Book Review: Make Me Fall by Sara Rider
This is the second book in Sara Rider’s Books and Brews series, after Real Kind of Love which was a light, sweet fake relationship story. Both can be read as stand-alone novels.
Like Real Kind of Love, Make Me Fall by Sara Rider is a sweet story. I read the first chapter when it was published at the end of Real Kind of Love, and got the impression that Make Me Fall was going to be a wacky enemies-to-lovers story.
In the first chapter, Eli is out doing some power-tool work in his driveway while his neighbor Nora is hosting her book club. He overhears her book club “friends” loudly discussing her lack of a love life, and he intervenes and volunteers to take Nora on a date. He calls one of the women backstabbing and mean to her face! It’s a huge crazy moment! And you can tell even though Eli and Norah have gotten off to a bad start, Eli feels protective of his new neighbor.
The rest of the book is not quite as wacky and dramatic as the first chapter. Nora is a 31-year old divorced chemistry professor who had a great gig at a university in Boston through a spousal appointment, but when she found her husband cheating on her with the head of the geology department she applied for jobs and got one at Shadow Creek College, which has way fewer resources than she is used to. Nora is extremely Type A and germaphobic, and the way that she gets very stressed out by things out of place makes me wonder if she is OCD. Her best friends, Alice and Jessie, live far away and Nora’s attempts at making friends in her new town are not going well.
Eli is the co-owner of the Holy Grale brewpub, and he and his sister are planning a memorial service for the 10-year anniversary of their mother’s death as well as a special event for the SPCA. (The other co-owner, Jake, is the hero in Real Kind of Love). Eli works all the time and feels very guilty about his mother’s death, and generally is feeling a little badly about himself.
Eli shows up for their first date wearing a t-shirt with a T Rex riding a dolphin, cargo shorts, and flip flops. Nora, on the other hand, is dressed to the nines. Her idea of making conversation is asking him if he washes his feet in the shower. It’s super awkward but Eli is very protective of Nora. Her food is not cooked properly at the fancy restaurant where they start out their date, so they end up getting burgers and having a picnic. Norah is left a little confused by the whole thing.
The great thing about this book is the characters are very relatable and realistic people in their 30s. They have friends, insecurities, careers. It’s nice to read 3-dimensional characters.
I definitely recommend this book if you like contemporary romance, people in their 30s, a smitten hero, a lot of kindness toward someone who is very Type A, post-divorce moving on with her life, beer brewing dudes, chemistry professor heroine, and romance book club. It’s great! 4.5 stars for Make Me Fall by Sara Rider.
If you think you might like this book, check out my review of How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, another contemporary romance with people in their 30s and some good stuff.
My thanks to Sara Rider for providing an e-galley free of charge. My opinions are my own.