It’s in the cards.
Stevie is an improv player in Chicago that has just auditioned for Saturday Night Live and is impatiently waiting to hear back. She begrudgingly tags along when the other players in her troupe when they decide to go get a reading from a def tarot card reader. Stevie fumbles into the room and is instantly touched by Bernadette (Bernie) who is the ASL interpreter.
I was really impressed with the overall planning of the book. There were things that were easy to predict, but I didn’t mind because I kept thinking that it was a really smart idea.
It was train wreck waiting to happen, though. The author keeps letting you know that it is going to happen. Through actions and words you know that Stevie and Bernie (Can I tell you how much I loved that name? Don’t ask me why.) are headed for heartbreak. Stevie’s dream is SNL. She is going to go to NYC no matter what. Were the tarot cards right when they predicted sacrifices would have to be made for true love? Hmmm.
Oh the heartbreak. It hurt. I cried. So the execution of that was achingly good.
A couple of thoughts.
This reminded me a lot of ‘Breaking Character’ because Bernie has been in love with Connie (the tarot card reader) all of her life. Very much like Elizabeth being hung up on Grace. And like in that book, it took a sufficiently long time to move beyond it.
The one way this book suffered was with the relationship between Stevie and Bernie. It relied too heavily on this meant-to-be and cosmic connection. It was a great way for them to begin, but I would have liked to have seen more interaction with them where we SEE them falling for each other because of who they are. To me, it felt like it was based more on the meant-to-be and great sex. (Which the scenes were fast but enticingly spicy). This sounds more critical than it should be. You still get attached to these two and root for them. But this is what could have took this from a 4 star to a 5 star.
Another thing that could have elevated this if if it were released during the holidays. It was heavily Christmas focused and had it been that time of year, I think it would have evoked even more emotion.
I really liked how both Stevie and Bernie had to grow and get beyond their pasts in order to give their future a chance. It created a deepness to the book that I appreciated.
The cover is beautiful. But who is that woman? From the descriptions of the main characters, I am guessing it is supposed to be Bernie. However, there is no way that lady on the cover is pushing 50. Just saying.
Erin Zak’s books keep getting better. Looking forward to the next.
I recommend this to people who love romance, lady loving, comedy troupes, improv, tarot cards, failing at trying to keep things casual, family drama, angsty break-ups, and sign language (I mean, come on.)