Review: Until I Saw Your Smile

UNTIL I SAW YOUR FACE - J. J. Murray
Kensington Books/Romance
PRINT | EBOOK
June 2014
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
REVIEWER: 
Ashley Slater |  RATING: C 
SYNOPSIS: At Smith's Sweet Treats and Coffee, you'll find Brooklyn's best house blend and the freshest homemade pastries. It's more than a business to owner Angela Smith. It's her home and her refuge--one she stands to lose thanks to her gouging landlord. Then a new regular offers to cover her rent increase if Angela lets him meet his clients there. If Matthew McConnell weren't such a persuasive lawyer--and so sweet, funny, and sexy--she wouldn't dream of letting him in.

REVIEW: UNTIL I SAW YOUR SMILE follows the story of Matthew and Angela.  After leaving a prestigious law firm, Matthew McConnell finds himself struggling to establish his own practice and dealing with an unexpected breakup.  Angela Smith runs Smith’s Sweet Treats and Coffee with a smile and encouraging words for her customers each day. When Matthew’s occasional visits become more routine, an unexpected friendship emerges between owner and customer.  Neither anticipated the therapeutic effects of pastries, coffee, and conversation or the romance that results from spending so much time together.

This story takes place amongst the hustle and bustle of New York City, yet the storyline takes a considerable amount of time to gain momentum.  Though Angela is one of the main characters, she does not become pertinent to the story until about half way through, so we learn very little about her initially.  When Matthew proposes a business merger, Angela is initially ambivalent about working together.  Secrets from her past and their recent conversations make it difficult to trust that his motives are sincere. Up to this point, Matthew has been on a series of dating escapades that lead to disaster, much to Angela’s amusement when he visits the bakery.

What is truly puzzling is that Matthew appears to be intuitive and competent in his profession, yet seems incredibly naïve and illogical regarding the decisions he makes in his personal life.  He also lacks depth for much of the story, which is frustrating because the story is only told from his perspective.  These personality characteristics are only somewhat balanced by Angela’s insight and candid demeanor.

The beauty in this story lies in the friendship that develops between Matthew and Angela.  The trust they share is ultimately what helps them both to heal and pursue their goals. When you finally get into the heart of the story, you get to meet some interesting characters and will find yourself cheering for the main characters, as they work through their own professional challenges and personal insecurities to be together.

7th July 2014 | romcol@caribsurf.com