Review by Veronica

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Mom steps out from behind the hostess stand and inspects my look—the blue sundress, the basic brown sandals, the tiny gold hoops in my ears, and my hair hanging down straight. “Small-town Hallmark movie heroine who doesn’t yet know that she’s about to fall in love with the business developer from the city who’s threatening to bulldoze her grandfather’s apple orchard to build an undefined, but clearly very important, building.” She says hold out her hands as if she’s framing me for a shot.

I look down at my dress and frown. “Really? I thought my vibe was more ‘Look, I actually got dressed in real clothes today.”

Just Another Love Song is a charming and delightful rom-com!

Once upon a time, Sandy Macintosh thought she would have her happily ever after with her high school sweetheart, Hank Tillman. Sandy wanted to be an artist, Hank was the only boy in town who seemed destined for bigger things, and they both had dreams to escape town together. But when Sandy’s plans fell through, she stayed in their small town in Ohio while Hank went off to Boston to follow his dreams to be a musician, with the promise to stay together. Only that plan fell through, too. 

Fifteen years later, Sandy runs a successful greenhouse while helping her parents with their bed and breakfast. Everything is perfect…until Hank rolls back into town, now a famous alt-country singer with a son in tow. She’s happy with the life she’s built by herself, but seeing Hank makes her think about what might have been. There aren’t enough cliché love songs in the world to convince Sandy to give Hank another chance, but when the two of them get thrown together to help organize the town’s annual street fair, she wonders if there could be a new beginning for them or if what they had is just a tired old song of the past.

Fans of Kerry’s previous books will love this Just Another Love Song. It has all the charm, wit, and romance that her readers have come to expect from her books. I first stumbled upon Kerry’s book Waiting for Tom Hanks a few years ago and instantly fell in love with it (I ended up re-reading it a few times since then). So, when Berkley pitched us this book, I knew I had to read it. This book is swoonastic!! There is just so much to love, it has an adorable dog, a second-chance romance set in a small town, and a book boyfriend that stole my heart right from the moment I first met him. As you can see, this review will contain some major gushing on my part, so you have been warned. 

Many things make Kerry’s books stand out to me. The first thing is a cast of characters that worm their way into your hearts. It doesn’t matter if they are the main or secondary characters. Every character in her books has been swoony, laughing or smiling. Edith, Ed, and Burger were some of my favourite characters; they just embodied that crazy quirkiness from living in a small town. Sandy was a sweet and, shall I say, weird (in a good way) character. I loved her passion for her business, family, town, and friends. It was heartbreaking but also relatable watching as she struggled to find her self-worth and her own happiness. I think we all feel a little lost and unsure about what we should do in our lives, which made Sandy’s own struggles very real and relatable. I utterly adore her friendship with Honey. Those two really are such a blast to be around. I can’t decide what scenes I loved more than those with Honey and Sandy or Sandy and Hank. I don’t know how Kerry does it, but she always creates the perfect book boyfriend. Hank has me swooning throughout the whole book. Every time I couldn’t think he could get any better, he would do something else so charming, adorable, or sexy that I found myself falling more in love with him.

The small town of Baileyville is a place I would love to live in. It is chock-full of quirky small town high-jinx, but also with small town closeness where everyone helps each other out. There was this theme of feeling stuck, whether it be in a small town, career, or in love. Sandy’s big struggle in this book is this feeling of being left behind and not being worthy of Hank’s love because she ended up staying in Baileyville. Sandy is still plagued with these feelings even after becoming a successful businesswoman. Sandy thinks that all her high school friends who went off to college and left Baileyville are living their best lives when this isn’t the case. I thought Kerry did a fabulous job of reminding readers that no matter how perfect a person’s life looks on social media, that often isn’t reality. We all have our own hurdles to work through, and no one’s life is perfect, no matter what their Instagram profile shows. Sandy’s journey of realising she is worthy was at times painstakingly slow but also realistic. We tend to be our own worst enemies, and sometimes it takes a best friend or two to help you realise that you are worthy.

Sandy and Hank’s love story is centred around high school sweethearts and second chances. The chemistry between these two was just so fabulous. I loved how easy the banter flowed between these two; it was effortless (and Lord, was it funny). As I have mentioned, Hank is the diamond standard for book boyfriends. He loves and cares for Sandy so much, and that love is evident even during their high school romance. I loved seeing how the relationship between Sandy and Hank evolved as they got older, but the playfulness and sweetness between them never changed.

Just Another Love Song is the perfect summertime romance read. 

Thank you, Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.