Series: Boston Classics Book 1
Author: Karen Grey
Format: Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published: June 23rd 2020 by Home Cooked Books
ISBN: ASIN B0876HQBKG
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Recipe for a Boston Classic Cocktail: one part finance geek, one part starving actor, two shots of stubborn and a healthy squeeze of passion. Shake well and serve in a vintage glass.
When Kate Bishop walks into Boston’s famous Bull and Finch pub, all she’s looking for is one guy from her investment firm that she can trust to have her back—a tall order. With a salesman at her side, maybe stage fright won’t paralyze her completely when she presents her meticulously prepared research to clients. And maybe she can save her job.
Romance is the last thing on her to-do list, but a meet-cute with a Shakespeare-quoting bartender has her speculating on the value of diversifying her life portfolio.
Will Talbot is not a fan of the slick financiers who cram into his bar after each day’s closing bell. With their calls for Harvey Wallbangers and their Hermès ties, they’re all the same.
Except for a certain beautiful, buttoned-up brunette with fire in her eyes and a storm in her heart. They’re totally wrong for each other. He should be focusing on his upcoming audition, not coaching Kate on how to act like she's a bona fide member of the Gordon Gekko club.
Problem is, they can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The course of true love never did run smooth, but in this 1980's sweet-and-sexy rom-com, returns on love can’t be measured on the S&P 500.
“’This is very midsummer madness,’” he says.
What I’m Looking For by Karen Grey is an engaging, romantic, vintage comedy set in Boston in the 1980’s. It includes a profusion of cultural ‘Easter Egg’ references for reminiscing enjoyment.
It’s the first full-length book authored by Karen Grey, a moniker for Karen White. She opted to use a moniker to avoid confusion with another author by the same name. Karen is one of my favorite audio book narrators. So much so that I have discovered numerous new favorite authors by picking up audio books that Karen has narrated. Picking up her debut stand-alone book was a no-brainer.
What I’m Looking For is the story of actor/bartender Will Talbot and investment analyst Kate Bishop. Their tale is told from Will’s and Kate’s alternating points-of-view allowing readers to be privy to each of their thoughts and motivations.
Our hero, Will, is a charismatic heartthrob – depicted as looking like JFK Jr. When Will was thusly described, it brought back memories of when “People” magazine famously dubbed JFK Jr the “Sexiest Man Alive.” Will is at ease on stage and is a drama geek who can quote Shakespeare like the renowned English poet himself.
Will first meets our heroine, Kate, when she orders a drink at his bar. Will has an aversion to financiers so Kate is someone he normally would avoid – but, there’s an unexplainable spark and he finds himself attracted to her even though they seem to have nothing in common. I enjoyed tagging along as they talked and shared doing fun things like indulging in ice cream kisses.
Kate is not looking for a relationship. She’s still reeling from a fairly recent breakup. She’s a finance nerd - very good at tallying figures and trends - but awkward and shy in front of clients. She is ambitious and focused on her career goals which include becoming the leader of the all-male rat pack at work. To do so, she must add excelling at public speaking and relating to her audience to her repertoire of talents. Open sexism was inescapable back then and successful businesswomen were a rarity. To prevail, she was going to have to be much better than the guys. Thankfully, Will steps in to help Kate with tips on how to calm her anxiety and focus on her audience.
The couple’s path to a relationship is not smooth. In the 80s, email, Internet, and cell phones do not exist. There’s no firing off a quick text. You can wait days for a phone call and there are these things called answering machines which require reading a manual to set up and use. Pagers are a thing too. Plus, Will and Kate are each stubborn as can be. There were times I did not see a path forward for them. I wanted to shake them. Yet, when they were together, it was easy to dream of what could be.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two secondary characters. Alice is Kate’s best friend and a hoot. She encourages Kate to step out of her comfort zone. The second is “Hot Steve,” who starts out as a despicable jerk, but as the story progresses, he evolves into a good friend to Kate.
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from That’s What I’m Looking For:
He scoots closer. “I just want this bit, right… here.” His lips brush the side of my mouth, then he licks just below my bottom lip. “Mmm. That’s good chocolate.”
“Ice cream kisses.” My tongue may be cold, but the rest of me is heating up fast.
If I could manage a portfolio like he manages a kiss, I’d be a millionaire.
“I might need something else to make me feel completely well.”
“I’m not a doctor, but I’ve played one on stage. Maybe I can help.”
“I feel like I’m dating a vampire,” I confess to Alice over our post-run breakfast Saturday morning. “It’s been weeks since I saw Will in the daylight.”
“That’s so romantic,” Alice sighs.
Will’s and Kate’s story took a few chapters for me to get into – but, once I did, I couldn’t put the book down. It was fun to watch these seemingly opposites come full circle and learn to trust their hearts and each other. Kate puts it well; “You taught me that risking loss makes life much more precious.” I admit to laughing out loud way too many times to count and I snuggled into the amazing warm fuzzies at the end. What I’m Looking For is a smart, sexy and warm-hearted nostalgic romp and a wonderful escape read.
Now, I’m wondering which secondary character will get their story told in Karen's next Boston Classics' release. Whoever it is, I look forward to reading it!