This was one of those happy surprises. I picked up Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn from my library’s new purchases, which can be a bit hit-or-miss. I didn’t expect to fall in love and now I wonder why I’m not seeing this near the top of all the great contemporary romance lists.
Meg is a successful artist in New York, specializing in lettering and famous for custom, hand-made calendars and planners. When she unconsciously builds a secret message into a wedding announcement predicting the relationship’s failure, she didn’t think anyone would notice. But the groom, a mathematician and Wall-Street Quant, lives for patterns, and Meg might be the sign he’s been looking for.
The voice of this novel elevates it well above a summer read. We’re immersed in the mind of an artist who sees the world in colors and shapes, patterns and symbols, and describes them in rich, loving, immersive detail. Another author might try to set up an oil-and-water pseudo-conflict between the artistic Meg and the mathematical Reid, but Clayborn must know a real mathematician. At the highest level, mathematical thinking isn’t all that different from artistry. It’s about seeing shapes and patterns in the world, and finding meaning in how they interact. It’s as creative as it is precise, and that makes these two perfectly complementary. I recognize a lot of my own mathematician partner in Reid, although he’s a little bit of Meg as well. That might be part of why I fell so in love with these characters.
I didn’t find a lot to not love about this book. The characters have depth and flaws, along with strong, independent goals and motives that weave their way through the central romance. They grow as people, tackling tough issues around communication and trust. The twist is well done, unique, and highly believable, balancing external and internal obstacles to the relationship. The prose is lyrical and artistic, the atmosphere is rich and nuanced, and the sex is amazing.
Not only am I buying a copy for myself for my go-to re-read pile, but I’ve added all of the author’s other work to my TBR.
Visit Kate Clayborn online for more information and purchase links.