Cover Image: Back to September

Back to September

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Member Reviews

Okay, so I absolutely adored Beautiful Dreamer and was stoked to read Ms Brayden's newest book.   I was expecting a wonderfully sweet and endearing slow burn romance with engaging characters, witty banter, small town shenanigans, Henley shirts - hell I was expecting  sunshine and unicorns.  What I got was ...angst.  Gloriously heart-wrenching angst.  The highs were euphoric and the lows were devastating.  At points I had to put the book down and take a calming breath as the story unfolded.

Hannah Shepherd an independent bookstore owner who is struggling to keep her business afloat.  When she has the opportunity to host a book signing by one of the top romance writers, she jumps at the chance to bring more clients despite the fact that she's a bit of a book snob who's never read a romance.  Enter Parker Bristow, bestselling novelist, internet influencer and darling of the talk show circuit.  Despite her fame, Parker is down-to-earth and charming.  An easy rapport develops as she invites Hannah for dinner.  There's a phenomenal chemistry between the two - physically and intellectually - and their attraction quickly escalates.

This is an on and off again romance - which totally cranks up the angst-o-meter.  As a reader, you know that they belong together and the more they are apart the higher the frustration - dating other people or stupid insecurities just make you want to throttle them both.  Call me a book nerd, but I found the scene where the two of them are relaxing on the couch reading their books almost as hot as the sex that happens soon after.  So often romances are all about the physical attraction and there's not much time for talking or spending time outside the bedroom. The level of comfort and compatibility  between Hannah and Parker just amps up the raw physical attraction that the two share.

The story is told from Hannah's first person POV and you get a front row seat to the gamut of emotions she experiences.  Considering herself staid and boring - she's resolved to settle for a relationship based on friendship.  With Parker,  she's swept up in the intensity of the  attraction and the brightly burning, all encompassing passion.   Parker is bewildering and addictive - and despite the pain and betrayal Hannah's unable to resist the pull of the depth of her feelings for her.

After I read Back to September I was pretty much wrecked and had to take a few days to formulate my thoughts for my review. Once the angsty high that had completely sucked me into the book wore off, I began to have some misgivings with Parker and her actions.   If  I had been a character in the book, I probably would have offered to knock Parker around on Hannah's behalf.  Okay, I probably would have given her a really stern glare - while her back was turned - and surreptitiously played "You're No Good" on constant repeat in the bookstore.  I've gone back and forth on this - and what I've settled on is that Ms. Brayden is a talented writer who is able to completely bewitch her readers.  On paper, Parker's actions were cowardly and callous and put Hannah through hell; but,  in Ms. Brayden's book, it freaking worked.

Postscript: I haven't read a lot of Ms. Brayden's novels, but I did notice that a plot device used (twice) in Beautiful Dreamers was used in this book as well - I'm hoping that this is coincidence and not a signature plot device as its a pretty heavy handed way to get the MCs back together.

Definitely Recommended
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ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Ok... I’m going to be the outlier here, because a quick glance at the reviews shows me that people loved this.... and I did not. In fact, it was almost a DNF, and I never thought I’d say that about a Brayden book. 

This was my final ARC from last month, I usually leave Brayden’s books til last since she can be counted on for a sweet, lovely romance. This was, well, not quite that. I can’t say why I didn’t like this book without majorly spoiling it, so a general review appears below and then the more detailed stuff appears under the tag. 

So, first things first, MC Hannah owns a bookstore, has an eclectic band of part time workers, a loving step-sister and is sweet as pie. MC Parker is a romance novelist who stops in to do a book signing. The two hit it off right away, and hook up not long after. This was the first surprise, because what I like about Brayden books is we usually get the nice build up to the romance, and this seemed very quick. What happens after this made me dislike Parker and pretty much everything that happened from that point on made me dislike her more. Brayden attempts to make her a more sympathetic character by giving her a cliched bad childhood but... nope. I pretty much just thought she was an ass the whole way through. 

I read some of the other reviews and saw they loved the romance, and while there is chemistry between the leads (complete with cute banter) and they definitely clicked, Parker’s treatment of Hannah (in multiple crappy ways) was just... unforgivable. I also thought the ‘drama’ that lead to them reconciling was ridiculous, no one as ‘plugged in’ as Parker wouldn’t realise that doing that wouldn’t upset people who cared about her. 

Hannah was delightful, except for her terrible habit of forgiving Parker for truly shitty things. I wish she had stuck to her guns and not let Parker back in. I did not want them to end up together and this is the first time I finished a Brayden novel where I didn’t care about the HEA. I’m giving this 3 stars only because it’s a Melissa Brayden book and because the scenes where they are together were pure Brayden, but there was too much other stuff for me to sink in to this. 

 Can’t say as I thought Parker hookng up with Hannah, then dropping her cold, getting another girlfriend and then ringing Hannah months later and saying, ‘oh.. I’d like to be your friend’ was all that romantic. Hannah should have hung up. One of my least favourite tropes is watching two MCs date other people before getting together, it was worse here because they’d already BEEN together, and neither girlfriend was interesting but Parker’s was vapid and obnoxious (and really made her look shallow and stupid by extension). Parker then inviting Hannah on a double couples trip and proceeding to have sex with her girlfriend in the room next to Hannah’s, knowing she’d likely hear that, was just... seriously, I don’t have words for how gross that was. I almost put the book down then. 

I wasn’t blown away by the reconciliation, but was willing to hang in there, I figured there’d be some Brayden magic to wash this stuff away, but no... instead we get treated to Parker just leaving Hannah in the hospital after a terrible trauma (and no, what she later revealed did not make that in any way better). I seriously could not believe Hannah would even want to get back with her and it made me think less of her, which annoyed me, because I loved Hannah and she deserved better. Nothing that happened at the end of the book redeemed Parker to me. 
 
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Wow, this book was a rollercoaster ride, but I loved every minute of it.  Hannah and Parker met when Parker came to do a book signing at Hannah's book store.  Thank goodness she did because not only did that signing help to save Hannah's store, but it also changed both of their lives for the better.  While their road to happiness was filled with many hills, bumps, twists, and turns, this reader happily went along for the ride.  The supporting characters (Hannah's employees and her sister) were fantastic and really added to the plot.  Hannah and Parker were excellent main characters who were very relatable.  I don't want to give anything away with this review, so I will end by saying that this book is absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend it!
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This was different from what I was expecting. It contains some of the sass that I was looking for in a Melissa Brayden book, but it’s not as sassy as her usual fare. It’s kind of more realistic than a standard romance, whilst still containing the  “what are the odds” plot devices. At first I thought it was a bit flat, but I think that was just me getting my head round the difference between my expectations and the actual book I was reading. Parts of the plot are obvious so there’s no elements of surprise, but it has warmth and that kindles a little glow in the heart. The relationship between the sisters is where I smiled the most; the love there was palpable. Also the first line made me so happy, because yes that’s how I feel about my books. Overall, a mature romance.
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I went into this book with a bit of guilt, strangely enough. I'd scored big time by getting an ARC midway into October, but then life just knocked me over and I didn't want that kind of stress affecting my reading experience. So, here I am in November, finally finished and I'm glad I'd waited.

This, this right here, is a very lovely book. It gave me the feels, which is exactly what Melissa Brayden was put on this planet to do for us wlw readers. And I'll be honest: I really avoid first-person books 95% of the time. Even Back to September, a superb story, probably would've been even better in third person, where we could delve a bit more into Parker's psyche and how her past affected her current relationships.

Let me backtrack: though first-person narratives aren't my taste, Brayden knocked this out of the park as far as my expectations go. I view first-person like the main character never shutting up and Brayden's characters, well...never shut up, so I was a bit worried. Thankfully, I fell into step pretty seamlessly, as Hannah's character and her world were quite interesting.

I loved the setting of a bookstore. It's so comforting and familiar. Though I'm a Kindle-reader, I still frequent bookstores sometimes out of relaxation. It's cool to see what's popular or what authors I should keep an eye on. Plus, the covers and variation and pictures and—well, here I go gushing about books when I should be gushing over this story, haha.

Once Parker walked into the room and her and Hannah's eyes met, I was absolutely down for this romance. Wow, wow, wow I couldn't get enough of their interactions. Is...is Brayden usually this spicy, too? I felt like I got more than her usual share of (HOT!) sex scenes and I'm not complaining! Well done.

It also seems like Brayden mixed it up a bit in her approach, which I really appreciated. It allowed me to trust her (let's be real, I usually trust her) to guide me through a delicious love story. I'm already a sucker for celebrity girl-meets-girl romances, anyways. And I went into this book without even reading the blurb. I just knew I had to have it.

Per usual, I have a few Brayden-centric nitpicks. A certain lack of voice variation: there were a few instances where very different characters used the same distinct words, but not enough to bother me this time around. I'm also seeing her continued affinity for blonde-haired characters. The pop star character felt a little cliché; I wish she'd had more layers so that I would've viewed her as at least a small threat.

The ending drama and angst...hmm, were they resolved well? I think so. Were they resolved a little too quickly/neatly? Yeah, probably. I'll let it slide, but I was still kind of angry at the character who effed up as they were already making up. I don't like when that happens.

Still, this is so freaking romantic. It made me so giddy. Be giddy with me, too, and read this, people!
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I'm sad because I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. I think it just wasn't for me. This is going to be spoilery but I would have preferred if at the end Hannah and Parker didn't end up back together. This was a strong impression at the end but during the whole book I was waiting to ship them and that just didn't happen. When I read a romance story and don't end up shipping the main couple, I'm probably not gonna like the book very much. There were instant attraction from both of them but except for that not really much??? I liked them better when they were friends.

If we wanted to sympathise and forget Parker at the end like Hannah did, we needed to have more of her backstory and not just a few glimpses at one point. 

I did like the fact that Hannah owns a bookstore and seeing her take care of it. Books about books are always something that'll interested me.
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Back to September, is wonderful! Melissa Brayden is a gifted author and this truly has to be one of her magical books for dialogue and romantic connection between characters, Parker and Hannah. The book started a little slow for me, but once the two characters met the plot took off on an exciting journey of unexpected romance, honesty, and depth of emotion I never saw coming.. The deep desire to love and the blocks we all have in loving ourselves and connecting with others is beautifully explored in this book. Plus.the author weaves in playful, enjoyable dialogue and the supportive characters like Bo and Amy crafted a beautiful story about love. I really enjoyed this read and I highly recommend this book. I don't want to share the plot, as I was very surprised the way the story unfolded!
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So before you get all mad at me for my review on this one, I have to admit that I think I'm in a romance funk at the moment...  A lot of others have already reviewed this one in great detail and loved it, so I'll try to keep this short and just hit on my feelings.

This book has a ton of positives in it to mention!  I love how Brayden ignored the typical lesfic outline and the characters paths weren't the same 'ol, same 'ol pattern.  She choose to take a left where most others following the traditional outline would have taken a right, and I loved that!  The different twists in this one made me feel like I was reading a different novel than normal and left me wondering what would happen next.  I also feel like that allowed Brayden a lot more room for drama and angst, with some pretty positive results!

Speaking of angst though, there's still some pretty forced angst in this one even though it doesn't exactly follow the typical pattern.  I can't say that I hated it, but I didn't exactly love it either.  You'll need to read this one to understand, no spoilers here!  It actually felt like Brayden grew even more as an author since the angst and drama was quite a bit more than she usually has in her normal feel good, happy stories.  

I didn't hate the 1st POV in this one, but personally, I felt like at times I was missing out on understanding why MC Parker acted the way she did at times.  I wish there had been a bit more explanation so I could believe in her overall fear of commitment a bit more too.  Overall though, this is a winner and a very solid read if you're a romance fan.  4 stars.

**Many thanks to Bold Strokes for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.**
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I have struggled all year to find books that really moved me.  That I made myself stay awake to read...that kinda book.  Thankfully, I am now on a roll!  Of course Melissa Brayden helped.  I pretty much love everything she has ever written.  Some are regularly on my reread list.  
Back to September was fantastic.  I love how Brayden brings in those secondary quirky characters that add such incredible depth to her stories.  She blends it all...depth of character, humor, romance with a hint of angst and steamy sex scenes.  Back to September has them all!!

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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When I see a new book available from this author, I don't doubt it for a moment because I know it won't let me down. As for romance novels they have everything I look for: they have a good story that develops with coherence, their protagonists have depth and reflect their actions, there is consistent dialogue and there is always chemistry and a lot of feeling.

This time the story involves two very different women in terms of personality and professional level. Hannah is the owner of a bookstore in which she makes a lot of effort to make it profitable but does not seem to get it. Until a coincidence makes a successful writer, Parker, arrange a book signing in her store. Of course Parker and Hannah connect immediately but they are from worlds so different that nothing lasting can be expected. From the first meeting their story unfolds between ups and downs, with some questionable decisions from them, especially Parker. And being narrated in first person from Hannah's POV, these questionable Parker's decisions become more difficult to understand. But they both put great effort into staying connected, even if only at a friendly level although this is quite difficult given the undeniable attraction. Of course, there is some angst, doubts and almost resign, but that can't happen at all. It is only for an amplified resolution as far as feelings are concerned. 

With this book you’ll face excellent moments of pure romance, so that you know.
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Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own 


I have read several Melissa Brayden books and loved them, I always know they’re gonna be good. And her covers are always great

I loved all the characters, I found my self smiling at their banter and ribbing. I really loved the build up and the interactions between Hannah and Parker. As the story goes on I actually found myself laughing out loud at 1am, and brought to tears and overwhelmed by emotion at one point. I felt the chemistry Hannah and Parker had. It’s been a while since I’ve been so emotionally invested in a story but Melissa Brayden almost always does it for me. It’s been a while since I read a 5 star book but this is definitely 5 stars! I love that we read it from Hannah’s POV.

And books that reference Harry Potter in a good way is a definite plus for me!
As Hannah said “ I had to pause right then and there because I’d just spouted off a Harry Potter reference, and Parker hadn’t missed a beat. I couldn’t properly explain how much of a turn-on that was.” I feel you Hannah!
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Back to 5 stars! I've always loved Melissa Brayden books, but this one is back to one of her better ones in my opinion. The way that Hannah and Parker became friends added some nice juicy tension. I loved both of them, and as with all her books, they were both hot and sassy. 

I can't remember if any of her other books were told from just one character's perspective, but I liked that this one was solely Hannah. Personally, it's my favorite way. 

This book didn't feel rushed at all, but I did wish the end of the book (and what happens) could have been a bit longer. Beggars can't be choosers, and it didn't take away from how much I enjoyed this one, but had to say it. The epilogue did help a bit! 

Loved it, and everyone should read it. The end.
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Bookstore owner Hannah Shephard greets her books every morning. It is tearing her up inside that her store has been so slow lately. But she'll do anything to try and ensure that it stays open, even trying to get Parker Bristow, famous romance author, on her book tour. And when that actually happens, Hannah is not only elated, she's shocked to discover how very much she's attracted to Parker. And they spend some magical time together before Parker ghosts Hannah. But then they figure it out and become friends while each is dating someone else. But the attraction is still there. And that isn't the last roadblock the two will have to work through. Which was my biggest problem with this book. I get that this happens in real life, all the sturm and drang but it was Just. So. Much for this book. I liked Brayden's writing overall though and would definitely try another one of her books.

Three books
This book comes out November 12th
ARC kindly provided by Bold Strokes Books, Inc. and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
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I absolutely loved this book.  Hannah owns a bookstore that is not doing well and fears that she will lose the shop if things do not turn around.  When famous author Parker is on a book tour and accepts Hannah's offer to do a signing at her shop, sales start to soar.  Not only are sales up, but sparks fly between Hannah and Parker.  It is an up and down relationship with many twists and turns.
If you like a book about a book store, authors, and a budding relationship, this is for you!
I would highly recommend this book.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Another great book by Melissa Brayden. I always savor looking forward to reading her books, I have yet to be disappointed. 

Hannah is a bookstore owner who is perfectly content being alone. Her biggest worry is saving her bookstore from having to close down. That's until she meets famous author Parker Bistow. At first glance, the two couldn't be more different, but Hannah and Parker are immediately taken with each other.

If only it was that easy.

Hannah's insecurities and Parkers' fear of real commitment send the two on an angsty journey towards each other. Especially Parker's habit of running away and denial is hair-pulling frustrating. Especially the cabin scene, when they were still pretending to be friends. It was so cringy. 

Hannah's co-workers and sister are a great supporting cast and help to Hannah. They help balance out all the intensity that comes with Parker.

Needless to say, I couldn't stop reading and read this book in one sitting.
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I've recently become a big fan of Melissa Brayden's books, although, I must say, I didn't catch the Brayden bug until much later. Yeh, until I read her last book, "Beautiful Dreamer," which sealed the deal for me. My all-time favourite Brayden book yet. Something to be said about one's first, eh? Anyway, since then, I'd raced through her entire catalogue and got all caught up. So, when her latest outing, "Back to September," was released, I had to explore it, obviously.

First off, as I began reading it, I couldn't help but be reminded of one of my favourite movies, "Notting Hill," because the setup sure had the feel of it - a small bookshop, an eccentric staff, bookstore owner encountering a celebrity in the shop, mutual attraction strikes, celebrity visiting owner's home from the get-go, striking a nice, breezy, smooth, natural chemistry between them. In this case, Hugh Grant's character was Hannah, the MC. Speaking of, this story was written in first-person narrative, from Hannah's sole POV. As for Julia Roberts' famous actor-celebrity character, it was Parker, a renowned romance author, the story's other MC. But since this story was written solely as Hannah's journey, I didn't get a chance to get to know Parker's character as well as Hannah's.

Another point of reference to "Notting Hill" was the fact that Hannah was never a fan of romance fiction because she never believed in HEAs. Hence, she didn't have any clue about Parker's work. But after an encounter with the alluring and charming Parker, she decided to give romance fiction a chance by reading Parker's latest release. Remember Hugh Grant's character not knowing Julia Roberts' films because he was never interested in her movies until after their serendipitous encounter? Aha! So, reading the beginning of Parker and Hannah's journey of romance was a delightfully interesting bit for me because hey, I love "Notting Hill," and anyone paying homage to it especially in lesbian romance deserves my absolute attention! And who better to write it than Brayden, our generation's Queen of Romance, eh? Well done and cheers for that, Ms. Brayden!

I'd say Hannah and Parker's journey was a slow-burn romance....with a twist. Yup. Let's just say these two did things in reverse order, shall we? So, it was interesting to explore how they manoeuvred their intricate situation at every turn. Friendville. Hannah's previously unknown and financially woeful bookshop became a sensation, talked-about venue for book buyers after Parker's book-signing appearance. Whereas, for Parker, what was supposed to be just another one of her book-signing tour stops at Hannah's bookshop became something more personal, thanks to her mutual attraction toward the bookshop owner! I thoroughly enjoyed the development of their relationship at every stage especially when both were tentative about their feelings for each other. The slow-burn had a realistic feel to it, very natural and I must say, Hannah and Parker's chemistry was there from the start. It's all down to Brayden's incredibly conversational dialogue flow that just grabs your attention and before you know it, you're hooked. Plus, her richly described characters, from their non-verbals to their appearances, always gives the reader (at least for me!) a sense of realism and heartfelt resonance. Brayden's characters make you feel like you know them, you know what I mean? Anyway, same thing happened with Hannah, Parker and the rest of the cast of characters. I couldn't help getting invested in Hannah's plight especially when she wasn't a believer in so-called fairy tale happy endings that she insisted only existed in far-fetched, totally unrealistic romance fiction! Something that went against Parker's writings since she wrote in that genre, although she herself never really thought of getting involved in any long-term relationships because of her past. So the push-pull between these two characters, what with their respective fears (read and find out), they settled on being "just friends." Brayden, as usual, gave the reader a good vantage point of Hannah's state of mind as her friendship with Parker deepened, her dilemma when she realised her growing emotional attachment, nevermind her feelings toward Parker became more prevalent than she'd planned. In a typical romance twist, something happened which brings me to one of my favourite scenes in the book, a hilarious scene involving Hannah and Sheila, Parker and Carissa, a cabin in the woods and.... noises in the night..? A sound that "might or might not have signalled one of them being attacked and viciously murdered"! The quips below along with the context of the scene had me guffawing! Oh, what a laugh, indeed! Bloody well done, Ms. Brayden!

"Take me there!" 
"Think she was taken there?"
"I'm going to go with yes."

Anyway, because this was a romance, obviously Hannah and Parker's stint in Friendville had to come to an end eventually before they moved into Relationship-Commitmentville. And I can tell you that the entire slow-burning journey was well worth exploring! You'll know it when you read it! Again, it's Brayden. So it was sheer joy to get invested in her MCs' journey because, as usual, it was filled with humour, neurosis, some drama and angst, brilliantly crafted back-and-forth verbals and non-verbals, not to mention, some eccentric secondary characters getting their 2 cents in, which ultimately weaved its way to a satisfying happy ending. But obviously, in classic Brayden style, not without a last minute hiccup (grrr!!!) to complete the cycle! Dum-dum-dum!!!

Speaking of, whilst I know Brayden's forte and preference is a first-person POV narrative and I like how she does it, for this particular story, though, simply because Parker was such an enigma to me outside of what Brayden had presented, be it her public author persona or private one (albeit from Hannah's POV), not to mention, a polar opposite of Hannah's character, I really wished Brayden had given me a glimpse of Parker's POV, if only for certain circumstances, particularly that critical moment, the catalyst that changed the entire nature of Parker's truth, Hannah's perspective, the brutal truth about how emotional and psychological effects of the past will always rear its ugly head when one least expects it.

As such, I desperately wanted to dive into Parker's inner psyche, how her own truth and reconciliation within her inner being allowed her to let go and face her fears head on. Amongst all of Brayden's signature "hiccups" she seems to always make her characters go through in their romantic journey, I thought the circumstances behind Parker and Hannah's last-minute setback was portrayed with contemplative effect. It was utterly introspective and thought-provoking because it struck at the heart of the matter in a romance/love story. Love. It questioned if love, in and of itself, was enough. It questioned the issue of trust. Love without trust. Is it still called love? Real love? Can love survive without trust? To me, that's the crux of this story, which incidentally became my favourite moment of the book, which brings me to this following quote that, imo, perfectly summed it up ever-so poignantly: "Believe the pattern, not the promises." When you read it in its proper context, I think you'll agree with me...or not...regardless, it's my own interpretation of the situation, mind!

Furthermore, Brayden musingly asked this question: Happy Ever After (HEA). A thing of fiction or realistically tenable? Or, rather, there are many recipes to achieving one's own HEA. It's a matter of perspective, innit?

Anyway, without further ado, I'd highly recommend that you pick up this book and read it, especially if you're a die-hard romantic or if you love a good ol'-fashioned lesbian (F/F) romance, only this time, with its turning point that elicits thoughts to ponder and reflections. Once again, Brayden has hit her mark with yet another emotionally rewarding and uplifting story with a healthy dose of wit that tugs at your heartstrings. In short, Brayden's "Back To September" was a bloody good read for me! So, what are you waiting for, eh? Check it out for yourself!

p.s. BTW, there's a meaning to the title. Yup, September - the beginning of everything that came full circle in the end as Hannah, the bookshop owner and Parker, the romance author, journeyed through their romance and love story.

**I was given, with much thanks and appreciation, an ARC of this book, by BSB, in return for an honest review.
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There are few authors that are a guarantee, Melissa Brayden is definitely one of those.
Every single time I’ve picked up one of her books, it has been impossible to put it down, this one was not the exception.
The characters are incredibly well written, I honestly fell in love with no Parker, she knows all the right things to say, and I’m not ashamed to say it made me feel giddy at times.
One of the many aspects I loved of this book, was that one of the main characters is bisexual, there is a lack of representation and that was definitely welcomed. Another thing I definitely loved, is that one of the characters is a romance writer, and I am pretty sure Melissa tackled a lot of topics that she faces on a daily basis being an author of this genre. The skepticism this genre faces, and how many people dismiss it, was definitively entertaining to read, because the skeptical character came to the same conclusion many of us have when it comes to romance, we all need it, it makes us happy to know there will be a happy ending g after the drama, and we definitely want to experience it.
I had to put the book down at times because the emotions about things that were happening had me do it, it was just that good that I had to reread lines, or put the book down to laugh or just to get upset and say out loud “just kiss, make up, everything will be okay”, or my personal favorite “I can’t believe she said that”.
This is a major win for Melissa, and if you excuse me, I will now go back to reading this book for a second time.
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I always look forward to Brayden's new books and I can safely say this one was just brilliant. So many emotions that I walked away from when finishing this book. I was so hooked I read well into the night which I almost never do, I just simply couldn't put the book down until it was finished. 

Brayden has an exceptional talent for writing lovable and sweet characters who have normal human faults and fears, this making them realistic for me. The connection between the two was so believable that I felt it through the pages I feel like you could touch the chemistry it felt real. 

The storyline has many twists and turns evoking so many emotions from me that I know I will need to re-read or even hope it is on audiobook because it is something I just need to experience again. Once again Brayden hasn't disappointed.
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4.5 stars

Hannah Shepard's current goal is to save her failing bookstore, so she hosts a book-signing with bestselling romance novelist Parker Bristow, despite not being a fan of the genre herself. Fan or no fan, sparks fly between the two of them. But Parker has misgivings of her own that might keep them from getting their happily ever after. Can Parker and Hannah beat the odds and stay together, or is that kind of love simply too good to be true?

Ahh! Okay, I need to gush for a bit. I almost always enjoy Melissa Brayden's books, but this one really hit the spot for me. This was so good. I was hooked from the moment Parker and Hannah met. The chemistry was off the charts. Okay, now on to the analysis:

Characters - Hannah is a really down-to-earth character, used to living an ordinary life, so when celebrity Parker Bristow takes an interest in her, it's hard for her to believe. And Parker, despite her current fame, had a rough upbringing which has caused her to shy away from deeper relationships with others. Although neither woman is a romantic, they hit it off immediately. Brayden does a great job of showcasing their instantaneous connection. I couldn't help but cheer for them all the way through. The story is told from Hannah's first-person POV, so we can really understand Hannah's conflicted feelings—in her doubts about and her draw to Parker. 
I also like what Brayden did with the side characters. While they weren't totally fleshed out, they all added a little something to the story.

Writing - Yes! I can always count on Melissa Brayden to deliver quality writing. Everything flowed smoothly, the dialogue was witty and touching and heartbreaking and heartfelt. 

Loss of .5 stars - If I could change anything at all, I'd wish for a bit more action in the storyline and more angst at the end, but that's just a matter of personal preference. (Don't worry, this book never drags, and it will still get to you emotionally.)

This was a really entertaining, really cute and sweet read. I would absolutely recommend.
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An honest review thanks to Netgalley.  WOW.   This was an outstanding read, I literally could not put it down, staying up way to late to finish this in one sweep.  The angst that Brayden put into this was outstanding and pulled all of my heartstrings, all I wanted is more.  These characters worked so well together and yet they didn't, I would get massively angry and then plead for them to work it out.  This book is a masterpiece!
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