Back to September

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

There's no question about the fact that Melissa Brayden is a good writer. I always enjoy her books, but lately they'd been getting a little too formulaic and I always found her style of dialogue a little too hipster-y. I'm pleased to say she's gone in a completely different direction with this book, breaking the boundaries of lesbian romance and outdoing herself in the process. The plot was very unexpected and so different from the usual romance formula. The characters were both incredibly well developed, the dialogue was fantastic, the angst was so well written I was reduced to tears several times. I'm not normally a fan of first-person narratives but it really worked here, and I was still able to get a clear understanding of Parker's feelings even though the book was written from Hannah's perspective. I prefer this new side of the author to her previous feel-good style and I hope she keeps this going!
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4/5. I actually loved the book and thought it was Melissa Brayden best book in years. I was able to connect emotionally with both Parker and Hannah.
One of my main complaint is the same as in any book from this author: the lack of communication. It's always the same in all of her books. First, the character met up, fall in love, talk or not about their issues. Secondly a big lack of communication moment and then it ends well.  If you read one of her books, you basically read all of her other books. Just that at some point you connect more with some of her characters.

Also, this book feel less about Hannah and Parker yet all about Hannah and Parker when it seems like the main focus what supposed to be Hannah.
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The plot of this book sounded exactly like my brand of catnip. I just kept getting stuck with the protagonist's and others' commentary about romance novels. While the sentiment began to shift, I ended up not finishing the book due to my growing dislike of the MC. YMMV -- I think I deal with enough criticism/judgment of romance in my real life that it is the last thing I want to hear about when I'm reading a book.
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To be honest I'm not a fan of books written and narrated as the first person, so I was a bit dubious about reading 'Back to September' add to the mix that this book was slightly different to the other books that I have read by Melissa Brayden, but I can honestly say hand on heart I loved it and MB has done it again. She has a good one here. 

Hannah and Parker are great characters with an instant attraction, but the story isn't that straightforward, there are quite a few twists in their path.

Would I recommend: Yes a great story with some hot romance going on
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Melissa Brayden  has a way of developing characters that as a reader you get a real feel for who these women are. The same is true in this story only we get to know Hannah, a local independent book shop owner who is very comfortable and happy in her life. She has a problem in that the bookshop  is not making enough money and she may lose it. Along comes nationally known romance writer Parker who does a reading at the shop and gets the shop moving in a positive light financially. It is clear that there was an initial connection between the two women but neither was looking for a relationship.  What happens from this point unto  The very end of the novel took me on a remarkable roller coaster of emotions. Because I felt so much for the two lead characters but what they went through truly had me on the verge of tears and on the verge of laughter. I love when an author has the ability  to take me on an adventure that ends at the very end of the book. If this is your cup of tea, this book really is for you.
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This felt different from the last few Brayden novels I’ve read and it’s a good difference. I loved it. Hannah Shephard runs her quiet bookshop in Providence the same way she lives her life. She doesn’t take risks or live wildly but she has to do something about her shop if she wants to keep it. On the suggestion of one of her employees she sends a request for a romance writer to do a book signing in her shop. Although Hannah isn’t a romance reader, Parker Bristow as a person is hard to resist.

Hannah is described as a person who can match a person with the perfect book and it’s the only part that I wasn’t overly enthralled by but Brayden managed to do it with a little bit of difference even though it’s a common theme for indi bookshop owners. I loved everything else about this novel. There’s great angst, lots of chemistry and steamy scenes as well as well-written characters.

Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this story. I loved the meta premise of a bookstore owner and romance writer falling in love. 

At times it felt like there was a bit too much going on in terms of plot - the cabin bit with the girlfriends felt unnecessary and like it bogged down the story. Parker's trust issues were enough of a hurdle for our couple to overcome, and their romance might have been better served if that had been the main conflict. 

When I finished "Back to September", I started reading it again and was 60 pages in before I made myself move on to other half-read books in my TBR. I love the set up phase of a romance novel so much, and this one was set up perfectly. I will definitely be reading more books by Melissa Brayden!
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I highly enjoyed this story. It's the first book of Melissa Brayden's I have read but it won't be the last, because I just fell in love with her writing style and her characters. 

The chemistry between Hannah and Parker was great and I fell head over heels in love with this story and especially with Parker. Sometimes I whished we could have known a bit more about Parker and what's on her mind but this is the problem with strict first person narrator. Besides this it suited the story well. I also like the secondary characters a lot. There's really not much to complain about. So 5 stars.
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This was my first (but not my last) book by this author. Definitely different than any other romance novel I read. I loved the main character.
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Brayden is a fantastic romance writer.  While I enjoy all of her books, some I love and this is one of them.  I loved Hannah and the entire time I was rooting for her to win.  While I read several of them, books with a famous character are typically not favorites of mine.  This one was different though.  It was better.  Parker, I didn't love in the beginning but as the book went she grew on me.  By the end, I thought she was perfect for Hannah.  I think this is one of Brayden's better books.  Brayden never disappoints but this one I will be rereading over and over.  Going to also pick up the audiobook of this one.
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Okay, so I absolutely adored Beautiful Dreamer and was stoked to read Ms Brayden’s newest book.   I was expecting a wonderfully sweet and endearing slow burn romance with engaging characters, witty banter, small town shenanigans, Henley shirts – hell I was expecting  sunshine and unicorns.  What I got was …angst.  Gloriously heart-wrenching angst.  The highs were euphoric and the lows were devastating.  At points I had to put the book down and take a calming breath as the story unfolded.

Hannah Shepherd an independent bookstore owner who is struggling to keep her business afloat.  When she has the opportunity to host a book signing by one of the top romance writers, she jumps at the chance to bring more clients despite the fact that she’s a bit of a book snob who’s never read a romance.  Enter Parker Bristow, bestselling novelist, internet influencer and darling of the talk show circuit.  Despite her fame, Parker is down-to-earth and charming.  An easy rapport develops as she invites Hannah for dinner.  There’s a phenomenal chemistry between the two – physically and intellectually – and their attraction quickly escalates.

This is an on and off again romance – which totally cranks up the angst-o-meter.  As a reader, you know that they belong together and the more they are apart the higher the frustration – dating other people or stupid insecurities just make you want to throttle them both.  Call me a book nerd, but I found the scene where the two of them are relaxing on the couch reading their books almost as hot as the sex that happens soon after.  So often romances are all about the physical attraction and there’s not much time for talking or spending time outside the bedroom. The level of comfort and compatibility  between Hannah and Parker just amps up the raw physical attraction that the two share.

The story is told from Hannah’s first person POV and you get a front row seat to the gamut of emotions she experiences.  Considering herself staid and boring – she’s resolved to settle for a relationship based on friendship.  With Parker,  she’s swept up in the intensity of the  attraction and the brightly burning, all encompassing passion.   Parker is bewildering and addictive – and despite the pain and betrayal Hannah’s unable to resist the pull of the depth of her feelings for her.

After I read Back to September I was pretty much wrecked and had to take a few days to formulate my thoughts for my review. Once the angsty high that had completely sucked me into the book wore off, I began to have some misgivings with Parker and her actions.   If  I had been a character in the book, I probably would have offered to knock Parker around on Hannah’s behalf.  Okay, I probably would have given her a really stern glare – while her back was turned – and surreptitiously played “You’re No Good” on constant repeat in the bookstore.  I’ve gone back and forth on this – and what I’ve settled on is that Ms. Brayden is a talented writer who is able to completely bewitch her readers.  On paper, Parker’s actions were cowardly and callous and put Hannah through hell; but,  in Ms. Brayden’s book, it freaking worked.

Postscript: I haven’t read a lot of Ms. Brayden’s novels, but I did notice that a plot device used (twice) in Beautiful Dreamers was used in this book as well – I’m hoping that this is coincidence and not a signature plot device as its a pretty heavy handed way to get the MCs back together.

Definitely Recommended

Thank you to Netgalley and BSB for providing an advance copy for review.
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This story was adorable. It was such a cute romance and I was rooting for the main couple the entire time. This book is perfect for those who especially love book as the relationship is between a famous author and an indie bookseller. I never knew exactly what was going to happen in this story and I really enjoyed that about this book. If you're someone who likes cute contemporary romances then this is the book for you. The relationship between Hannah and Parker will honestly bring you so much joy and happiness. If I had to say one small nit pick it is that I felt that there could have been a few more cute fluffy date moments between the two instead of drama. However, that is a small nit pick. Regardless, this book is perfect for any ready in the mood for cute f/f story with romance, suspense, drama, & more.  In fact, this book made me want to pick up more books from not only Melissa, but this publishing company in general.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Back to September tells the story of a famous romance novelist and a bookstore owner who meet and spark immediate chemistry. When their worlds collide we are taken on a journey to find our if they can make their differences work.

There was wit, steamy scenes and a likeable cast. I thought the commentary arguing for a minimisation of the snobbery of book readers when it comes to romance novel was a nice touch, and it is an argument many romance readers find themselves making.
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In Back to September, Hannah is the owner of a struggling bookstore. Trying to entice new customers, she invites best selling romance novelist Parker Bristow to the store for a signing and the two unexpectedly hit it off. I enjoyed this one. I really liked Hannah and her circle - her employees and her crusading attorney sister, Bo. I also loved the idea of an author/bookstore owner romance, though I was a little less excited about Parker. This book is told entirely from Hannah's point of view and I usually enjoy that, but I didn't feel like I got to know (or understand) Parker all that well. Hannah considers her unattainable or out of reach for a lot of the book, and I felt that remove all through even after they get together. I enjoyed this book while reading it, but I did put it down for a while and it took me a few weeks to pick it back up. But once I picked it back up I was happy to see it through, so overall it worked for me.
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4.5 Stars. This novel is about Hannah Shepard who owns a book shop called A Likely Story in Providence, RI. She takes a risk and tries to get a author, Parker Bristow for a signing at her store, hoping to increase sales. It works and Parker comes to her store for signing. Although there is one thing she does not take into account, how beautiful Parker is and how much she wants to get to know her. They start to spend some time together and Hannah feels an attraction to her that she has not felt with other people. There is only one problem, they mostly live on two different worlds, Parker travels a lot as Hannah just owns a bookstore in RI. 

I really enjoyed this novel, it was solid. I usually enjoy Melissa Brayden novels and this one was no exception. The was some tension and drama between the two main characters that made me want to keep reading. I read this book on a plane and did not want to stop when the plane landed. The characters developed as the book went on and they both had solid dialog with each other and the other characters in the novel. There were some points that were frustrating with the novel and that is why it got 4.5 stars instead of a perfect 5. This book was very good and I would recommend it to anyone.
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A solid and wholesome romance novel. It does what it says on the tin and executes it very well.
Wonderfully written with dazzling chemistry between the two protagonists and some bumps along the way.

Entirely too easy to read (definitely some 'one more page' syndrome with this one) so be careful reading at night or you'll end up staying awake!

Some meta moments with Parker is a romance writer herself but the overall message to take away from this? Sometimes love is just like in the books :)
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Thank you to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Back to September by Melissa Brayden.

This is the first book by Melissa Brayden that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hannah Shephard is the owner of a small town bookshop, she’s quiet, not hugely interested in relationships, greets her books each morning with a whispered “Good morning books” and delights in finding the perfect book for her customers, oh and she dislikes romance books intensely.

She has two employees, Kurt who generally does the morning shift and Luna the afternoon shift.  When Luna suggests that instead of the display of the new book by the author Groffman that Kurt has meticulously constructed, they should be displaying the new release by the top of her genre romance author Parker Bristow, Hannah has to confront the fact that she is a book snob. Luna points out that while Groffman is a best selling author, Bristow was an absolute power house when it came to her books, and that they would sell more of her books than Groffman’s.  Things have been tough in book shop sales for a while so Hannah agrees to shake things up a little and replace the Groffman display with a Bristow one.  

When Luna pulls out of the promotional material included with the books, a flyer saying that Bristow is doing a book signing tour and the publicist was still looking for bookshops to sign up, Hannah reluctantly agrees to contact them and put her store forward.  Much to her shock Hannah’s bookstore is included on the tour itinerary and suddenly the great Parker Bristow is going to be present in her store, and maybe just maybe this will turn the store’s fortunes around.

What Hannah didn’t reckon on when she applied for Parker Bristow to do a book signing in her book store was that there would be an amazing chemistry between them and that she’d find herself in a relationship with a famous author.

But Hannah and Parker come from two different worlds and two very different lifestyles, can their relationship survive everything the world throws at them or will the challenges tear them apart?

A powerful story of how sometimes love just isn’t enough.

Highly recommended, 4 stars.
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This was a new author for me and I found it's one that just does not keep me entertained.  It seemed like the story was going up and down, and the start was pretty good but the second half was filled with sex scenes which just turned me off.  I truly tried to read it but had other books that were better.  Perhaps it was just me, but it wasn't my type of book.  I had heard of her and her previous books were good but this one had you trying to decide who was right as one was more a loner and the other was very outgoing. Try it and see if it's your kind of reading.  Thanks to net galley for giving me the opportunity to try this author.
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I loved this story...loved it!!
The characters are warm and the dialog is realistic and interesting. 
I felt all the chemistry between the main characters and totally understood their instant fling.  I loved how Brayden pulled them together then upset us as they were  pulled apart.  It made me want to read faster to see how they were going to get back together.  And yes, you really want them to get back together.  I.had no idea how they would resolve the last major break up but Brayden did it very reasonable and convincing.  This was a very warm romance but a bit of a rollercoaster ride and I loved it.  Bravo Brayden.
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Hannah owns a book store in Providence Rhode Island. And it's in money trouble. She managed to get world famous author Parker to come and do a signing. they have an evening and then another and another. They connect and get closer and closer and find themselves falling in love. But, Parker has some serious issues, and they definitely cropped up at weird times in their relationship.

I know that I shouldn't be as annoyed with the whole 'I can match anyone with their perfect book' trope as I was. Although, since it is an entirely fictional skill, I guess it makes sense that it's in a fiction book.

On the other hand, I really liked the push back against the romance snobs. Not to mention, the shade thrown at 'Groffman', which is about the same length as a certain author's name who also writes in short, discrete sentences (and chapters too for that matter). It was hilarious.

Overall it was a fun book and a good read. I think I even caught most of the in Brayden Universe allusions too.

I received this book via Netgalley thanks to Bold Strokes Books.
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