Cover Image: Love at First

Love at First

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Member Reviews

I adored Kate Clayborn‘s Chance of a Lifetime series, so I was looking forward to reading more of her books.
Love at First didn’t live up to my expectations though. There was nothing „wrong“ with the book, it just failed to make me care about the characters or their story. I wasn’t sold on the romance either. Will and Nora could’ve stayed friends for all I cared.
In the end this was an alright read, but pretty forgettable.

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A HILARIOUS BOOK! I loved and enjoyed this story so freaking much! I'm a little newer to the romance book life and Love at First was all types of cute. Love at First was such a fun and light romance with some really cute/adorable moments. Perfect for those who want a light, romance novel.

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Love at First. By Kate Clayborn. 2021. Kensington (ARC eBook).

Love at First turned out to be tricky because sometimes books just don’t turn out to be your cup of tea, but you don’t easily identify why. The beginning pretty much had me worried about how much more emotionally-stunted, for all appearances, the residents of the apartment building could be. It felt like they were on the threshold of being the next episode of Hoarders. Needless to say, there are a lot of quirky characters, but for the most part, unfortunately, they did not win me over. They were just flat. Buuut...Will and Nora eventually did. Will won me over first. Probably over the commiseration of dealing with said “quirky,” heavily-dependent people. I’ve read several Clayborn books and have enjoyed them a lot, so I figured I’d end up won over and so didn’t set this aside as a DNF. And this book did become more overtime. In a clever, subtle way, it built and evolved and I was rooting for Will and Nora at the end. So, not my favorite Clayborn book but I’ll be looking forward to the more books. Love at First is well executed at the end and it’ll probably be catnip for those that like watching big-billed, hollywood romcoms that always fall flat for me.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

I really enjoyed this book! It was a quick read with interesting characters and a plot that kept me entertained until the end. It’s a sweet romance with a unique “meet cute”, and I highly recommend it.

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Last year one of my very favorite books of 2020 was Kate Clayborn's Love Lettering. I re-read it so many times (and again this year already) so I was very much looking forward to Love at First.

This is a sweet, very-light enemies to lovers romance between an ER doctor (who fell in love with the heroine at first sight as a teen then didn't see her again for 16 years - it's a light Romeo and Juliet retelling with a twist!) and a web designer. Will inherits his estranged uncle's apartment (condo?) and Nora's the building association president, who inherited her apartment from her beloved Nonna. Will, who has ungood family history (come to think of it, neither MC has good relationships with their parents), decides that he is going short-term rent his apartment because there's a loophole in the association bylaws. Everyone else thinks this is Very Bad and tries to "nice" him to death (this is the enemies bit) - which doesn't work but in the end it turns out that what Will needs is a family and he finds it here among the delightful residents of this building. There is sexy door-leaning and a sickbed romance and a delightful secondary plot - a second-chance romance between Will's boss and the boss's ex-wife. *heart-eyes* Ugh, so trash for it.

Also a litter of cute kittens and sexy home renovation shenanigans.

Just a quick note that both Will and Nora are mourning family members and that grief hits them in different ways in this book.

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This a cute story that has had me going back and forth between 3 and 3.5 stars so I finally settled with 3.5 as it really is a lovely quirky story.

I know the authors point was to put the emphasis on the tenants or neighbors rather, of the building as they (other than our Female, Nora, and Male lead, Will.) deal with the change coming from their good friend, who happens to be Wills uncle, passing away and leaving his apartment to his estranged nephew.
I loved the detail that the author put into that story, but I think that some of that storyline could have gone to Wills background with his family other than the bits of information we got.

It's full of quirky characters, fun loving and nosy people, which reminded me of my family and neighbors 😆
I wish I had more to say about the book but it just didn't hit me hard enough.

Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Shakespearean retellings are my jam, and especially those inspired by Romeo and Juliet.
We have it all - star-crossed lovers, a balcony, meddlesome secondary characters, and a love written in the stars.

This is a novel about choices - choosing to be the kind of person you want to be, choosing your family, choosing the love that is meant for you.

The story begins with the fateful meeting of Will and Nora met as teenagers. Taking inspiration from the masque scene when Romeo first sees Juliet, the meet cute turns this fateful meeting on its ear, Will does not actually see Nora's face at all, but falls for her laughter and her antics as she launches tomatoes from her balcony to run off squirrels.

16 years later, they meet in the same building: but now Will owns his deceased uncle's apartment and has plans to rent it out. These two houses both alike in dignity are actually Will vs. the quirky occupants of Nora's apartment building and they are not happy about his intentions to rent the apartment. Nora sets out to thwart Will's dastardly plans.

What begins as an adversarial relationship grows into friendship, then love as Will learns to open his heart to Nora and the personalities that populate her building. Will's journey is particularly poignant, given the emotional wasteland of his upbringing and the difficulties he has in expressing his feelings.

Clayborn has a wonderful command of language, delivering emotional descriptions with luminous precision. The promise of beautiful writing in Love Lettering is realized in Love at First. I look forward to the third installment of this lovely series.

Special thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

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Harlequin Junkie Recommends!

Love at First was a sweet slow burn romance with a few fun twists to it–and it had a cast of lovable neighbors who nearly leapt off the page with their huge personalities. Paired up with Kate Clayborn’s evocative writing style, it’s easy to see why I cherished every moment reading this book.

I had so much fun with Kate Clayborn’s latest. To the point that I immediately wanted to turn around and read it all over again when I hit that final page. It was a story that took its time–not that it was slow moving. There was just a nice pace to the build up of Nora and Will’s relationship, from immediate attraction to being at odds about the apartment situation to then slowly falling in love. It was utterly sigh-worthy, the way Clayborn carefully crafted each scene. The emotions were big. The humor was at times subtle and other times laugh out loud. But through it all there was such heart and tenderness with how Clayborn handled Will and Nora’s personal journeys as well as their romance that every single up and down they went through seemed genuine.

The characters. Oh my goodness, what a cast! Without giving too much away, I can say that Will was an awesome hero whose rather rough upbringing led him to be a kind, compassionate, practical people-pleaser. And an extremely sexy ER doctor…but I digress. His trust issues as well as his sense of responsibility made relationships tough for Will. But Nora got under his skin right away–the first time he saw her as a teen and again as an adult. Nora herself had an odd upbringing in some ways so she also became a person who was a giver. And who was extremely sentimental, which I thought fit her personality as well as her situation. Will and Nora together? Perfection. They had delicious chemistry which knocked them both sideways, much to the delight of the quirky crew of elderly neighbors and coworkers. A cast who stole the show a few times in the best of ways with their antics. Loved them all!!

A thoughtful, almost whimsical novel about loss and letting go, moving on from painful pasts, and falling head over heels in love with your supposed nemesis, Kate Clayborn thoroughly charmed me with Love at First. Highly recommended.

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Kate Clayborn writes enjoyable romance titles. This one features two tenants that have different ideas of the use of an apartment, one wanting to rent out his unit and the other wanting to keep the "family" feel that the elderly community has built over the last 20ish years. Nora grew up in this building with her belated grandmother, with whom she'd spend summer while her parents trekked the world. Will was left the unit after his uncle passed away, and he doesn't want it because of his memories of being there many years before. How will the two of them overcome their end goal? Will they become enemies turned lovers? Can they help each other in ways they didn't expect? While the novel has lots of creative parts, it will feel like clicking off a list of what's included in a romance - tension between two people on opposite sides, history that is complicated and heartbreaking, walking on eggshells around touchy topics, having feelings for someone and not acting on them, stuck between choice A or B, and finally deciding you'd rather have them in your life than walk away. Those readers who enjoyed her Love Lettering will enjoy this book. Free copy provided by NetGalley, but did not influence my thoughts on the title.

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Surprisingly this novel is more than a love story. There are a lot of life lessons from each of the characters.

A dedicated doctor who doesn't want to share his painful past met the girl whom he believes meant for him on the summer when he was a teenager.

An unexpected event led their destiny again and perhaps, this time around the stars are aligning like the first time.

But it will take a lot of courage to open your heart and forget the pain.

Thank you very much to Kensington and Netgalley for the ARC! I super enjoyed the story!

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Absolutely adored this book! Kate Clayborn's talent for creating such colorful characters flourished in the community she built for Love at First. I will read anything she writes, and you can guarantee it'll make me feel absolutely all the feels.

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington for sharing a copy of this marvelous book with me!

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Relatable characters in this well written book about a real-estate feud make it a pleasant read.

Some people should not have children and that describes Will Sterling's parents who were so in love with each other that they neglected their only son. The one time he met his Uncle Donny, he heard him call his mother "Rash, Reckless, Selfish". And Will agreed. That day he decided that he was not going to be like them and turned his life around, putting himself through college and medical school. He also decided that he was never going to have a relationship like theirs. And it was also the day that he first saw Nora Clarke, on the balcony of her grandmother's apartment, where he would one day find himself. Donny ended up leaving the apartment to Will, with a stipulation that he could not sell it for a year. He has nothing but awful memories of that apartment, but his boss's ex, shows him how to fix it up and make it into a short term rental. To Nora, however, the apartment that she inherited from her grandmother, is full of love and she considers the other residents her family. So when the residents hear what Will plans to do with his inheritance, they decide to stop him. The resulting battle then leads to love, as Nora learns to let go and Will to open up to his feelings.

I read an ARC provided by this is my unbiased and voluntary review.

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Love at First was a good read.
Will and Nora's story was cute and very family oriented.
Had a good build up and was a sweet romance.

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Love at First was exactly the sweet, contemporary romance I was hoping it would be.

When Will Sterling’s estranged uncle leaves him the deed to his apartment, he sees it as a reminder to his family’s complicated and painful past. When his plan to renovate and sublet his uncle’s apartment is met with opposition by the close-knit community, Will must not only win over the neighbors, but also Norah Clarke. Who just so happens to be the very same he almost met all those years ago who he never quite forgot about.

While it was light on plot, it made up for that by having a lot of heart. It was a quick, but delightful read.

I absolutely loved the range of characters from members in the building, to the awkward boss who is trying to win his ex wife back. The found family plot was very endearing.

I enjoyed the romance between Will and Nora, they had a sweet story. Although I really wish there had been more substance to it, like had they actually met as teens a second chance romance would have elevated the story to the next level.

If you liked Love Lettering, you will definitely enjoy Love at First!

Many thanks to Kensington Book and NetGalley for the ARC!

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I wanted to love this book and had such high hopes. It just lost me at about 25-30% and sadly became a DNF that I have yet to pick up again. The story just didn't hold enough of my interest for me to actually want to finish it to be honest. The writing was ok, and clearly I'm in the minority here as this author has great reviews (my first time reading her). I didn't much like or invest in neither Will or Nora which made it harder for me to stay interested in their story.

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Another charming romance by Kate Clayborn, and I like Love at First even more than I liked Love Lettering last year. Clayborn writes cute, heartwarming love stories that have a little more depth to the characters than you might expect.

Love at First is about a close-knit apartment building that finds itself with a new tenant after one of their beloved tenants dies. Will moves into his late uncle's apartment with all intentions of fixing it up and renting it out as quickly as possible, much to the chagrin of his neighbors. Nobody is more loyal to the apartment building than Nora, who lives in her grandmother's place upstairs. She is not about to let Will come in and ruin the apartment building and the "family" of tenants she loves. It's not quite an enemies-to-lovers story, but a cute and quirky romance none the less.

Thank you to Kensington via Netgalley for an advanced copy to review!

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In today’s review I bring to you a book I love with all of my heart💜

This uplifting tender story has everything that will keep you smiling long after you have finished it. Witty and heartwarming characters, meddling neighbours, lots of quirky banter and poetic moments. It flows so tenderly, it almost feel magical. The story has a strong sense of community, kindness and unadulterated friendship.
Love at First is a Beautiful contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Will Sterling met Nora 16 years ago, and fell for her at first sight.
Soulmates you say?

At the heart of this book is Love, the way we experience it around us in so many ways from our family, our neighbours, strangers. Will although from a neglected family finds himself showered with unexpected love from people he meets for the first time, forcing him to open his hearts to people he can then call his family. Family he never had but chose!
The book
Kate writes it so beautifully that it makes your heart ache and sing with joy.
This book deals with grief of losing a loved one, processing grief, moving on in life and taking risks at love. Of holding on when you want to give up and trying your best for those you love. This slow burn romance is so thoughtful and intuitive. The characters are charming and flawed and seeing them so closely makes you want to hug them. You fall for them even before they fall for each other!!
There’s so much depth and calm with which Kate writes, the deep thoughts, the lyrical writing and quiet in her words hits you right in the heart.

Okay I honestly love Kate? I feel so thankful that I have discovered her works and get to cherish them forever.
I have read every single of them and each is dear to me in their own ways.
When I tell you Kate’s books are an experience I wouldn’t be exaggerating!! All the while you are reading, her words make you smile, fill you with warmth and make you ponder and ahh just cry for it’s too beautiful for your poor heart!!
And long after you have read it, you will keep thinking about those characters, some line and feel the urgency to read it all over again.

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Thank you for an early copy! I was so excited to see this come up on netgalley after reading and loving Kate Clayborns Love Lettering and this was no different. What a great story!

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Love At First by Kate Clayborn is contemporary adult romance novel about Will Sterling & Nora Clarke, an insta-love story between the two?

I must say the start is very slow and I was getting bored after reading like 5 chapters, which is 25% of the book. The story hence picks up slowly and steadily after that. It was cute and a sweet slow romance novel for me.

Maybe I have read a lot of romance novels at a stretch that my expectations have increased and now I keep searching for some thrill in those romances as well. This was a simple and flat plot for me.

Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 Stars

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I love the mood and atmosphere of Kate Clayborn's novels. Love Lettering was atmospherically divine and I wasn't sure if she could keep that up in her next novel without simply copy pasting the story into a different setting. But she did indeed keep the same mood but gave us a completely different story and I'm so pleased.

I'm struggling to find the words to explain how it feels to read her novels. In Love at First, nothing is rushed, the pacing is magnificent, the story so deep and lovely and like the perfect cuddle that you ease into and slowly break away from. Will and Nora's story was so wonderful to get to see develop on the page. It's not full of dramatics and cringy gestures. It's emotionally charged without being smothering or slow. And as it winds towards the end, you're desperately hoping it ends as wonderfully as it unfolded and you're treated to a generous epilogue. Oh how I loathe authors that try to wrap up everything in two pages. Clayborn treats us to an enchanting epilogue that wrapped up the story beautifully.

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