Just Another Love Song is lovely, charming, heartwarming small town second chance romance with full of summer vibe and nostalgia. I recommend this to readers of this genre.
Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey
Publication Date : August 2nd 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Read Date : August 6th 2022
Genre : Romance / Chick-Lit
Tea For this book : Black + Peppermint+ Indian Masala
Disclaimer – Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
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Previous books I read by the same author-
Two high school sweethearts get a second chance at their perfect ending in this charming new romance by Kerry Winfrey, author of Very Sincerely Yours.
Once upon a time, Sandy Macintosh thought she would have her happily ever after with her high school sweetheart, Hank Tillman. Sandy wanted to be an artist, Hank was the only boy in town who seemed destined for bigger things, and they both had dreams to escape town together. But when Sandy’s plans fell through, she stayed in their small town in Ohio while Hank went off to Boston to follow his dreams to be a musician, with the promise to stay together. Only that plan fell through, too.
Fifteen years later, Sandy runs a successful greenhouse while helping her parents with their bed and breakfast. Everything is perfect…until Hank rolls back into town, now a famous alt-country singer with a son in tow. She’s happy with the life she’s built by herself, but seeing Hank makes her think about what might have been. There aren’t enough cliché love songs in the world to convince Sandy to give Hank another chance, but when the two of them get thrown together to help organize the town’s annual street fair, she wonders if there could be a new beginning for them or if what they had is just a tired old song of the past.
Review of Just Another Love Song
Just Another Love Song is heartwarming and lovely story of Sandy and Hank who get their second chance at love after fifteen years. The story is about broken dreams, heartbreak, small town life, giving chance to happiness, get over the fear of heartbreak and change, friendship, family, and love.
Writing is engaging, fun, entertaining, and steady-paced, told from Sandy’s perspective with alternate past and present chapters in the first half of the book. Past chapters showed Sandy and Hank’s story, their dreams and romance and how life took them apart. The plot is interesting, not something I haven’t read before, but it still made me want to keep reading mostly because of the setting, characters, and community.
Sandy is lovely, kind, compassionate, fun, and quirky. I loved her passion for arts and gardening. It was easy to root for her and understand her feeling of being left behind, bury dreams and let go of her one and only love. Most of us has gone through that spiraling darkness, that feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness and it hurt to see Sandy go through it. It was great to see how she came out of depression, found a new passion and dream. I admired her resilience and self-preservation. She still struggled with emptiness, missing someone to share her home and success with and that feeling intensified with Hank coming back to Baileyville. I liked how she was being an adult about her feelings and how she realized it was Hank she was missing in life who brought back happiness and her love for painting in life.
Hank is handsome successful musician, a lovely single dad with huge heart who has been loved by community ever since he was kid. We know him through Sandy and see what happened in his life through conversations but don’t really get his perspective until climax which kept my feelings for him superficial. I liked him but he didn’t make huge impression. Also, I don’t like this story arc- guy moves on in life, marries another woman, have kid but his heart is still with his first love, and then return back when he is divorced or wife dead. Why not wait a little more and have that second chance early in life than waiting for 15 yrs!
I have to say I loved secondary characters more in this book. Honey is fabulous friend. I loved her support and love for Sandy, how fierce and loyal she is and I definitely can relate to her straightforward honest nature. Their friendship made me smile and laugh most in the story. There are so many other characters that I liked- hotpants Ed, burger, Marcia, Shelby, Natasha, Brian, Sean. They made the story so much entertaining.
Baileyville town is heart of the story. I have read many small town books but in this, it adds its own layers and charm to story. It was amazing to read this town’s quirky and supportive close-knit community and its unique characteristics. I also loved Baileyville Street Fair which strengthened the strong sense of community. Sandy’s mom’s Ohio Inn with her unique decoration style and rooms dedicated to famous Ohioans is most interesting and unique.
Romance is slow burn, lovely and nostalgic with second chance trope. I loved how they found their way back to each other but it lacked the chemistry that I got in previous books by the author. They don’t exactly spend lots of time together. Most of the romance we get from the past chapters in the first half of the book. It also felt rushed in last few chapters.
The climax is predictable. I expected the ex-wife to turn up and make Sandy rethink about her feelings and love but Sandy and Hank’s fight is surprise after that as their conversation was realistic. I felt they both were right and wrong and said lots of hurtful things and also made Sandy realize it’s not life that took away her opportunity to be happy but herself. I liked how all her friends encouraged and pushed her to declare her love for Hank. It was most lovely and my favorite moment. End if feel good and lovely happily ever after.
Why 4 Stars-
Like I said romance is slow and I didn’t feel the chemistry. I wish there was Hank’s perspective here. Let’s just say author’s previous book, Waiting for Tom Hanks, set high standard and this wasn’t that good.
Overall, Just Another Love Song is heartwarming, cozy, lighthearted, nostalgic, second chance romance with the best small town community.
I recommend this if you like,
Quirky small town community
Small town fair
Nostalgic High school reunion
Music and love songs
realistic and relatable characters
Slow burn romance
Clean second chance romance
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