Claire Melbourne might normally love her job as a newspaper editor, but today she’s having the day from hell. Her paper missed out the scoop of the decade and she had to fire the flighty intern who was responsible for the mistake. And even though Ellie Kirkland doesn’t have the chops for journalism, she’s so damn sweet that letting her go was kind of like kicking a puppy.
Ellie’s used to being the black sheep of her family, as the not-medically-inclined daughter of two doctors, not to mention her twin sister who’s followed their mothers into medicine. Now that Ellie’s been let go from the paper, she’s really not looking forward to telling her family, even if she knows Claire did her a favour and got her out of an industry that’s all wrong for her. Now she just needs to figure out what she’s going to do with her life.
Just when Claire thinks she’ll never see Ellie again, she starts running into the much younger woman all the time. What should be awkward for them (and is at first), quickly takes a turn as the chemistry grows between them. Can Claire drop her hardass work persona and set aside her misgivings about their age difference long enough for she and Ellie to find something lasting?
Claire and Ellie might just be my favourite couple that Tracey Richardson’s written so far. I hesitate to call Claire an ice queen because she’s not closed off to everyone, although I could see why some might see her as one. She’s certainly tough as nails on the job and I especially enjoyed seeing her soften thanks to Ellie. And who could blame her? Ellie is the loveliest girl next door, full of kindness and optimism, even if she has some insecurities thanks to her family. Claire is good for Ellie too, since Ellie goes on her own emotional journey and becomes stronger by the end.
There are some great side characters between Claire’s best friend Jackson, and Ellie’s roommate and cousin Marissa, plus her family. They help us get to know the leads better and are integral to both of the women’s character arcs. I hope Marissa and/or Ellie’s sister Erin get their own books in the future!
The Writing Style
Richardson’s writing is easy to sink into and this book was no exception. The romance has a nice burn to it that’s slow, but not too slow, and I marvelled at how natural Claire and Ellie’s journey from former boss/employee to happily ever after was.
Even better for me, it’s set in my hometown! I loved seeing where Ellie and Claire were going in and around Windsor, Ontario as they were going to places I know and listening to the Motown radio station I grew up with. It’s a love letter to the area and the sounds of Motown, with Richardson’s fondness for both coming across throughout the whole book.
The character work, the romance, and of course that setting! I also loved that each chapter begins with the title of a Motown song.
The cover includes major elements in the story, but it still doesn’t really do it justice. Don’t let the cover hold you back from buying this book, because it really is lovely.
If you’re a fan of contemporary romances, especially those with age gaps or opposites attract pairings, I recommend picking up I’m Gonna Make You Love Me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading this one again (especially if a spinoff happens!).
Excerpt from I’m Gonna Make You Love Me by Tracey Richardson
[Claire] started the ignition, pressed the button to retract the roof, and nudged the car into traffic heading south on Ouellette Avenue.
“Wow,” Ellie said again, the breeze tossing her dark hair across her face. “I keep saying it, but this is awesome. I hope Piper behaved in here when you drove her home.”
“She did. I think. But she was in the backseat, so…” Not that this backseat had ever seen any action. Not as long as her mother owned it, nor as long as she’d owned it either. And why the hell was she thinking about the backseat and its lack of action while Ellie was sitting beside her, looking like she was made for this thing—her head thrown back, a smile that had settled permanently on her lips, her long legs stretched out in front of her, hair that looked so post-sex it wasn’t funny. She even looked as though she’d settled in for a long trip, not a fifteen-minute drive.
“How’s the radio in this thing?”
“Good. The original was pretty horrible. I updated it a couple of years ago.”
“You can’t have a car like this and not have a good stereo system. May I?”
“Go for it.” Find your Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift. But to her surprise, Ellie didn’t change it from the oldies station. In fact, she cranked the volume on “The Way You Do The Things You Do.”
“Oh, I love Motown music!”
“Oh no, not you too.”
Ellie bopped her shoulders to the beat. “Cool. You love Motown too?”
“Let’s say I’ve come to grudgingly appreciate it later in life.”
“It totally suits this car, don’t you think?”
No, but strangely enough, it suits you, Claire thought.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781594936142
- Publisher: Bella Books
- Tracey Richardson online
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