Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Tropes: high school crush; love from afar; second chance romance; small town romance
Lauren Connolly’s Letter Late Than Never is a wonderful addition to Smartypants Romance’s Green Valley Heroes series. I found myself lost in her story as Gwen and Sebastian recognize their feelings for each other. Unlike other Smartypants Romance stories, Connolly’s Letter Late Than Never is more nuanced in its messaging. Gwen struggles with believing she can have what she wants, namely Sebastian in this story. The choices other’s made for her in the past influence her present, and she struggles to accept more from Sebastian. That she’s worthy of it. And through Sebastian’s characterization, Connolly highlights the impact of working in a trauma-filled world and the post-traumatic consequences of it: anxiety and panic attacks. Placing that struggle as Sebastian’s journey highlights discussions about masculinity, trauma, and therapy in an underserved population.
Connolly has crafted a compelling romance in Letter Late Than Never that is sweet and spicy in equal measure. Sebastian’s realization about Gwen and Gwen’s reticence to accept his interest in her make for a story that engages the reader through to its sweet happy ending.
In love and romance,