Thank you to Berkley for providing a review copy of Much Ado About You
Have you ever dreamed of leaving your life behind and running your own bookstore in a quaint English village? I have certainly had that exact dream before, which was why I was so excited to find out about Much Ado About You by Samantha Young. A cozy bookstore, a hot farmer, and a close knit town – a true romance trifecta.
At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.
Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.
Samantha Young’s books have a way of hooking readers – her stories are always fast paced and tightly plotted. Much Ado About You is no exception – from the first pages, we see what a state of disarray Evie’s life is in. Her professional life and dating life were both in shambles, and her best friend was newly pregnant and moving forward with her life while Evie had stagnated. Her story only picks up pace when she goes on vacation at a bookstore in a little village – trust me, you’ll be eyeing plane tickets for after the pandemic before you even finish reading this book.
Evie was a realistic, bookish character. She was someone you could have met in college – someone you might have worked with. She had a few flaws and hang ups – but ultimately this just added to the depth of her character and made her easy to root for and to understand and relate to. It was really fun to read about her new life in Alnster and to see how she really blossomed and came out of her shell. I also really sympathized with her when Roane and her had a big fight towards the end of the book – it was easy to understand why she was so upset and why she reacted the way she did.
Roane was a perfect love interest for Evie – he was dedicated and patient, though he wasn’t without his flaws. When she decided at the beginning of her vacation that she wasn’t looking for a relationship, he respected her boundaries. While they began their relationship as friends, it was clear they were destined for more – their chemistry was off the charts and they clearly shared a mutual attraction (despite Evie’s hesitation). Trust me, even though they’re a slow burn friends to lovers, the payoff is well, well worth the wait.
What really set Much Ado About You apart, was the rich group of side characters – the little village of Alnster was filled with quirky and interesting characters, all of which had their own complex stories and subplots. The village was very tight knit, and very quickly the side characters became integral to Evie’s story – they became a sort of family for her and helped her adjust to village life and to see that there was more out there for herself than what she had in Chicago. I particularly enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet style love story between Viola and Lucas – they were adorable and had a great enemies-to-lovers stories.
Much Ado About You is perfect for everyone who is stuck at home this year – it’s like its own little vacation to England in a book (with a side of holiday fling). It’ll absolutely suck you in and before you can blink, you’ve read the book in one sitting. If you enjoyed this book and are looking for similar, excellent reads, check out Fight or Flight by Samantha Young or Simmer Down by Sarah Smith. 5/5