What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?
‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’
‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’
And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.
So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…
Come on this 5* journey to love, laughter and back again, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.
Maya is a writer. Although she’s sort of given up on her dreams of publishing a novel and is frustrated with the lack of opportunity in her role as a journalist, she does something else to scratch the writing itch. Maya makes up small stories for the people she sees, pairing them with an ‘ideal’ partner and giving them the happy ever after they deserve. But after an eventful trip away to Carmel-by-the-sea, guided by the mysterious lift driver (who, accidentally, revealed to Maya her boyfriend was cheating on her), she stops. For a while, anyway.
I start with this little fact about Maya because it’s a large part of why I so easily fell in love with her. It’s something I adore about the Romances I’ve read recently – the heroines have these small aspects to their personalities, these small quirks that make them feel real and help the reader connect even more deeply with them.
Although there is a ‘mystery’ here as to who the driver is, it’s not completely unpredictable, but that doesn’t detract from the story at all. I loved the direction of the story, and I adored the characters. And the setting! Definitely another place to add to my ever-growing ‘US Destinations to One Day Visit’. It just sounds so pretty and gorgeous!
Maya does return to Carmel-by-the-sea, and there she meets another writer. They do not get along! Well, not at first, and poor Maya’s head ends up in a right mess. I loved it. This book is full of light, fluffy fun, and contains a fair few tropes, but they’re all handled pretty well.
Some parts were frustrating, especially as some of the secrets and the lying between various characters felt a bit forced, but I found it easy to ‘move on’ from these and enjoy the story instead. And I really did enjoy it, you can probably tell. This is the kind of book you read and want to see on screen, especially with the setting and the use of locations.
The supporting characters are also delightful, really giving an added sense of community around Maya. The people of Carmel embrace her, and she becomes part of the town itself. But even outside that she has her best friend, and the relationship between the pair was written well, with the friend only ever really getting part of the story and trying to nudge Maya towards what she thinks is best for her.
This is an adorable, heart-warming read that had me absolutely gripped. It feels like the right length, too – we get enough so we can have moments of pure joy, with some frustration sprinkled in here and there, and it doesn’t feel like it overstays its welcome. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Carmel-by-the-sea, and if you enjoy sweet, cute Romances, I think you will, too.
Thank you to TheWriteReads for having me on this tour, and for Aria for providing a copy of this book.
About the Author
As a child, Olivia not-so-quietly ‘observed’ (AKA bothered with countless questions) her grandfather — who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania — edit hundreds of books. And when he wasn’t editing, he read. Everything, all the time. Just like her father, who wrote short sci-fi stories, and was set on building the largest library she’d ever seen and her mother who’s never found without a book…wherever she goes. Her love for words came naturally, and after studying marketing, communications & photography, Olivia worked as a journalist for a newspaper and news television network in Romania.
An unapologetic citizen of the world, she spent a few years in Greece, Sweden, France, before settling in sunny California with her photographer husband and young daughter, where she works in marketing and writes. Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-growing menagerie that completes the family: Pumpkin, the Maine Coon mix, three black cats and a siamese kitten.
When she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she reads (across genres), watches old movies and collects vintage books, vinyl records, and eerie paintings. She loves traveling (and can’t wait until she can do it again, safely), swimming, biking, hiking and of course, photography.
SOMEDAY IN PARIS, her debut, published by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus in May 2020 became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021. Her second novel, THE MEETING POINT, a contemporary romcom set in Northern California, is set to be published as an e-book on September 2, 2021 and in paperback in December 2021 in the UK and March, 2022 in the US.