June 29, 2021
Blurb: Perpetually cheerful and eager to please, Gracie Cooper strives to make the best out of every situation. So when her father dies just months after a lung cancer diagnosis, she sets aside her dreams of pursuing her passion for art to take over his Midtown Manhattan champagne shop. She soon finds out that the store’s profit margins are being squeezed perilously tight, and complicating matters further, a giant corporation headed by the impossibly handsome, but irritatingly arrogant Sebastian Andrews is proposing a buyout. But Gracie can’t bear the thought of throwing away her father’s dream like she did her own.
Overwhelmed and not wanting to admit to her friends or family that she’s having second thoughts about the shop, Gracie seeks advice and solace from someone she’s never met—the faceless “Sir”, with whom she connected on a blind dating app where matches get to know each other through messages and common interests before exchanging real names or photos.
But although Gracie finds herself slowly falling for Sir online, she has no idea she’s already met him in real life…and they can’t stand each other.
I’ve been thinking about doing a top 10 list of my favorite comfort-read authors. You know, those authors whose books you look forward to savoring and smiling over and getting all-the-feels. In the top five would be this author, Lauren Layne, who never fails me with her bright writing, the sometimes snarky, though always witty, dialogue, and her complete understanding of what a reader wants in a swoon-worthy romance.
Although the plot of To Sir, With Love has been revisited several times from The Shop Around the Corner to You’ve Got Mail, Layne gives it her own special touch that makes this book such a delight to read.
As To Sir, With Love opens, Gracie Cooper is smiling over exchanged personal messages on a dating app from a man (she presumes) called Sir. This particular dating app is one in which people get to know each other before ever seeing a picture. Personality over looks. So Gracie doesn’t know what Sir looks like, but she does know that he’s involved in a relationship. The only reason why he’s on the app is because a friend of his set up the account. Evenso, Gracie and Sir have continued to message each other.
Gracie runs a champagne shop that her parents started before she and her siblings were born, but now that both of her parents are dead, the running of the shop has been left to Gracie. It’s not what she wanted to do, which was become an artist and not just be an artist as a side thing. When she took over the shop, it was floundering, but she’s added to it and made it more thus Champagne & More. In comes Sebastian Andrews who wants to buy her out of her lease so that he can turn the building into something else. Gracie only sees that he wants to take away her livelihood and those of her employees, which she can’t allow. Yet, there’s something about aqua-eyed Sebastian . . . .
Layne has a knack for creating likable, relatable characters and in To Sir, With Love that is no different. Gracie and Sebastian are swoony soulmates. The very first moment they see each other, it’s electric. I loved their connection. One of the funniest scenes occurs as Gracie becomes Sebastian’s other half at a cooking/champagne tasting organized by the shop and they both discover that they can drink champagne better than they can cook. The humor and sparks between them are delicious, even if their creations aren’t.
Yes, yes, yes! I loved this book. It gave me all the feels and made me happy. The cherry on top of the pistachio gelato sundae comfort food!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Note: To Sir, With Love won’t be available until June 29, but you can pre-order and get a happy surprise in your mailbox.
5 out of 5 butterflies