Friday, December 3, 2021

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

Eight Perfect Hours
by Lia Louis
Published September 28, 2021 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

In this romantic and heartwarming novel, two strangers meet in chance circumstances during a blizzard and spend one perfect evening together, thinking they’ll never see each other again. But fate seems to have different plans.

On a snowy evening in March, 30-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear.

The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again, but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence. With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.

4 Stars

Coincidence? Fate? Pre-destined? No matter what you call it, Noelle and Sam keep running into one another. Noelle is out in the bad weather to rescue her best friend's final letter and camera from their high school's time capsule. Her best friend, Daisy, was the dreamer, the believer, the doer and yet she's been gone for quite a while. Noelle knows the words and the pictures in the time capsule hold her future, but she doesn't yet know how true that is. Stranded with a dead phone, Noelle leans on stranger Sam and his warm car. What starts as time to charge her phone turns into eight perfect hours. Then, the highway opens and life moves on, except Sam keeps turning up and Noelle is starting to believe in fate.

Eight Perfect Hours is a feel good romance with a holiday themed cover. While the snow may be falling in the story, this one isn't centered around the holidays and that sort of feels nice. It's got all the makings, without being Christmas focused and honestly, I read those for the romance anyhow. It's the spirit that I like and Lia Louis captures it perfectly. Noelle is pragmatic, she cares for her mother and everything she does, except for this one trip, is connected to her mom and the care she gives. Eight hours stranded in a car after reading her best friend's final words seems the worst thing ever, but then there's Sam and there's a spark. I loved Noelle, she goes to great lengths for others, but we get to see her finally go after something for herself. Sam, meanwhile, is sort of this dream man for her that feels impossible, and yet he keeps showing up. They share stories, valuable honest words, and small bits of time. Their connection is immediate, but is treated as though it could never happen. Of course, it wouldn't be a romance novel if it was that easy!

Eight Perfect Hours is such a good book, it really has all the makings of a perfect romance. It isn't straight fluff, in fact there's some serious soul searching on the pages, and the romance isn't easy to get to, but it's worth it. Noelle and Sam come to life with Louis' writing and I could not stop reading this for anything, even desperately needed sleep. This is a cuddle up with a blanket, tune everything out and just read kind of novel.

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