Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
What I'm Looking For by Karen Grey
Narrator: Karen White, Joe Arden
Series: Boston Classics #1
on June 16, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours, 31 minutes
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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.
What I’m Looking For is a unique sort of romance, not quite contemporary and not historical, set in the 1980s. I was actually about the age of the characters during this time period. The chapters all begin with an answering machine message. I don’t remember using that at all. I had messages from secretaries at work and by the mid 1980s I had a car phone with voicemail. Based on Kate’s job and traveling, she might have had a car phone rather than a pager.
Kate felt very realistic to me. Some women of this time period, wanted to have careers and be independent. I did. While they might also want to have a relationship and eventually marriage, it wasn’t always easy. Certainly, some men were creeps professionally and personally. I also experienced being the higher paid person in the couple. But in addition to all these male/female turbulent changes happening and misogyny in the workplace, Kate had her own issues.
Kate and Will had both experienced bad breakups so they wanted to have a monogamous relationship without the strings so they wouldn’t get hurt, which is nearly impossible and hard to be the longer they are together. Each had some family issues as well. Kate’s family was well-meaning but a bit old-fashioned with more of a focus on getting married than her career. Will’s family was broken and left him with financial anxiety.
I appreciated the growth in their characters and the honesty they had with themselves and each other. For the most part, they did communicate and they didn’t try to ignore what they were thinking or feeling. They had areas where they did not agree or some misunderstandings but everybody has those. I liked the way they supported and encouraged each other in their careers and to think more broadly in their personal perspectives.
The Boston Classics series is just beginning and I’ll be interested to see which characters are the focus next. The epilogue shows this couple five years in the future which is satisfying and makes me think they won’t be the main characters in the next book.
Karen White is a long-time favorite so it was easy to listen and feel the emotional timbre of her performance. Her narration of the Kate point of view sections seemed like a larger percentage of the book. I am long aware of Joe Arden but I guess I haven’t listened to him before. He was wonderful and handled the voices well. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
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