Have you ever had eight perfect hours with someone you didn’t know? A first date, a train trip, an airport in a storm?
I have. His name was Dante, and he was a friend of my brother’s who was invited to an end-of-summer cookout at my parents’ house. We were in our twenties, both in relationships that we weren’t sure we wanted to be in. We talked all night, and when we parted the next morning, I didn’t think I would ever see him again.
And this brings us to:
In this romantic and heartwarming novel, two strangers meet in chance circumstances during a blizzard and spend one perfect evening together, thinking they’ll never see each other again. But fate seems to have different plans. From the acclaimed author of the “swoon-worthy…rom-com” (The Washington Post) Dear Emmie Blue.
On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.
All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.
With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.
I really, really, really enjoyed this book. I thought that the characters were completely believable, and I was rooting for them so hard. Most of the time, in the Romance genre, the HEA is such a foregone conclusion that there rarely feels like there are any stakes, not really. This book…every decision in this book was fraught. Every meeting, every lunch, every misunderstanding, every longing glance, every stray touch…I felt them all with growing anxiety for our MCs. They are both in relationships that they don’t especially want to be in, relationships which have run their course, outlived their magic. But the concept of what you owe someone who has been your person for years…do you owe them forever because of a promise you made in another lifetime?
This book is full of some heavy themes, as well. Anxiety and depression, caregiving to an elderly parent, suicide, accidental deaths. It’s not light reading. Worth it, but not light.
And I know that there will be those who will get to the end and say “come on! That is not realistic, not in the slightest” and I get that. I do. But this book works as both a very realistic relationship drama, and also as a fairy tale. The ending is the ending because OF COURSE it is. Without the fairy tale ending, it’s a fairly pedestrian plot. It’s the ending that elevates it to something extraordinary.
I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
As for me and Dante, well…we did see each other again, and for a minute we tried to be…something. But we weren’t a fairy tale, and we did ultimately collapse under too much baggage. But we do still have those eight perfect hours.
Now—go read this book!