Release Date - February 14, 2023
Genre - Contemporary Romance
I don't know what to say about this romance. It really doesn't seem to be for me is I guess the best place to start. My recommendation before you even get started is to read the prequel if it's included in your copy of the book. It helps a bit.
After Susie Bowen's aunt dies and leaves Susie her run-down home, Susie gets to work clearing the clutter. While moving boxes, she finds a lot of water damage that requires the help of a professional. She doesn't expect her contractor to send Lars.
Susie and Lars have history. They were best friends until Susie's boyfriend (Lars' best friend) dumped her in a very public, humiliating way. She hasn't seen Lars since and isn't particularly happy to see him right now, but her house needs repairs and Lars is there.
The pair are shocked when Lars pulls out water-damaged sheetrock and finds some hidden divorce papers. They're divorce papers for Lars and Susie and are dated a decade into the future. Lars is convinced Susie planted them, and she's equally convinced Lars must have faked them, but document experts are baffled as the papers are authentic and the lawyer who drafted them and appears on the letterhead is a newer attorney who has yet to make partner.
How the papers got there or even who managed to create them is a puzzle, but Lars and Susie are determined to unravel the truth.
End of Story is mostly a romance, and a steamy one at that. That's where I struggled. I don't know if it's just this book or if I'm growing out of romance novels after 30 years of reading them. In this case, it was the language used. There were times I felt like the author was trying to educate to the correct terms rather than the common terms we use nowadays, such as prophylactic vs. condom or very detailed terminology for certain body parts/features. It was too much for me and had me skipping some scenes.
My other issue came down to the mystery. I was curious and thought I had it pegged, but the reality was rushed and didn't seem that essential to the story. I also hated having the ex-boyfriend appear in the story with the means of being no more than the scum he was in the prequel. I would have been happy to have him left out, and Lars mother's attitude towards Susie is no better and also made me dislike her. If I think about it, I didn't really enjoy many characters, short of Susie's best friend and Lars' brother. They were great.
While the setting and some aspects of the home renovation delighted me, the romance just never grabbed me as I expect it should have.