Desert Isle Keeper
Accidentally in Love
Accidentally in Love is a contemporary romance that follows a woman turning her life around in her mid-thirties, chasing her dream and falling in love along the way. While the book does utilize a couple of contemporary romance tropes I don’t usually like, it’s still a really wonderful read and will suck you right in.
Katharine Patterson has just been passed over- not for the first time – for a promotion she deserved. She works as an art curator in London, and she’s sick of being overlooked in favor of less competent men in spite of her master’s degree. Katharine walks out of her work, completely unsure of her next step. She’s got a kind-of-boyfriend who doesn’t want to meet her family or see her during the week, no job, and an expensive London flat to pay for. Plus, her best friend Lainey is getting married, and Katharine has committed to doing a lot of calligraphy for the event. Katharine’s passion for art originated in her devotion to photography, but she can’t remember the last time she picked up her camera. Unmoored from her life and re-evaluating her choices, Katharine sits at a crossroads.
On a weekend visit home, Katharine realizes how much she’s missed Sheffield, her dad, and her dad’s girlfriend Fiona. She has the idea to make a fresh start back home, and open her own gallery under her own name. Unfortunately, it is on this same visit home that she is introduced to Kit, a local artist her father has befriended, who seems to immediately hate Katharine. Kit accuses Katharine of being biased against smaller artists and only wanting to show big names, and questions her artistic integrity. Being called an elitist doesn’t make Katharine feel any better, given that it’s been a long time since she felt like a real artist. She feels even worse when she finds his website, which showcases his gorgeous paintings and successful art school. Kit’s talent and his complete dismissal of her stings, and Katharine hates to think that he might be right about her.
Katharine sets out to start her own business, but has to make a lot of decisions about what parts of her life will come to Sheffield with her. She dumps her rubbish not-boyfriend, focusses fully on her ambitious project, and starts to figure her life out again. But she keeps running into Kit- rude, cheeky, unfairly talented Kit – who wants nothing to do with her. Katharine has to decide what – and who – is worth her effort, and what her new life is going to look like.
This book has kind of a slow start, but it picks up after about a chapter or so. Katharine has a sharp, caustic voice, and it’s hysterical to read. She is wholly likable and the kind of female lead everyone can see themselves in; she accepts less than she deserves from a man, but takes her power back. She loses satisfaction in her life, and makes a change. While she’s not fearless or flawless, Katharine is brave, funny, and honest. She has a great heart, and is ready to make space in it for anyone who shows her they are worthy. I also loved Kit. I have limited patience for cranky, rude men, but Kit is fun to read about, a person who is afraid to open up, but desperately needs to be seen. Their romance is sweet, fulfilling, and wholesome; it’s a perfect love story of two people who are fairly similar below the surface but have difficulty seeing it. Kit and Katharine lift each other up, which is a refreshing dynamic and really makes you root for them.
Another great thing about this book is the fleshed out secondary characters. Katharine’s family and her relationships with them are great additions to the narrative, as opposed to an obstacle to the rest of the story. Families can be a stumbling block, but in this case, they’re just delightful. The supporting cast creates believable, interesting subplots that don’t detract from the love story or Katharine’s adventures. I adored this book in spite of the tropes I dislike, which are worked in effectively and didn’t bother me. The title and the cover did give me pause, but it’s really an amazing book and I would recommend Accidentally in Love to any contemporary romance reader.