Real life enemies, online lovers. Two lonely men, destined for each other—if only they knew it.
Alfie Carter grew up in New Milton, caring for his sick father and keeping their auto repair shop on its feet. He’s touchy about his poor education and doesn’t take kindly to snide remarks from the town’s prickly bookstore owner—no matter how cute he looks in his skinny jeans. Left to run the family business alone, Alfie spends his lonely evenings indulging his secret passion for classic fiction and chatting online with witty, romantic ‘LLB’ as they fall in love over literature.
Leo Novak’s new life as owner of Bayside Books is floundering. And he could do without the town’s gorgeous, moody mechanic holding a grudge against him after an unfortunate—and totally not his fault— encounter last Christmas. Still reeling from a bad breakup and struggling to make friends in New Milton, Leo seeks comfort in his blossoming online romance with thoughtful, bookish ‘Camaro89’.
But as the holidays approach, ‘LLB’ and ‘Camaro89’ are planning to meet, and realities are about to collide…
Ugh, ready for an unpopular-opinion review?
"Love Around the Corner" is a holiday story that started out strong but then something happened and it declined. I liked the parallel relationship that the MCs had, in real life and through the internet, though I wasn't very excited about Leo lying to Alfie for such a big part of the book. Something had to happen for them to move from enemies to friends, but I don't think that this was the only option or the best one.
The story quickly became too sweet for me, with corny gestures and frustrating reactions from the characters. The deception when on for far too long and the grand gesture at the end, though imaginative, wasn't a favorite. Everything moved at light speed and Leo and Alfie went from "I hate that guy" to "I love you so much" in the blink of an eye. Of course they had been talking online for a year already and even though Alfie didn't know it for most of the book I'm sure that once he lowered his defences he was able to see in Leo the qualities that charmed him in LLB. However, I still think that since they had a connection in real life as well as online and didn't know each other's identity it should have taken a bit more time for them to adjust to the new facts, especially for Alfie who was out of the loop longer.
I'll still read other books by this author - I even have one on my library already - because as this was my first contact with her work, and it was a short story, I don't think I'm ready to say if we click or not. So, let's try again!
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