Dear Cara Bastone, thank you for writing one of my favorite books of 2021 in January. A heck of a way to kick off the year! FLIRTING WITH FOREVER, and I am not exaggerating, made me smile, swoon, and believe in love again. When I read the synopsis, I knew I would adore this book, but Bastone exceeded my every expectation. An opposites attract, sunshine and the grump, older heroine – younger hero, slow-burn romance. YES. Additionally, the hero is super awkward. Awkward heroes are my kryptonite.
This book. THIS BOOK. I read it in one day because I absolutely could not put it down. It follows Mary, a super positive and successful 37-year-old heroine who owns her own shop in NYC and is looking for love. John, our hero, is an overworked, underpaid public defender and happens to be on a blind date with Mary – set up by his mother, I might add – when he sticks his foot in his mouth so deep that Mary leaves the date early. Where do they go from there?
John is instantly attracted to Mary, but he slowly falls in love with the bright and kind woman, and it’s beautiful. He’s almost in awe of her. A+ pining, y’all. A FREAKING PLUS. I highlighted so many lines from his POV because he is just so romantic! We all deserve to find someone who loves them like John loves Mary. Bonus, he’s a do-gooder vegan with ethics and high moral standards swoon.
Mary is fantastic. I loved her in the previous books in the series, but she shines in her own story. Her ability to talk about her emotions and insecurities was so refreshing. She’s a mature woman in her late 30’s and acts that way. Both characters have baggage and problems they need to overcome both together and separately before they can be together; to accomplish this, Bastone weaves emotions and character growth into every interaction. At the end of the book, I was so invested in John and Mary I cried.
Bastone writes the most relatable characters. On the surface, I don’t have anything in common with either Mary or John. But Bastone goes deep. Can’t everyone relate to feelings of inadequacy? How about family expectations? Maybe socioeconomic differences? This book covers these heavy topics with a deft hand while crafting a stunning romance that will make your heart swell. Worried about the slow burn? Bastone builds the sexual tension until both the characters and the reader are practically vibrating from the wait. When the anticipation finally comes to a boiling point, it’s worth every single second of waiting.
Overall, after three books, I think I can say that Cara Bastone is one of my favorite authors. I’ll read anything she writes! I want to go up to strangers and yell at them to read this book. Is that normal? I don’t care. Read this book! Better yet, read the whole series!
**I received a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**