Review: The Real by Kate Stewart


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

“Cameron,” I said, unable to put into words what I was feeling. Instead, I buried my head in his shoulder. “Where in the hell have you been?”
“Anywhere but where I needed to be,” he whispered softly.

Kate Stewart made me fall in love with her storytelling when I read Drive last year, my first from her. Her latest standalone, however, both floored me and had my heart soaring to the highest of heavens. The Real is very much the real deal and it already has a cushy spot on my year-end list of top favorites. From the unforgettable meet-cute to the unique direction the rest of the story took and from the wondrous main characters to a host of memorable supporting characters, this novel was every bit of contemporary romance perfection that I did not even realize I desperately needed. The fact that it also had lighthearted wit and humor sublimely interspersed with a dose of heartrending angst simply felt more like a hoped for bonus, and I so relished every single swoon-worthy bit of it!

I don’t want to give too much away about the story because it seriously needs to be experienced as each chapter unfolded and every encounter between thirty-year-old financial consultant Abigail Gorman and thirty-four-year-old multi-sporting goods store owner Cameron Bledsoe. Set in Chicago, Abbie and Cameron meet in a café called Sunny Side, their exchanges going back and forth via AirDrop. No relationship baggage, no promises, no absolutes. Nothing is usual about the progress of their relationship, but that's just part of what makes what they share rather extraordinary. Abbie is wary to trust any man after the last one shattered her trust, but as much as she tries to find something to nitpick when it comes to Cameron, the guy is simply perfect...but there is no such thing as perfect.

Whether you've read the author's work in the past or this is to be your introduction to her writing, I cannot insist enough that you do yourselves a favor and explore this undeniably sublime love story. While I did read the synopsis for it before signing up for the blog tour, by the time I got around to reading the novel, I had forgotten what it was, thereby allowing me to go into this blind, and I'm actually grateful that I did because I didn't have any preset notions nor was I formulating theories as to where the tale would go. Abbie and Cameron are unlike any other fictional couple I've come across in recent memory and their romance is one that I already consider a modern-day classic that would be perfect for the big screen. The Real is Stewart at her best and a 2018 favorite. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 20 April 2018

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