie comparisons as she did in Waiting for Tom Hanks, but Chloe and Nick’s story had a layer of insecurity and uncertainty hidden beneath the artful disguise of Chloe’s exterior. If it weren’t for the love story aspect of this novel the color of Chloe’s tale would have been muted grays and greens instead of the bright technicolor red of her favorite lipstick.
What about our hero Nick? He was the perfect complement to Chloe in that he was steady, safe, and sweet. Truthfully though, he kind of got a little lost in all of her drama although I think that was done purposefully by the author to show Chloe how he was her perfect match. I am a reader that likes a more obvious approach to love, so the will they or won’t they was frustrating for me and I’ll admit to skimming over a few scenes to get to the meat of the romance a little quicker.
As a comparison to the first novel, which I loved, I thought Not Like the Movies was a solid sequel but lacked the optimism and charm that made me root for Annie and Drew. Not to say that I didn’t like Nick and Chloe, because I did, their story was just a different piece of fiction. Chloe and Nick had their own smoldering fire and I adored Nick’s steadiness because it was exactly what Chloe needed to make her happy. They had me rooting for them just as hard just in a more quiet way. If you didn’t read Waiting for Tom Hanks, it will be easier for you to like Not Like in the Movies because you won’t have the same expectations and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this couple in the end, just like I did. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
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