Title: Would Like to Meet

Author: Rachel Winters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Summary: After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy. The catch? He’s suffering from writer’s block—and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies—and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

Note: an eARC of this title was acquired via NetGalley.

Would Like to Meet is very earnestly a rom-com about rom-coms: in an attempt to help a screenwriting wunderkind rediscover his mojo, the book’s protagonist, Evie, acts out familiar rom-com tropes in order to prove that romance isn’t dead and that two strangers can fall in love from a meet-cute. Although I found the story a little slow at the beginning—and I wasn’t a huge fan of each chapter’s use of script notations—the story very quickly grew on me, and I spent almost two hours curled up on the couch in order to finish.

While I expected (and received) a funny and endearing contemporary romance, I didn’t think Would Like to Meet would be much more than that. But it really was. Rachel Winters’s care for Evie’s core group of friends shines through, and we’re shown how friendships change and grow and evolve over time… and how we have to remember to think of our friends as people, too. She gives a voice to grief and how it can continue to constrict our present behavior even as we try and move on. And there’s also a not-so-subtle wink toward professional ambition and both working toward our goals as well as advocating for our own talent.

To say that I thought I knew where this book was headed is a complete understatement. Winters very cleverly steers our expectations one way before pulling a bait and switch somewhere in the middle. But then the ending? OH MAN, THE ENDING. When I got to the climactic Kiss™️, I 100% screamed out loud because it was exactly what I wanted to happen in the exact way I wanted it to happen.

Like any proper rom-com, Would Like to Meet left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling, stupidly smiling from ear to ear from all the good vibes. And the only complaint I came away with was that I should have read it in one sitting, because what rom-com lover stops a movie partway through?

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