✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Laney Hatcher’s Well Acquainted, a Smartypants Romance historical retelling βœπŸ»

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes:  second chance romance; ambitious heroine; hero who falls first; past familial trauma; historical romance

To take on Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City and reimagine it into historical romance is quite the undertaking. Fresh off a successful Neanderthal Seeks Duchess release in the last Smartypants Romance season, Laney Hatcher takes on Eliza and Nicholas’s (Nico) story inspired by Reid’s popular Friends Without Benefits. I had forgotten how stubborn our heroine is in Reid’s story. Then, I remembered it in Hatcher’s book. Between her two stories, I think I prefer the first book over the second simply because Eliza is a difficult character to appreciate in Well Acquainted. She must overcome her thinking patterns and her suppositions about choices she made in her past, and she spends much of this book self-flagellating, which is difficult to read. Thankfully, Hatcher has crafted a main male character in Nicholas who is patient and tenacious in his want to love her. Most heroes in other books would have given up on her, allowing her to continue to live her carefully-constructed, routine life. Nicholas must remind her that her past choices do not need to define her present and her future. Through his love for her, he waits for her until she realizes this truth. 

Thankfully, the community of women in the Embroidery Group acts as guides for her as well. Their compassion and love for Eliza help deliver her out of her negative self-talk, and Nicholas and Eliza find their happy ending…eventually. 

Laney Hatcher has absolutely crafted a story that beautifully retells Penny Reid’s popular book in her newest book, Well Acquainted. Even when the characters can’t seem to find their way through, Hatcher gives them the space of the story to become better versions of themselves. In doing this, she challenges her readers to consider how they may be using the choices of their past to influence their now. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

Author:

I teach students to write for college. I love to read writers who write romance. Why not review and promote the writing of people who love to write romance? Win-win for me

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