This enemies-to-lovers romance follows the relationship of an eager-to-please author and her artist neighbor in Bodega Bay, California.
Millie Hart, 33, is a New York Times–bestselling author—of romance, much to the chagrin of her estranged father, a bookseller. To satisfy him once and for all, she vows to write the next big literary classic and rents a coastal cottage for three months, accompanied only by her cat, Pop-Tart. Almost immediately, Millie finds herself in a battle of wits, and very loud music, with her handsome but irritating neighbor. Drake Branch uprooted his life—from city to hometown—after a motorcycle accident left him with only one arm. Despite a successful glass-blowing career and a cadre of supportive family and friends, Drake’s nightmares and triggering flashbacks persist. The arrival of an attractive, but stubborn, new neighbor doesn’t help his anxiety level. Though Millie finds herself stuck writing the kind of novel that’s serious but gloomy, a far cry from her usual happily-ever-afters, she quickly adapts to small-town life and its quirky cast. Thanks to the encouragement of Drake’s colleagues and his aunt Nikki, who owns the town’s romance bookstore, he starts to reconsider his neighbor, who shares his hatred of wearing headphones. Millie and Drake get cozy over a night of pizza, wine, and glass blowing, but when Millie’s father reappears in her life and the ghosts of Drake’s past return with a vengeance, will their love survive? Ewens (Tap, 2018, etc.) is a skilled storyteller, writing from both Millie’s and Drake’s perspectives and giving each distinctive personalities and struggles. Every character—Drake’s mentor, Esteban; Esteban’s college-bound daughter, Hazel; Millie’s best friend and literary agent, Jade—is thoughtfully imagined. Though the title is a bit misleading, as “blow” is also slang for cocaine, the chemistry is palpable, the plot points clear, and the subplot regarding the stigma against romance fiction and authors incredibly accurate.
A sweet, sexy read with complicated, likable leads, a swoonworthy seaside setting, and a positive message about relationships.