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Review ❤️ Not Like The Movies by Kerry Winfrey

July 7, 2020


What happens when your life is a rom-com . . . but you don’t even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, she’s pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend, Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that’s about to premiere in theaters across America . . . and happens to be inspired by Chloe and her cute but no-nonsense boss, Nick Velez.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can’t see him as anything but Reason #4: The scruffy-bearded hunk who’s always there when you need him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn’t so sure her own story will end in a happily-ever-after.

Release Date: Jul 7, 2020
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley
Price: $11.99


This book made me cry… in a good way.

Let’s back up for a second. Outside of the crying I experienced a lot of emotions reading this story. From laughing out loud, frustration, anger, empathy, and the end involved some tears. This book was unexpected and caught me a bit off guard, more on that in the bit.

Cue quick recap!

Chloe Sanderson doesn’t believe in love… at least not the soul mates, together forever kind of thing. So when her best friend wrote a movie script (turned movie) inspired by Chloe and her boss, Nick it suddenly has her thinking about him in a way she never imagined.

A couple extra things to note. This book is all the heroine’s point of view, no hero thoughts interfering. I kind of missing having the dual points of view, but Chloe is such a loud personality that it works. This book directly relates to the first in the series, Waiting For Tom Hanks. While this can stand alone, after my read I realized I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much if I hadn’t read the first book. There are multiple secondary characters featured in book one that appear again in book two and become more endearing as the story goes on.

Now to the meat!

Chloe is super relatable, in ways that made me connect with her enough that some of her dialogue got me crying. Real tears! And, I don’t cry when reading romance novels. Even the sappiest of ones. I think I’ve shed water over maybe two other books in my entire time of reading. Part of the connection is Chloe’s personality as well as the personal events in her life. Comparing my life to hers I see lots of parallels that made it easy for me to absorb and become personally invested in her happily ever after. Those kind of books don’t ever leave you, and this one will stick with me for a while.

The emotions surround Chloe having a rough childhood and now her father has (small spoiler) Alzheimer’s. If this is a sensitive subject for you, as it is for me, then you may find yourself crying a bit. There are also events that have Chloe dealing with a frustrating brother, helping with a wedding, and basically trying to be a one-woman army; all these things ring too true to me as well. The humor is evident in every chapter that Winfrey has an affinity for rom-coms. Like in this scene where Chloe finds herself having to share a room (ooh, one bed), with our hero Nick.

This is one of Annie’s absolute favorite romantic comedy tropes: when two people are forced to share the same bed (or sleeping bag, or whatever). Usually it’s people who hate each other but have sexual tension simmering beneath the surface of their anger….

“Does your shirt say Pizza Slut?” he asks, standing up and stretching, his shirt riding up to show more lower abdomen than I’m comfortable with. He has a lot of body hair, but I guess if loving a thick carpet of man fuzz is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

Oh, and if the humor doesn’t get you it’s the constant mention of rom-com’s themselves. Annie is Chloe’s best friend, and Annie has done a good job of making sure Chloe is educated about tropes, and grand gestures. The whole shebang. Then toss in a hefty dose of hilarious dialogue.

Like this gem from one of Chloe’s other friends when Chloe tells all about her recent bed sharing trip and then Nick does some other super sweet stuff (that I can’t go into detail about *winks*).

“Ohhhh,” Tracey says, taking a slow sip of her tea. “I see what’s going on here.”

“What?” I ask, sitting up straight in bed. “What do you think is happening?”

She shakes her head. “You’ve purchased yourself a one-way ticket to bonetown, girl, and your scheduled departure is any day now.

It was nearly two am when I read this and I’m almost woke the house laughing, could have been sleep deprivation induced, but also, I love how hard Chloe tries to fight this thing between her and Nick. Even when Nick gave up fighting a long time again. I said what I said.

Why is this not a five? Because there were a couple of hiccups for me. Including our heroine making out with some random dude about fifteen percent of the way through, nothing happened, but I’m a stickler.

It’s a wrap!

If you are a sucker who loves movies like You’ve Got Mail or Music or Bridget Jones’ Dairy, Not Like The Movies is worth a read. Be ready with some tissues, a snack, and a beverage because this will easily suck you in reading past your bedtime. I will probably read this one again to tug at the heart strings.

~ Landra

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