cover image Love Lettering

Love Lettering

Kate Clayborn. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2517-2

This whimsical rom-com from Clayborn (Best of Luck) contrasts cute romance with cringe-worthy moments of embarrassment for the bumbling central couple. Meg Mackworth is a New York City calligraphy artist whose intricate hand-lettering is in high demand. No one but Meg was ever supposed to notice the secret messages she doodles into her designs to keep her work from becoming boring. When Meg’s former client Reid, a high-strung math genius, confronts her about spotting the word mistake hidden in the wedding programs Meg made for him and his now-ex, Meg admits to having picked up on the couple’s discontentment. Stalled out on her latest project and feeling guilty for embedding the subversive message in Reid’s wedding programs, Meg impulsively invites him to walk the city with her in search of inspiration in the form of signs both literal and figurative. This leads to a sweet, if frequently awkward, slow burn as the pair grows closer over the following weeks. Though Clayborn’s style occasionally verges on twee, her loving descriptions of New York are deeply appealing. This touching story is full of love and laughter. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Jan.)