Paper Love by Jae is a really sweet workplace romance with a thawing ice queen, origami, and even a sneaky cat. And you know what else is cool about it? Jae set it in her hometown of Freiburg, Germany!
Susanne Wolff has recently quit her job as a business consultant, sick of working for a chauvinistic jerk. She’s not looking forward to telling her mother, however, and is afraid she’ll think Susanne is flighty and unreliable like her dad (and she’s SO not that at all). The last thing Susanne expects is for her mom to not only be supportive, but to send her to Freiburg to help her Uncle Norbert pull his stationery shop Paper Love out from the brink of bankruptcy. Susanne isn’t looking forward to it, since she’s into city living and all things digital, but she can’t say no to family.
Anja Lamm adores her job at Paper Love, surrounded by all the stationery-related things she loves and working for the super sweet Nobby. Her quiet life is turned upside down when Susanne shows up, with her BMW, smartphone, and ice queen attitude. Anja has no clue how bad things are for Paper Love and when she finds out, she’s willing to at least try to work with the prickly Frau Wolff.
Susanne will only be in Freiburg for a few months, so she wants to make the most of turning things around for the shop, her uncle and Anja. And the more time she and Anja spend together, the more they each find themselves warming to each other. Can women from two such different worlds find common ground in a town full of Bächles?
Tara: So, I really didn’t care for Susanne at all for at least the first third of the book. She was zero fun and seemed like kind of a jerk. I was actually a bit relieved when Anja started thinking of her as an ice queen, because I was able to stop wondering what exactly was her deal. It was nice to see her start to relax and even better when she finds herself falling for Anja. I was really impressed with her character arc, because she’s truly a different person by the end.
Anna: I understand that it’s hard to like Susanne at the beginning, but as I got more perspective on why she’s so rigid, it really allowed me to feel empathy for her. Because she’s always been compared to her dad, and knowing how flighty her dad was with all things business, she has fought tooth and nail to make sure she hasn’t ended up the same way. Her first real act of rebellion is quitting her job, which is something her father would do. But as she goes to Freiburg, lets down her guard, she’s able to see that being a little carefree can open her up to new and exciting things, especially love.
Tara: Anja, on the other hand, was SO easy to love. She doesn’t really have a big character arc like Susanne and that worked just fine because Anja is sweet, kind, funny, and all around wonderful. Also, a stationery geek? She’s way too cute! I’d totally hang out with her any day of the week.
Anna: I totally agree. Anja was so warm and friendly from the get go and you can really see her passion for stationery. There were times I was reading and I started thinking how I really wanted to buy some of the items she was describing because she was really showing her love for it. I love people like that.
The Writing Style
Tara: I mean, it’s a romance by Jae, so of course it’s written well! The romance is great, the story is nicely paced, and it’s sure to please anyone who wants something on the fluffier side.
Anna: This was definitely fluffy, but having a nice fluffy story is what we all need at some points in our lives. And I get to learn about a wonderful town that is totally going on my bucket list to visit one day.
Tara: So, aside from the stuff I talked about in the other sections, my biggest pro is the setting. I love that Jae set this in her hometown! It was so vividly described that I wanted to book a plane ticket to Germany and I found myself looking up things and places so I could better visualize Anja and Susanne’s stomping grounds.
Anna: Dangit, Tara, you stole my answer! 😉 I really loved the descriptions of Freiburg. I really felt I was there experiencing all the sights and sounds. And I could see the joy and love Jae has for her hometown in every word used to describe it. What do you say, Tara? Shall we take a trip to Freiburg soon?
Anna: I don’t have the money to go to Freiburg right now.
Tara: Wait, I mean that one. That’s my con too.
Anna: This is a wonderful, stress-free romance that has you laughing and getting all the warm feels from all the characters. Whether you’re just needing a break from everyday life or about to enjoy a holiday weekend, this book will give you everything you need to relax and enjoy how wonderful romance can be.
Excerpt from Paper Love by Jae
Splash, splash, splash. Her left boot squished with every step and left puddles of water on the tiled floor. She tried her best to ignore it and appear professional. “My name is Susanne Wolff. I’m looking for Norbert. Is he in?”
“Of course. Um, Nobby?” the woman called toward the back of the room, where an open door led to what might be the office or a supply room. “There’s someone here for you. And, um, could you bring the mop while you’re back there?”
Nobby? Her uncle was not only on a first-name basis with his employee but also allowed her to call him by his nickname? Such familiarities with employees were often a bad idea. It was high time someone with a clue about managing a business took over.
Things around here would change; she’d make sure of that—as soon as she’d gotten out of this wet boot.
Her uncle entered the sales area through the door in the back. He was a little balder and grayer than she remembered, but he immediately put down the mop and came toward her with open arms. “Susi! There you are!”
“I go by Susanne now.” Only her twin sister was still allowed to call her by her childhood nickname.
“Oh. Of course.” He squeezed her tightly, then let go and took a step back to look her over. “You look great. You’re the spitting image of your father. But, um, what happened to your boot?”
Being compared to her father didn’t exactly improve Susanne’s mood. With a grunt, she shook her left foot. Her cold, wet toes felt as if they were about to fall off. “I stepped into a gutter.” She jerked her thumb over her shoulder, pointing at the death trap.
“It’s not a gutter,” the employee said softly. “It’s a Bächle.”
“I know what it’s called, but frankly, I don’t care. Who the hell puts uncovered waterways in the middle of the street? Someone could break a leg!”
The employee didn’t back away from Susanne’s glare. With her elfin features and her slight build, she might have looked like a pushover, but the tiny cleft in her stubborn chin declared that she wouldn’t let herself be intimidated. “Well, look on the bright side.”
A snort escaped Susanne. Oh Christ. She’s one of those the-glass-is-half-full Pollyanna types. Not that she had anything against a positive attitude, but rose-colored glasses wouldn’t help them save the store. “There’s a bright side to ruining my favorite pair of boots?”
“Oh yes.” The woman’s smile was irritatingly unshakable. “Legend has it that if you accidentally step into a Bächle, you’ll marry a local guy and live happily ever after in our beautiful city.”
Susanne nearly spat out the sip of coffee she’d just taken. “That’s the last thing I want.”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9783963240669
Publisher: Ylva Publishing
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