cover image Not Like the Movies

Not Like the Movies

Kerry Winfrey. Berkley, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-984804-04-4

Humor and love abound in Winfrey’s delightfully meta rom-com (after Waiting for Tom Hanks). Optimist Chloe Sanderson’s best friend, screenwriter Annie, based her latest blockbuster Hollywood romance on what she sees as the will-they-won’t-they between Chloe and her gruff boss, Nick Velez. Chloe and Nick have never been a couple, but everyone who witnesses their bickering thinks it’s only a matter of time. Chloe admits to her strong attraction to Nick, but insists she has no time for a relationship between caring for her father, who has Alzheimer’s, working long hours at Nick’s coffee shop, and all her other responsibilities. But as Annie reminds Chloe that she needs to let others help her, Nick, emboldened by Annie’s movie, works up the courage to show her how he feels. Chloe’s hilarious inner-dialogue showcases her quick wit and smarts, even as externally she’s awkward and clumsy. The snarky banter between Chloe and Nick is electric, and it’s a joy to witness Chloe slowly opening up. Nick’s quiet devotion to Chloe is swoon-worthy and sure to win over romance fans. This is a winner. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (July)