Love at First is the latest novel by Kate Clayborn. I absolutely couldn’t wait get my hands on this book after loving her previous book, Love Lettering, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. It’s one of those really emotional stories that has found family that crosses multiple generations, mixing sadness, happiness, friendship, romance and laughter in the perfect recipe for a romance novel to give you all the feels.
Star rating: 5 stars
Love at First follows Will and Nora, two characters that almost met when they were teenagers only to be re-united as adults. Will has inherited the apartment of his late Uncle Donny, having been estranged for all of Will’s life due to family arguments. Will, who has past trauma with this particular apartment, doesn’t want to live there and decides to rent it out in short-term lets. The only problem is, the rest of the building aren’t too keen on the idea. Nora is the youngest of the building residents, working remotely from the apartment she spent her childhood summers in and now owns after her Nonna passed away. The other residents are her found family, and she will do anything to protect them and their wellbeing, even if it includes fighting Will’s ambition to let out Donny’s old apartment.
I’ve got to say it, I loved these characters. Nora is kind of anxious and awkward – that is until she’s helping one of the residents or organising an event for them. Will has his own anxiety, but spends his days as a Doctor known for his charm and impeccable bedside manner. Both characters had childhoods where they weren’t the focus of their parents’ attention, and they connect through their shared experiences. Grief is a central theme in the novel, as Will and Nora are both grieving for lost relatives though the circumstances are entirely different. As expected, both characters have strong emotional reactions to events, but what I loved was their ability to self-reflect and apologise.
I adored the interactions Will and Nora had with the side characters. Will’s boss, Dr Gerald Abraham, is a tricky character at first but the two begin to open up to each other making it become one of my favourite friendships in the book. They even had me crying my eyes out at one point! The friendship between Nora and the other residents is also really heart-warming, Nora helps them and they help her, it’s so adorable! I really liked that both Will and Nora had advice from older people in their lives.
Overall, this is a romance novel that will spark a whole range of emotions. I honestly wasn’t expecting to cry at the end but here we are! If you want to get in your feels, I’d highly recommend picking this one up.