Cover Image: Reasonable Adults

Reasonable Adults

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Member Reviews

"Reasonable Adults" by Robin Lefler delivers a charming and relatable exploration of adulting, relationships, and life's unexpected turns. The novel follows the lives of its characters with a blend of humour, heart, and a touch of wisdom.

The characters are well-drawn and endearing, each navigating unique challenges and growth arcs. The author skillfully captures the nuances of adult life, portraying the messiness, joy, and occasional chaos that comes with it. The narrative weaves together the characters' journeys, creating a cohesive and engaging storyline.

Lefler's writing style is witty and laced with observational humour, making the novel enjoyable. The dialogue is sharp and authentic, contributing to the overall charm of the story. The author also manages to infuse moments of insight and reflection, providing depth to the narrative.

What sets "Reasonable Adults" apart is its ability to balance lighthearted moments with more profound themes. It explores themes of friendship, love, and self-discovery, making it a resonant read for anyone navigating the complexities of adulthood.

While the plot may follow some familiar beats in the contemporary fiction genre, the strength lies in the execution and the genuine emotions evoked by the characters' experiences.

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I really enjoyed that the setting was in Ontario, I love reading about books with locations that are familiar to me! I felt like the beginning of the book dragged a little but I overall really enjoyed it.

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A Canadian author! A funny heartfelt story with found family, my favorite trope! A beautiful setting, with a dog! Loved the dog. I did feel like the beginning of the story was a bit rough to get through, but it is worth sticking out to the end.

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I really enjoyed the setting of Ontario for this book. It's always refreshing to read a book where you are familiar with the setting. I really loved Eric, Kate's golden doodle and how he was a great secondary character. I thought Treetops seemed a bit like a cult at first, I still don't really understand why it was so intense but I was happy that Kate had found her groove there. I really enjoyed the book until the incident with Chaz, and Matt not listening to Kate and jumping to conclusions. Miscommunication is one of my least favourite things in romance novels and this one was truly terrible. I don't know that Matt was truly redeemable after that and I lost my love for the characters getting together at the end.

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I did not finish this one, it was not for me, I couldn't relate to the characters, and just did not care for the story.

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If I owned this book, I would set it on fire. IYKYK.

I'm very mad at this book. It could've been so inspiring and very found family, but then everything else really crowded that out. Our FMC is a PR person. She immediately, at the start of the story, does something VERY NOT GOOD FOR PR. Which is ludicrous. As a person who has done a stint in PR, this would be against ALL of my instincts. But then again, I'd never be as chaotic as this MC. She's a mess. She doesn't read her contracts fully (which is also a HUGE PR no no), she gets caught up in a PR fire with her actions (which also, miss ma'am, damage control??), and then she has all of these issues with the people around her because she can't seem to have any normal conversations. There was nothing reasonable about this adult and it clearly shows that this MC didn't talk to anyone who's in PR or knows people in PR. People in PR are so damn careful. I just. Please.

Then there's the MMC. Bland as white paper, he doesn't add anything to the story. He doesn't seem to have much of a purpose other than to tell the FMC how smart she is, how she's a genius, how she's so so amazing. All of which, as a reader, I really did not see. She was good at her job once she got into it, but she was oh so bad at literally everything else and I don't understand the appeal. Also, they say "I love you" with little to no foundation within their relationship except for what I want to talk about now:

There's also a sexual assault scene in this and the MMC comes barrelling in with accusations and LEAVES HER AFTER WHILE SHE'S CRYING ON THE FLOOR and then SHE APOLOGIZES TO HIM. NOPE.

The only bright light was the ragtag crew of Treetops - they had so much light and character that I wish they could've lent some to our MCs. Honestly, it was even more annoying because it showed that the author could write great characters, she just chose not to make the MCs great.

This whole book was a dumpster fire. I've never been so mad at a book and its premise as I have been for this. I should've DNF'd, but I had hope. When will authors and publishers understand that attempted rape is not a fun, cutesy plot device.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 1/5
Pacing: 2/5
Overall: 1/5

eARC gifted via NetGalley by HarperAvenue via HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

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What intrigued me from the beginning was the beautiful nature setting! It felt very immersive and I could easily picture Kate and Eric running around in the snowy forest. The concept of a luxury artist retreat was also exciting and I enjoyed learning more about the guests and their different forms of art. Each side character had their own story and past, which was fun to read about. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel very connected to the main characters and wish we could have seen more depth from them. While the plot was slow in the beginning, things picked up more in the second half. I especially liked following Kate's journey of self-discovery and working towards growing her confidence. Since Reasonable Adults was written by a Canadian author there were a ton of fun Canadian references that I liked as well! Plus I can never resist a fictional dog companion!

I enjoyed the premise and thought this story had a lot of potential, unfortunately, a few elements needed fine-tuning.

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Kate Rigsby is in a rut. She caught her boyfriend, of two years, cheating on her with one of his clients. The place she works at she does not like. She truly only cares for her two best friends and her goldendoodle, Eric. So, when she drinks too much and makes a video that ruins her exes career and her own in one fell swoop, she throws caution to the wind and applies for a job at a swanky artists retreat. Only, once there it is looking a little run down and her boss seems to want Kate to fail. At least there's a hot guy to take her mind off of things, even if she is starting to feel like she could make a real difference at this resort.

First off this book is hilarious. I was laughing quite a bit. It is marketed as a romcom, and while there are romantic moments, I would say this is more a novel about a woman's self discovery journey. Kate is in a terrible place at the beginning of the novel, but as she begins to find herself immersed in the work of marketing for the retreat, she sees finally a job she can be proud of and a place for her to finally feel confident and herself.

The connections she makes with the other workers there is also a highlight. It really does become a staff effort to make sure that the retreat gains more guests and that those guests have an unforgettable experience. Each of them come through in their own way. I especially loved grumpy Kevin, who truly loves his work but is enemies with Kate (and her dog Eric) at the beginning. As they work together, he begrudgingly sees her worth, and she works hard to show how genuinely impressed she is with his skills.

The romance was sort of ho-hum to me. Matt just seemed like a filler kind of guy to distract Kate from her true self finding mission. It was instant, not my favourite, and they could not do anything because of a clause about employees not being allowed to date. Plus, Kate is working hard on herself and does not want distractions. However, I did like when she finally stuck up for herself and spoke out about her ex Chaz. There were times in this novel I was so angry at how people treated her in regards to Chaz. The guy is a sleeze and she was made to suffer because of him.

All in all, a very funny story about a woman who wants to find her niche, zen, place in the world. When she finally realizes her passion for event planning/marketing, she wants to fight for it more than anything else.

The best character by far though, Eric the dog. <3

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This book was decent; not great but not awful either. It had a good premise, and wonderful setting {a resort town not too far from my own home}.

It was a funny, heartfelt story with a fun cast of characters. The romance aspect of it was a little flat for me, and I did not appreciate the victim-blaming aspect of a sexual assault scene.

With better editing and some overall tweaks in the writing style, I'd say this book could have been better. As noted, it wasn't bad but not great either. Worth a shot to see if this is something you may enjoy because the setting really is magical.

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I had really, really high hopes for Robin Lefler’s debut novel, which was released this past December. Reasonable Adults seemed like such a good read and one that took place in Ontario, where I live? Bonus! Alas, it let me down in ways I can’t quite put my finger on but are reasons why I only just now, finally trying to put my thoughts into words.

Here’s the book’s description:
A swanky new gig at a luxury artists’ retreat in Muskoka, a delightful canine companion and a chance at a clean start. It should be smooth sailing from here . . .
Everything has fallen apart for Kate Rigsby: she is freshly single—separated from an ex she never really liked—and freshly fired—from a job she never really liked, either. Somehow, she’s reached the age of thirty-one and the only things she truly cares about are her goldendoodle, Eric, her two best friends, and proving to her parents (and, if she’s honest, to herself) that she made the right choice moving to the city. Except, instead of thriving, she finds that her life has taken a nose-dive. So when a job at Treetops Creative Retreat suddenly lands in her lap, she’s thrilled. Three months at a glorified arts and crafts workshop for grown-ups that boasts five-star cuisine and a helipad, and she’ll be well paid? The perfect escape. So what if her contract spans the depths of winter? Neat! A charming life experience! She can learn to snowshoe.

But when Kate arrives at the retreat, nothing is as she imagined. She didn’t read the fine print, her targets are impossible, her boss seems committed to seeing her fail and there happens to be an extremely off-limits fellow staffer who has no business being so gorgeous.
Part self-discovery, part rom-com and part comedy of errors, Reasonable Adults is a hilarious debut about finding yourself—and maybe love—along the way. A little summer-camp romance never hurt anyone, right?
I could see why a lot of people might like this book and really like Kate. I saw one review compare her to Lorelai Gilmore which, I can see. I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan and have been from the very start but even I can acknowledge some of the problematic behaviours in that show. Kate was strong and smart but forget that often. She had a weird relationship with herself and while I wanted to root for her…I just couldn’t get totally behind her.

And the romance part of it? I didn’t get it. I thought maybe it might be between Kate and one character but then was like, no, that doesn’t make any sense. Then I thought it could be someone else. Nope, my first instinct was correct but so was my instinct that it didn’t make sense. I just couldn’t see the pair together. Or maybe I couldn’t see the issues that they were so clearly putting in their own way? Like just…figure it out?

Also…heads up for a sexual assault scene. And then a scene where the victim is blamed and while that character tries to say he understands why he was being a complete asshole immediately after judging her…I was lost. It was not cool and I did not like it one bit.

I did, however, adore the setting. I grew up in kinda-sorta cottage country in Ontario so I really identified with where the book took place. (Not that I’ve ever gone to a resort like Treetops!) Feeling like I was in Muskoka right alongside the characters was my favourite part of the book. Along with the dog. Who doesn’t love a doggo?

So…Reasonable Adults was very much not a win for me. I wanted to love Robin Lefler’s novel but I just couldn’t get into it as much as I should have. Will I read her next one? Perhaps. But it’ll be a library borrow if I do.

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the publisher, HarperCollins Canada, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

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I recently read Robin Lefler’s Reasonable Adults and I was pleasantly surprised by the setting—events took place in Canada, and more specifically, Toronto and the Muskoka area. The familiar scenery provided an extra layer of enjoyment to my particular reading experience!

The book was a light read—I remember being surprised at how quickly I got through it. Reasonable Adults is a 300+ page book, so not short by any means, but I finished it in one sitting (alternating between reading the e-galley and listening to the audiobook on Scribd while simultaneously building a DIY book nook).

The main character, Kate, was likeable and I really loved the side characters, plot, and pacing. Even though I knew it was a romance novel, I still didn’t quite know what kind of path the author would take to ge to the last page.

Reasonable Adults was a great winter read for me—perfect for curling up on the couch with a hot drink, or for those who sometimes like multitasking like me, a great accompaniment to building a DIY book nook or doing something else.

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Kate Rigsby’s life has fallen apart (newly single, fired from her job), as a last stitch effort to repair her life she signs a contract at Creative Retreat in the beautiful Muskokas in the middle of winter but at least she can take her goldendoodle with her. When she arrives at Treetops picturesque retreat, she finds that everything it not what it seems. Her boss is a monster, her contract is filled with impossible targets, and she’s in love with a off-limits fellow co-worker.

I loved this novel! It was a Canadian romance/ self-discovery story that gives the reader a beautiful taste of the scenic, woodsy, landscape in autumn and winter. This was truly a perfect read for this time of year! I was drinking hot cocoa while the snow was falling and I really felt like I was with Kate in the Muskokas. I would say that the strongest element of this story, was the authors way of creating a beautiful imagination of the environment around Kate, I really felt like I was in this picturesque retreat. The plot was beautifully timed, the character development was amazing, the boss was a little over the top but I loved the karma that happened, the romance was perfectly timed, and all the supporting characters were beautifully illustrated as well. I would highly recommend this novel if your looking for a perfect seasonally romance and self discovery story!

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I gave this so many chances that I finished a majority of the book, but I think it is unreasonable for me to fully finish, albeit I only had a few more pages to reach the end.
I think I have read enough to state that this book was not for me.
This was considered a romance but truly did not feel like it. I could not get into the main character's head to understand the things that she was going through, especially in the first half of the book.
It is set in Muskoka which was pretty cool to me as a Canadian reviewer, otherwise felt underwhelming.

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I enjoyed this novel from Robin Lefler that was part women's fiction, part romcom. I was invested in the story very early on and really liked the main character. She was witty and funny and I enjoyed the subtle humour throughout the story. Add in a beautiful setting and the most adorable canine companion and I had everything I needed. There was a little bit of romance that had just enough steam but wasn't fully open door.

It did drag a little bit for me though towards the end and there were some parts of the story that I personally thought didn't need to be there. There was one secondary character and one scene involving him that actually really annoyed me and I didn't think it added anything to the story. Besides this minor thing, it was a good book! It really is perfect for the winter season. It'll make you want to visit a gorgeous winter cabin and sit by the fire with your books!

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Dreamy Canadian winter romcom - yes please. So lovely to support a local Canadian author! Lighthearted, laugh out loud goodness!

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I was really not sure about Treetops resort at first, but the more I read, the more I started loving it. Pretty much like Kate! The setting was great. The characters took me a while to connect with. The romance was very slow burn, which might be a plus for some readers. Overall I'd say I wanted to love it more than I did, but I'd check out other work by the same author.

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. . . ⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⭒ ⭒
This is just made it to a three star rating, and when I say 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 made it, I mean it.

The premise had such potential, as did the characters, but every time it would have a fun or cute part, it was immediately followed by something that I intensely disliked or bothered me.

I wanted to like this one so much - Kate’s character at times was funny and relatable, and the other times I found her to be weak-willed, or making choices that made me shake my head. And it was the same situation with Matt - he would do something sweet or romantic, and then almost instantly do something that was so opposite to his previous behaviours or actions. I felt like it was supposed to work as a build-up of sorts, but it really was more of a let down in character development.

But with saying that, I really, really liked the Canadian setting, and ultimately the side characters are what saved this one for me. Tania, Jay, Mike, Kevin, and even Brooke, were all quirky and enjoyable characters, and thanks to them, this wasn’t a total loss.

~ 👩🏻‍🦰

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This is a slower-paced romance compared to what I usually read and it's great for those that want something warm and cozy to read during the winter months. However, this book just isn't for me and I didn't really understand the main point of the new job that the main character takes on especially when they seem to look down on her being career oriented. I understand the setting and people in that setting are supposed to give the vibe of this magical place where people can be who they are on an individualistic level but it doesn't work when the main character is being shunned for being herself for a good chunk of the book. There are career and efficiency-oriented people and reading this as being that type of person myself I was just very irked by the setting and couldn't really find the charm especially when there hasn't been a sign of any love interest in the first third of the novel.

Overall, if someone likes romances with more character development for the main character before meeting a love interest, this is great.

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There were some parts I did like in this book - a few moments were very funny, not all of the characters were dull, and the setting seemed idyllic. However, something about the writing style just failed to paint the entire picture of the resort and it was clunky and I found it difficult to connect to the characters in a way I'd hoped to. I'll rty another from this author in the future but overall this one did not impress.

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Reasonable Adults:

Any reasonable adult will know that adulting is hard work, and the main character Kate knows all about it! After Kate’s relationship ends, and she drunkenly posts a hate video on her social media, Kate gets fired and doesn’t know how she is going to make ends meet. She applies for a new job on a whim, and to her surprise, she is the successful candidate! Soon she is whisked away to a retreat in northern Ontario, where she starts her new job as a PR specialist. Her goal is to bring in more business and help grow their business plan. Much to her surprise this beautiful getaway has a few catches. She finds herself stuck at the retreat with no cell reception, in a stinky employee cabin, that is less than welcoming compared to the guest suites, and her job is going to be much harder that she anticipated. Wrapping her head around how to pull this task off, she is losing focus on her goal. This book captivated me right from the beginning. The story hooked me and reading about a beautiful getaway resort was so warming and idealistic that it had me wanting to see where the story ended up. I liked the main character, and although she has made mistakes in her life, she pushes through and takes on new tasks, and her biggest one yet is outside her comfort zone. Her fake it to you make it attitude, comes through seemingly easily, although on the inside she panics a bit. I feel like this is very relatable and makes Kate more likeable. The author did a great job with humor and I thought it was a cute read, but also had more realism, that brought the book full circle, and made it relatable to reasonable adults. The story encompasses a romance story line, but I felt the romance was a little lack luster, and felt like it was on the back burner, even though Kate talked a lot about romance and relationships. I would have liked to see more of the romance come through in this book, but I still enjoyed the overall themes, characters, and setting!

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