Geier’s debut follows Penny Stevens and Henry Taylor, childhood best friends, through the ups and downs of life, as they endure a long separation only to rediscover their love for each other. Penny, content with her job as a corporate consultant in Germany, has plans to attend her girlhood friend, and Henry’s twin sister, Kate’s, wedding—but after career obligations interfere, she’s forced to miss it. While she’s stuck in Germany managing work crises, Henry, professionally successful as a lab research director, seems to have forgotten Penny, until a near fatal accident brings them together again.
Geier has crafted a warm and pleasant novel that moves at a relaxed pace, with little major conflict or tension. The characters are generally likable, mostly doing the right thing regardless of their circumstances. Even Hyatt Emerson, marked by an ambitious nature and desire for power, ends up not being the villain readers may initially suspect. Penny is a hardworking and friendly protagonist, who’s open to Henry’s plans of their future together, even when that may mean putting her career on the back burner, and she manages to stay good friends with her boss, Clara, despite the initial roadblocks her job throws in their path. Likewise is Henry’s response to life: he takes his accident in stride, gets along well with his colleagues, and nurtures a deep and meaningful relationship with his sister Kate. The only enduring tension in the novel is whether Penny and Henry will end up together.
This gentle story is told in polished, inviting prose. Readers who prefer feel-good love stories steeped in innocence will enjoy this idyllic romance, where even the dark cloud that is Henry’s accident and subsequent hospitalization quickly clears the way for sunny skies. In comparison to the blissful world Geier has created, readers may find reality dull and dreary.
Takeaway: This feel-good romance and its big-hearted characters offer a relaxing summer read.
Great for fans of: R. J. Lewis’s Carter, Kasie West’s On the Fence.
Production grades Cover: A- Design and typography: A Illustrations: N/A Editing: A- Marketing copy: A