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4 Stars / Contemporary / Review / Romantic Comedy

Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker

Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker

Single and proud of it! Oh, oops…

As a Certified Professional Organizer, everything in Paige Parker’s world is as it should be. Perfect apartment, perfect office, perfect life. And now, the perfect vacation planned to honor Singles Day. After all, what’s better than celebrating her pride in being single? Because who needs a man anyway? They have zero taste in quality television, leave the toilet seat up, and sleep with your best friend. No thanks. Her life is fine just the way it is.

As the owner of a now-dormant bed & breakfast, Lucas Croft’s life is simple and quiet. It’s only him and his five-year-old daughter, which is just the way he likes it. Because who needs a woman anyway? They nag you to clean up your stuff, want the toilet seat put down, and expect the dishes to be done the same day the meal is cooked. No thanks. His life is fine just the way it is. But when Paige books a room that Lucas’ well-intentioned sister listed without his knowledge, their two worlds collide. If they can survive the week together, they just might discover exactly what they’ve both been missing.

Title:Happy Singles Day
Author:Ann Marie Walker
Series:n/a
Pages:288
Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Temporary Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Chicago, Illinois and Aurelia, North Carolina, US
HEA:✔️
Release Date:19th January, 2021
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Enjoyable and emotional read

I was first introduced to Ann Marie Walker with last year’s delightful Save the Date. Having enjoyed that book immensely, I was keen to get stuck into this – her newest offering.

From the description, this book sounds quite similar to Save the Date – cute, quirky, fun and romantic. It is all those things, but where the two diverge is that this book has extra depths and a lot more emotional content.

Our story features a rather uptight Paige, a woman who is dedicated to her job after a rather disastrous attempt at love and marriage. She likes organisation, lists, chocolate, Friends and has a good knowledge of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles*. Simply – she was a woman after my own heart and I loved her. She was no cookie cutter stereotype, though, and she was a fully developed character who felt very real to me.

Lucas is the grumpy (yay!) B&B owner who is none too pleased at having a guest in his house – especially one as annoying and tempting as Paige. I felt we really got to know Lucas as a person, mostly as pertained to his own previous love life and heartbreak. And his heartbreak felt like my own. Even now, I’m finding it hard to choose the words to explain how realistically devastating parts of Lucas’s story were.

“I absolutely sobbed my way through several passages of the book…”

Lucas and Paige played well off each other and I truly felt that the pair were exactly what the other needed. In terms of sex, this is a ‘door remains closed’ romance, but you can still feel a satisfying chemistry and connection between our couple. There are plenty of kisses, touches, looks and gestures that build the relationship and the tension.

Ms Walker once again blew me away with the skill of her writing. It was so well crafted that I was in awe. The characters came alive for me and the island of Aurelia all but jumped off the page. Even the secondary characters worked their way into my heart – Maddie, Sophie, Sammy, the puppies, and even Stanley the avocado!

So I loved the characters, the setting, the story, the romance and the love – why didn’t I give the book 5 stars? Well, it kind of goes back to my point about Lucas above. His backstory is tragic and I admit, I absolutely sobbed my way through several passages of the book. I do usually prefer things a bit lighter, but that didn’t affect my rating. It’s just that I felt Lucas was still in love with his first wife. Would have given anything to have her back. It gave me pause in what is obviously Lucas and Paige’s own love story, although I completely understand the difficult emotions his situation must bring.

This is a story about second chances and moving on – and as a result I was left feeling upbeat and happy at the end, if a little emotionally wrung out! I very much enjoyed this story and Ms Walker’s writing style and would happily recommend this story. I’m hoping there will be more to come from this world – a story for Sophie would be awesome – so we’ll get to check in on Paige, Lucas and Maddie in the future. A very high 4 star rating from me.

*Interesting fact – we call them the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK because in the 90s, British censorship policies felt the word ‘Ninja’ had negative and excessively violent connotations that made it inappropriate for a children’s TV show. Who knew?

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.

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