Not Like the Movies

Kerry Winfrey's quick-witted romantic comedy focuses on almost-30-year-old Chloe Sanderson, an overburdened bisexual whose life is in chaos. The Columbus, Ohio, native has a long-absent mother and a father with early-onset Alzheimer's who resides at an assisted living facility. Chloe's twin--her ne'er-do-well, charming, gay brother, Milo--ditched the family to pursue his own whims, leaving Chloe to bear all the responsibility for Dad.

Tending to her father, trying to finish up her degree and working at a coffee shop--while cultivating her penchant for baking pies--Chloe is also planning a wedding for her best friend, Annie, who scripted a rom-com loosely based on Chloe and Nick Velez, the handsome owner of the shop where Chloe works. With a trailer for the film released, media and townsfolk start nosing around the café, eager to draw parallels between Chloe and Nick, sizing up their fictionalized romance. The attention, coupled with a host of snags, including Milo's unexpected return to town, draws Chloe closer to the kind, supportive Nick. Is his attention what self-reliant Chloe has been secretly hungering for? Is she willing to surrender her conflicted heart?

Winfrey uncovers layers of her characters' lives and longings, burdens and passions. The cast was first introduced in her novel Waiting for Tom Hanks, but readers don't need to be familiar with that book to appreciate this one. Those who enjoy fast-paced, sparring banter will find much to savor in this sexy story where love may--or may not--conquer all. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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