January 25, 2021
Blurb: Single mom Rachel Gibson seriously needs a break. Between an absent ex-husband, rowdy twin boys, and running her own work-from-home business, her candle isn’t just burning at both ends, it’s a full-blown puddle of wax. She’s the go-to girl for other entrepreneurs, handling all the tasks they dread. Social media posts? She’s got it. Website updates? She’s on it. Light bookkeeping? She loves it.
Thank goodness Rachel’s about to get a reprieve, as her former in-laws plan to whisk her boys away for a summer of fun at the family lake house. But when her ex backs out at the last minute, she finds herself in a pickle. Even though she’s drowning in to-dos, she’s horrible at saying no—especially when it comes to providing some stability for her kids.
Once Rachel arrives at the lake house, she struggles to keep up with work and balance the demands of family, all the while fending off pesky new feelings for her ex-brother-in-law. Which makes her wonder…is falling for her ex-husband’s brother just one more messy complication added to the dumpster fire of her life? Or is anything possible when she’s out of office…?
Perhaps because of the amount of time writer-mothers have been spending time with their off-spring lately, we seem to have a proliferation of single mother, chaos romances. Of the two “romances” I’ve read this year, both have followed this trend. At least, however, Christina Hovland’s Rachel, Out of Office has some actual romance amidst the chaos and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments.
Rachel is trying to do it all: run a business at home as a virtual executive assistant (who knew there was such a thing?!) and raise two rowdy twin boys and mostly she’s achieving it by working at all hours and finding an hour or two of sleep where she can. Her ex-husband, Gavin, is rarely in evidence buts sends his brothers Travis and Dave to stand in for him for sports events, etc. And, while Rachel gets along just fine with Dave, it’s Travis that’s the issue. Gavin told her all about worthless Travis, but despite that she finds herself thinking about him far too much.
All-in-all, I enjoyed Rachel, Out of Office. At the beginning though, I had a little whiplash as the narrator moved from the use overly cutesy-cutesy words, which had me pulling a face, to dropping sh*t and the f-bomb randomly. Fortunately, both vocabulary choices drifted away and a normal voice took over (mostly). I very much appreciated that.
The romance moved very quickly, which made me wish that it had stayed in the slow burn realm a little while longer. Anticipation’s half the thing. But I did like Rachel and Travis together. I liked Travis who seemed like he was finally deciding who he wanted to be in his life, perhaps because of his feelings for Rachel.
The Frank family was a hoot and it would have been fun to spend a little more time with those family dynamics. While matriarch Evelyn could have come off as a real–shall we go with– unpleasant woman, I liked that Hovland created her as a real person, which made her much more relatable.
A fun funny romance, Rachel, Out of Office would be very appreciated by young mothers who might see themselves in Rachel’s position; for others, your mileage may vary.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 butterflies