ARC REVIEW: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan (June 2022)

Synopsis: Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.

Published June 7, 2022 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House)

eARC provided by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on Edelweiss+

**in exchange for an honest review, all quotations made from an uncorrected galley proof

Genre: contemporary fiction, romance, women’s fiction, chick lit

Themes: parenting, motherhood, kids, divorce, Hollywood, celebrity, dating a celebrity, writing, screenwriting, romance, fame, family, small town, community

As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price every time you use my link to make a purchase. Thank you! ^_^

>>>Check out Nora Goes Off Script Book Club Kit provided by the author & publisher!<<<

The bright colors on the cover, with the now-typical animated look, caught my eyes as I was browsing upcoming reads on Edelweiss+ and I am happy to report that Nora Goes Off Script certainly lives up to its bright, happy cover!

Nora, our MC, is someone most of us can probably relate with – she likes her routine and she gets things done when she sticks to them. Enters Leo, with his signature “inappropriate oozing of sex appeal” and literal Hollywood handsome. I thought that the romance between these two are so cute and romantic and perfectly swoony, especially as we see most of these delightful, happy moments in the backdrop of Nora’s relatively “normal” and low-profile life in Laurel Ridge (a fictional small town 90 minutes north of NYC). Together, they learn the simple pleasures and excitement in sharing a blanket watching the sunrise, grocery shopping, eating dinner with the kids, rehearsing for a community play. But one of the things I enjoyed are the scenes with Nora’s two kids (with arrogant and self-centered ex-husband, Ben) – Arthur and Bernadette – these two are scene-stealers and completely adorable and self-aware, and seeing how both Nora and Leo interacted with them adds to the realism of how two people from two very different backgrounds can work out IRL.

Leo: See? You are romantic.
Nora: Only on paper. And when the stakes are low.

I don’t really have any special comments about Nora’s character, I thought she felt very real. I adored her kids. I felt especially connected (I’m definitely a Bernadette) with Nora’s profile of her daughter, Bernadette:

The thing about Bernadette is that she doesn’t really harbor. She feels it, lets it out, and moves on. With Bernadette, the explosion usually happens in real time.

I did think some of the dialogues took me out of the scene, most often with those of Leo’s. There were quite a few lines where I questioned whether it will really be something that a guy like Leo would have said.

Tackling serious and realistic themes in a lighthearted, mostly comedic manner, Nora Goes Off Script is a perfect addition to this year’s TBR summer stack. With cute Hallmark references and moments, this is a sort of meta tribute to lovers of Hallmark movies with a twist.

In under 300 pages, Nora Goes Off Script delivers a sweet, funny, and lighthearted romance perfect for lovers of Hallmark movies, Hollywood romance, and finding pleasures in simple, day-to-day moments.

It’s nothing and everything, our hands touching.

Thank you to the publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, for letting me get an advance copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review. I give Nora + Leo and the rest of the cast 4.5 sunrises.

QUICK TAKE: ☀️quick read ☀️lighthearted ☀️adorable and lovable characters ☀️swoony romance

Thanks for reading, and until next time, lovely reader! Let me know in the comments if you’re adding this to your TBR this summer ☀️⛱ 🍉

Does this sounds like your type of read? What are your other recommended beach reads?

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