This is a spoiler-free review.
The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams
Expected publication February 9th, 2021 by Avon.
She’s single. But it can still be complicated…
Penny Bridge has always been unlucky in love.
So she can’t believe it when she meets a remarkable new man.
Followed by another.
And then another…
And all of them want to date her.
Penny has to choose between three. But are any of them The One?
The bestselling author of Our Stop will have you laughing, crying and cheering Penny on in this funny and feel-good exploration of hope, romance and the trust it takes to finally fall in love. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane’s If I Never Met You and Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare.
Thank you to the publisher, HarperCollins, and Edelweiss+ for providing me an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.
Penny’s life is mostly on track. She owns and operates her own cafe, Bridges, where business is booming. But she’s always been unlucky when it comes to love. That’s why, when she meets a fellow chef and all-around heartthrob, Francesco, she’s hesitant to initiate anything. But fate seems to have other plans, and they find themselves once again crossing paths. This time, Penny takes the leap. But after a few weeks of whirlwind romance, Penny is forced to leave her life in London – and Francesco – behind.
What follows is Penny’s year in small town, Derbyshire, where she tries to make the best of being put in charge of her uncle’s restaurant, The Red Panda. Along the way she meets two more suitors, the distinguished Priyesh and the playboy Thomas, who she starts seeing as well. But which man of the three really has Penny’s heart? And is a man really what she needs to be happy?
Going into this novel I definitely expected a fun, lighthearted read – and boy was I taken by surprise! Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely a lot of really sweet, cute aspects in this story – but don’t let the premise foul you, there’s quite a lot of depth too! Williams does a good job of weaving the serious with the less-so, and tackles a lot of heavy topics very well.
However, I couldn’t help feeling like I was taken for a ride by this book. It started out really great – I was loving reading all about Penny and Francesco’s budding romance. I thought they were so cute! But somewhere along the way the plot lost me… and I had a hard time really getting back into it. 😓 I think a lot of that was because I wasn’t super into either Priyesh or Thomas, and just couldn’t imagine Penny ending up with either of them.
And then, when Francesco did (finally!) re-enter the story, I felt like he was a completely different guy! One I didn’t like very much! It made it hard to root for anyone – and rooting for the leads finally getting together is, like, my favorite aspect of reading romance…
Despite that however, I really enjoyed all the other supporting characters. I thought Williams did a really good job including a very diverse and inclusive cast, and I genuinely had fun reading about all of Penny’s friends and family. But I just felt over all the story was a bit too long, and not that much of consequence actually happened. 🤷🏻♀️ While I didn’t dislike the ending per se, it also wasn’t my most favorite. Overall, I thought this story was sweet and well-intentioned, but the final product just left me wanting more.
Have you fallen in love with any romance novels lately?