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Steamy rom-com turns up the Summer heat in Bromley’s debut novel

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley 

As wet, cool weather has made summer’s lease feel all too short this year, turn up the heat with a sizzling sunshine romance from debut author Kate Bromley.

The sparks fly and the temperature reaches boiling point when two former college lovers – whose caustic break-up left indelible scars – meet up again and create a chemical reaction that takes both of them by surprise.

New Yorker Bromley, who gave up teaching to focus on writing ‘swoon-worthy’ love stories and making people laugh, certainly hits the mark with this steamy rom-com which stars a romantic novelist with writer’s block looking desperately for inspiration.

Playing on the old and reliable formula of blending flirtatious humour with the tensions of an unresolved passion, Talk Bookish to Me is just the sort of charming, funny and sexy romp to bring out the sun and make us smile.

Manhattan dweller Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love, even if it is mainly fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she is perfectly fine with getting her ‘happily-ever-after’ fix between the covers of a book.

But right now, it’s not going too well. Not only is Kara’s best friend Cristina getting married to her soul mate Jason next week – which means all the stress of being maid of honour at a big wedding –but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word.

The last thing Kara needs is for her infuriating first love, ruggedly handsome Texan Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear at the pre-wedding party. It appears Ryan is an old school pal of Jason and his unexpected arrival sends a ‘soft breeze ghosting across her skin.’

Kate Bromley

But what really spooks Kara is that Ryan, the man who ten years ago ‘massacred’ her heart with a rusty sledgehammer, also ignites a creative awakening that is inspiring her to write the hot historical romance she so desperately needs to deliver.

With her wedding duties intensifying, the publisher’s deadline getting closer by the second, and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there is only one way for her to finish her book and to give her fictional characters the ‘ever-after’ they deserve.

But can she embrace her unlikely and inconvenient muse Ryan – the man who still makes her body turn ‘traitorous’ – in order to save not just the wedding and her career but maybe, just maybe, help her write her own happy ending?

Bromley delivers more than just a straightforward summer romance… there are some complex relationship equations to be solved as Kara and Ryan are forced to revisit the causes of their broken love affair.

As secrets from the past and present are slowly revealed, readers contemplate the trials and tribulations of rekindling a romance that had seemed permanently fractured, and enjoy observing the reunited couple’s witty love-hate courting rituals.

But there are more stars in this story than Kara and Ryan as Bromley surrounds them with a cast of cleverly and authentically drawn supporting characters, not least Ryan’s show-stealing dog Duke, and the ‘book within a book’ Georgian lovers who set off their own amorous fireworks.

Smart, sassy, sultry, and with a sparkling dialogue that never loses its shine, Talk Bookish to Me will speak loudly to all book and romance fans.

(Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley, Zaffre, paperback, £8.99)

Pam Norfolk
Pam Norfolk has been writing book reviews for over ten years, including for the Wordsworth Trust. She has also worked as a reporter and sub-editor on regional and national newspapers.

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