Title: Love at First
Author: Kate Clayborn
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .
No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .
I’m one of those people that really likes going into a book blind. I enjoy the anticipation and tension in the curiosity of what’s to come. With that in mind, I want to say that this review will probably be spoilerish, so if you just want to know if I liked it or not because you haven’t read it, scroll down to my last paragraph (before the stars) to avoid any spoilers. Or read at your own risk…
Where to start? Well, I guess I’ll start off saying I wasn’t so sure in the beginning that I was going to love this book as much as so many others have proclaimed to. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated it right from the start. I just didn’t LOVE it. Will Sterling is feeling like he needs to fight his feelings for Nora, and I tend to prefer the storylines with the men that unabashedly and relentlessly pursue their love interests. It’s just a personal preference. But, what got me is that Will wasn’t able to give into the side of him that wanted to fight the connection with Nora. He could barely acknowledge it with his feelings being so strong for her. So I started out feeling anxious about his character but ended up completely charmed.
Nora’s relationship with all of the people in her apartment was such a joy throughout the whole book. In the beginning when they’re trying to thwart Will’s plans, it was so amusing. And I was again charmed by the way Will always responded to them – as were they. And it was beautiful seeing the connection between them and Will grow, knowing Will was finally getting the family he deserved in them.
And I have to say that the one character I liked least in the beginning, Will’s boss, Gerald Abraham, became one of my absolute favorites! Watching the way things progressed from Will dreading conversations between them to the cutest bromance ever was just awesome! Gerald’s character reminds us not to judge books by their covers. And it was cool watching things turn from Gerald seeking romantic advice to giving it. Will and Gerald shared my absolute favorite scene of the book, minus Will’s love confession to Nora.
“Nora Clarke, I loved you from the first time I didn’t see you, but I don’t think that matters half as much as the fact that I love you now. I don’t think it matters as much as the way I know I’m going to love you forever.”
This quote just hooked me right in the gut. Sigh, swoon, gush and everything else involving mushiness!
Okay, so here’s my unspoiled opinion. This book didn’t completely grab me from the first. It wasn’t like the title for me. BUT, by the end I was a big ole pile of mush. Will and Nora’s relationship was so incredibly sweet. The family that Will and Nora have with the other apartment residents is heartwarming. And Will’s slow-building bromance is comical and endearing. 4.75 Stars! I highly recommend this to all you contemporary romance fans!
After Love Lettering and now Love at First, I can definitely say I’m a Kate Clayborn fan! After wrapping up a couple horror/thrillers, a couple contemporary romances were definitely in order!