Nora Goes Off Script
A hilarious and heartwarming romance for summer 2022
by Annabel Monaghan
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Pub Date 7 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 7 Jun 2022
'Smart, fresh and romantic . . . I loved this book with my whole heart' BETH O'LEARY
'Absolutely irresistible - funny, addictive and deliciously romantic' ROSIE WALSH
Nora's life is about to get a rewrite . . .
Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it's her job. But when her husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns the collapse of her marriage into the best script of her life. When it's picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her picturesque Hudson Valley home, Nora's life will never be the same - especially after world-famous Hollywood actor and former 'Sexiest Man Alive' Leo Vance is cast as her ex-husband.
The morning after the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He'll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for an extra week. Seven days: it's the blink of an eye or an eternity, depending on how you look at it. It's enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart . . .
Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story - the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life.
For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.
Readers love Nora Goes Off Script!
'You will want to read this in one sitting! Gorgeous!'
***** Reader Review
'A perfect beach read'
***** Reader Review
'A five-star rom com!'
***** Reader Review
'This book will have you laughing one minute and shedding a tear the next'
***** Reader Review
'A lovely treat of a read'
***** Reader Review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 136 members
Nora Goes Off Script, Annabel Monaghan
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, Wow. I loved this.
I read a lot of different genres including good old romance, but for me the story has to have more than the light and cute, couple meet, fall in love, quick bit of sad then the HEA. Lately somehow that's all I seem to find, books like the Hallmark afternoon films my late husband adored. He'd have a tear by the end, I'd be “ What? Really”. Millions of folk love these sorts of reads, I'm not knocking them, but they're not for me. When Nora talks about her TRC stories, it made me smile, that's exactly what I mean.
Nora was wonderful, picked herself up after her husband left “ to find himself, she was holding him back” or some such nonsense, leaving her with debts, house needing repairs, and of course two adorable kids. She just knuckled down and wrote a story about it. She usually writes romances for The Romance Channel ( as above!), but this one is a bit darker and more intense than her usual, and her agent pitches it elsewhere...cue a whole life change for Nora.
I loved Nora, she's been through so much, supporting the family on her own long before Ben left. In fact she's financially better off without him, something many of us know about. Arthur and Bernadette, the kids, are great. Sensible, almost adult at times but with the kid bit bursting through at others. She has some great friends too, plus of course the small town folk that are always around, those who most try yo avoid, who have a way of manipulating others, or saying things in a double handed way.
Then the film crew. I loved Wheezie, and of course Martin, and his ever younger girlfriends...Leo though, I didn't like him at all to begin. I was thinking “ really? This guy is the one she falls for?” Over time though, as he settled I grew to see a different side of him, and fell in love along with Nora. And then came the big crash. Huge, but very quiet crash.
What I loved about when it all went wrong is that it was fully explored, drawn out, there were times when I thought “is this the time they get back?” only to find it wasn't. That part was perfect for me, I like the drama to be fully wrung out, every bit of emotion explored, pulled out, not over in a couple of pages as so often happens. Then when things finally did work out it was just so so satisfying, again there's still upset and hurt, its not “ wow, OK, all is wonderful now” There were some very real reactions.
Stars: Five, a fabulous story for me, felt very real and had drama in bucket loads.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
This is a book that you need to make space for in your holiday suitcase, a fun light read for on the beach, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be looking out for the author in future
Nora Goes Off Script was, for me, a somewhat unexpected delight. This is a book I picked up on a whim, based on the cover and blurb. And it’s a book I ended up loving.
The story follows Nora, a scriptwriter whose latest work, based on her failed marriage, is being made into a film. For three days, the film crew and actors arrive at her home, and it’s here she meets Leo. Once the filming is done, Leo asks her if he can stay one week longer, to the tune of $1000 per day. Nora, confused, accepts the offer.
In general, I would say this book falls somewhere between romance and women’s fiction. There is the romance between Nora and Leo, but the focus is less on that than Nora herself and the pacing of the romance is a lot different to in a conventional romance novel. The reason I would say it’s not wholly women’s fiction is because it does hit the romance beats still, just at a different pace.
Which is actually what I really liked about this book. To say this vaguely, in an attempt to avoid slight spoilers, the way events unfolded I think gave time for the conflict to breathe, so that, by the end, you could believe in the characters’ development. I’ve often mentioned in reviewing romance novels that I struggle with late third act breakups, in believing in a couple’s ability to get past whatever precipitated that breakup and thus become a healthier relationship. Because that breakup and subsequent forgiveness is always rushed and sudden. Here, though, there is ample time for it all and, honestly, that was probably my favourite part of this book.
Where I think perhaps the balance of romance to women’s fiction worked against this book was Leo. This isn’t entirely a criticism, I think, because it’s a personal one, really. I just thought Leo came out too vague as a character. I couldn’t tell you a whole lot about him. In part, I think this was down to the fact the book focused more on Nora—the women’s fiction aspect of it, instead of the romance. Nora’s journey was the big event in the plot; Leo was simply a facet of it. But, as such, he felt quite indeterminate.
However, that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. This is a book I picked up on a whim, expecting nothing from it, really, but I ended up loving it. And honestly, isn’t that the best sort?
Just lovely. A proper emotional ride as Nora discovers herself and that she isn’t poor Nora but a fabulous person with a future and great kids. The love affair with famous actor Leo is central to the script and somehow you love Leo, Nora and the kids despite the meddling and attention seeking. Such a feel good story, perfect.
I blitzed through this book over the weekend as I just could not get enough. Light and witty I enjoyed every second. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now might not be the best time for me to be writing this review, or it could be the best; I’m unsure. I’ve just finished reading Nora Goes Off Script; I am emotional because this story made me cry, and I feel like I could slip back into tears at the slightest provocation. There may be some spoilers in this review, so please stop reading if you don’t want to know!
I know nothing about being a mother, single or otherwise, and Nora, our main character, is a single mother of two who writes television romance movies. She has recently written a big-screen film about her perspective of her marriage and her husband walking out. One part of the film is set to film in her tea house, which the film is named after. In swoops, Leo Vance heartthrob of the big screen.
Leo isn’t in a great place and needs a little time in the quiet life to get reacquainted with who he is. This leads to Nora letting him Bunk in her tea house for a week after filming wraps up so he can recalibrate. One week turns into three and holy heck, am I swooning.
Nora is a badass mum; she’s determined and strong; she gets shit done while writing movies and providing for her family. I enjoyed reading from her point of view and getting to know her and her children. Leo was also a wonderful character; once he resets into himself after so much time spent filming and on movie sets, he settles into this down to earth guy who loves the little life. I loved them together. But. And this is where the tears came in. There are multiple conversations about how Nora sets up her scrips for her television romances; the characters meet but heads, work together on something, fall in love; one leaves before the last advert break and then comes back right at the end, realising that what they want is right in front of them. Reunion kiss and fade to black. Do you see what I’m getting at?
There is a portion of this book where Leo leaves, he’s going to shoot a new blockbuster film, but he’s coming back. He reassures Nora, her kids and us that he is coming back, and then he doesn’t. This isn’t what caused my tear ducks to rebel. It’s his coming back, and the circumstances of his leaving that killed me (I’m tearing up again).
I enjoyed Nora Goes Off Script; it was surprisingly easy to get into, and I read it in a day, so it’s easy to read (until it makes you cry). The characters are well written, and the story is excellent; I would definitely recommend it.
As a romance channel screenwriter, Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. But when her husbands leaves her and their two kids, Nora turnes her marriage's collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. When celebrity actor, Leo Vance, is cast as her ex-husband, Nora's life will never be the same.
This is the kind of books I love; the ones that make you go from laughters to tears (almost…).
I started reading it with a bit of trepidation and then quickly got hooked on the characters and their story. Nora has just come out of a disastrous marriage to a megalomaniac. She tries to do everything to protect her children, and herself, from being abandoned again. And then on the other side, there is Leo, a very charming eternal bachelor.
I really liked this contrast between Nora's job and her life. Even if, as a result, we could more or less suspect the end. But sometimes it feels good. I also really liked Nora's children and in particular Arthur who is very endearing behind the shell he has built for himself.
It's a book that reads very quickly but still deals with serious themes such as abandonment and divorce.
Thank you to NetGalley, Annabel Monaghan and Hodder & Stoughton for an arc of this book that left me crying on the floor in a puddle.
This book was the perfect romance that I needed right now ! I love the celebrity / non-celebrity trope in fiction and so this book was perfect for me. Nora's personality felt so fleshed out and I really cared for her and everyone in her life. I also love small towns in fiction so I really enjoyed the setting of the book - very Stars Hollow vibes!
Essentially this book is amazing, i have no criticism and now i need to go write an oscar worthy adaptation book so I can live out the plot of this novel or die trying !
A really fun and enjoyable read!!! I couldn’t put it down!! I loved Nora and was absorbed from the start! A recommend read for sure
Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for the e-arc 🥰😍
I really didn’t have any preconceptions of this book. It was great going into it with a clear mind and boy, did I love it!! 🥰🥰
Nora Hamilton is a loving, caring and hardworking screenwriter and mother who, despite her wonderful nature, has been unlucky when it comes to marriage. Enter Leo Vance, the most famous movie star on the planet who’s stunningly handsome and who happens to be playing the version of Nora’s ex husband that she’s written about in her newest script…awkward much? Um apparently Leo wants to make it a little more so when he asks Nora if he can stay at her house for a few days after filming has wrapped…😏😍
This book is absolutely brilliant!! 🥰🥰 I instantly loved Nora, she’s the perfect MC and her relationship with her children is so loving and fierce that I just want to sit and have dinner with them (I guess I’m a bit like Leo there…) and as for Leo?! He’s a complete babe 😍😍 There’s such a loving warmth to the story, it’s just so homely and cosy, I truly love it ❤️❤️ Seriously, pick this book up immediately!! I read it in one evening, I couldn’t put it down!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Many thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC 5 WELL DESERVED STARS! You will want to read this in one sitting! Gorgeous!
I really enjoyed Nora Goes Off Script, definitely an ideal summer read! Sometimes in a book of this style you just don’t warm to the main characters, but I was rooting for both Nora and Leo from the start. I also really liked how realistic it was; Nora behaves exactly as someone genuinely would do if a famous actor turned up to stay at their house. The book was very down to Earth and thought provoking, and I will definitely look out for more by Annabel Monaghan in future.
Absolutely loved this book! A really clever plot idea that was well written and engaging. The characters were interesting. A perfect summer read
This was a lovely treat of a read that I’m sure will be perfect to be read sat by a pool as a good holiday book.
Nora’s marriage has failed and as a writer of romantic stories she writes one which is set to be filmed with a big star lead. This is where she meets Leo and a second chance romance begins.
This book will have you laughing one minute and shedding a tear the next with believable characters taking you through a story of strength, heartache and everything in between.
The author has a wonderful writing style that draws you in making for an enjoyable read which is sensitively written despite some difficult subjects. Highly recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Nora Goes Off Script is a much lighter book than those I usually read but I loved it. Nora is a strong character and her kids are great. Bring in Leo and we have a great story. Plenty of ins and outs and a happy ending. What's not to love. Thanks to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for an e-ARC of this book to read and review.
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