by Katie Fforde

St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 388 pages

Since I’m a romantic and enjoy comedy, I was positive I would like Katie Fforde’s Love Letters: A Novel. While I did chuckle during certain scenes – because they are relatable – Fforde’s tale of lust and heartbreak didn’t always leave me smiling.

It’s a basic love story: woman meets man, flirtation strikes, misunderstanding ensues, neuroses deepen. Laura works in an about-to-close bookstore and gets roped into running a literary festival. When the naive, virginal Laura fails to correct a wrong with the festival committee, she’s on a mission to invite her favorite author to the gala. She heads to Ireland to convince Dermot Flynn to participate.

Meet Dermot, a two-hit author with a severe case of writer’s block. Known as a womanizer, Dermot and Laura spin a flirtatious web that escalates into something more. Laura’s feelings for Dermot grow, even as he sends mixed signals. Will this relationship conquer the odds or will miscommunication keep them apart?

For me, Laura comes off as whiny and insecure, and her incessant babbling about does he or doesn’t he love me becomes overbearing. Average character development stereotyping women and men distracts from what could be a fun storyline. Conversely, Fforde does have a way with words and shares witty dialogue and phrases. Even the British phraseology doesn’t interfere. Okay for a quick read, but if you want depth, keep looking.

Reviewed by LuAnn Schindler