This is a charming confection of a story. Yes, it has a predictable plot but the execution is well done, and the characters are winning.
Alexa and Drew, in their 30’s and both single, get thrown together in a stuck elevator at a fancy hotel in San Francisco. Through alternating narration we find out that each thinks the other is incredibly attractive and nice. While in the elevator, Drew tells Alexa he is from Santa Monica, but is in town for a wedding for which he doesn’t have a date. He is stressed out over it because the wedding is between an ex-girlfriend and one of his best friends from work. Alexa assures him he will be fine:
“Weddings are great places to meet people. It’s better that you’re without a date. As my friend Colleen always says, ‘Don’t bring a sandwich to a buffet.’”
After being liberated from the elevator, Drew impulsively asks Alexa if she will be his date (“Come to the wedding, be my sandwich…”), and she, just as impulsively, says yes.
From thence forward, we follow the two over a year as they continue this long-distance relationship that was supposed to last for only one weekend. Most of the time when they are together, Alexa and Drew are either having sex or eating. As fun as that is, more importantly, Alexa feels at peace with Drew, and like she is “home” when she is with him. Drew feels exactly the same way. But neither of them can overcome the fear of rejection by admitting it to each other.
This reluctance leads to misunderstandings and arguments, and both realize that a very good thing will be lost if they can’t confront their fears.
Evaluation: The author injects this story with humor and heart, and makes it into an entertaining, fast read in spite of the time-worn plot. It’s a swoony romance, with a hero and heroine who are each smart and accomplished, but still very nice and quite shy, at least when it comes to close relationships. There is a great deal of sex and food, but neither of it gets boring!
Published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2018
Very appropriate soundtrack, set in San Francisco of course!