Love, Literally

Romance - Contemporary
258 Pages
Reviewed on 04/30/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

In J.T. Tierney's Love, Literally, during the COVID pandemic, Hallie Bancroft finds herself without a roommate, boyfriend, or job. At her long-time friend Maria's insistence, she moves in with Maria and her husband. Maria's wealthy friends, Lisa and Paul, invite the trio to join them at their expansive second house, as they have felt distanced from human connection. Paul invites his friend, Quinn O'Neill, a college professor who gains Hallie's attention right away. Tensions mount as the six people attempt to cohabit under the restraints of the pandemic. Secrets spill out as Hallie and Quinn explore their feelings for each other, and they wonder if their affair could be more when they leave. When Hallie's ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, Hallie questions her direction in life and who she wants in it.

J.T. Tierney embraces the male and female perspectives through the novel without stereotypes, focusing on Quinn's, Hallie's, and Maria's points of view. Hallie is a forthright and charming middle-aged woman, who enjoys wordplay and appreciates open-minded people. The language and banter between Hallie and Quinn entertained me, as it was a different kind of foreplay. Nineteenth-century British literature amuses the couple, and they value candor. Tierney addresses wealth, sexual orientation, and politics without making it the focus of the work, and readers experience the depth of the characters as they share their pasts and unload secrets. The spark between Hallie and Quinn is strong as they explore whether their romance will dwindle or turn into a roaring blaze. Hallie's views are infectious, and her points are valid, making Love, Literally a good selection for readers who enjoy a strong female protagonist in an uncertain love story.

Pikasho Deka

Love, Literally is a contemporary romance novel by J.T. Tierney. It's 2020, Brookline, Massachusetts. Forty-two-year-old Hallie Bancroft hasn't been having a good time with the COVID lockdowns. She has been laid off, her roommate of five years has left, and so has her boyfriend. Her only solace comes from her best friend, Maria, who invites Hallie to live with her and her husband, Mike. Through Maria, Hallie gets to know Quinn O'Neill, a handsome fifty-something English professor at Tufts University. Bonding over their mutual attraction and love of literature, Hallie and Quinn begin a burgeoning romance. But Hallie's old relationships and Quinn's grown kids threaten to drive a wedge in their relationship. Additionally, both get new job offers in different cities. Can Hallie and Quinn get over the baggage of their pasts and start their lives anew together?

A riveting character-driven tale laced with romance and drama, Love, Literally is a heartwarming novel about friendship, love, and second chances. In this captivating story, author J.T. Tierney paints a realistic portrait of the pandemic lockdowns, perfectly capturing the sense of loneliness and abandonment felt by a large section of the general populace. Tierney paces the plot without haste, giving readers ample time to soak up the setting and get to know the characters. Every character is well-fleshed-out with backstories that add layers to their personalities and show their agency. Aside from Hallie and Quinn's relationship, I also enjoyed Maria's story and the stimulating conversations among the friends at Lisa's house. Contemporary romance readers shouldn't miss this one. This book is tailor-made for you!

Jennifer Ibiam

They say when it rains, it pours. Life dealt forty-two-year-old set designer Charlotte (Hallie) Bancroft three heavy blows. COVID was in town. Hallie lost her job and housemate, leaving her to pay the rent alone. Nick, her boyfriend, also walked out of her life. She felt broken and alone in the world. However, Hallie received help with accommodation from her best friend, Maria. Her life took an unexpected turn when she joined Maria and some friends on a trip to a place where they could unwind away from the depressing COVID-19. She met Professor Quinn, and there was an immediate attraction, but they were both broken people working toward healing. The couple must navigate the obstacles in their path to get a shot at happiness in Love, Literally by J. T. Tierney.

Love, Literally by J. T. Tierney is a slow-paced contemporary romance that pairs well with cold evenings and mugs of hot chocolate. This story shows the temptation and hesitation to leap into the future while staying attached to the perceived safety of the past: a typical case of the devil we know. The themes explored include loyalty, beliefs, grief, heartbreak, romance, healing, kindness, drama, secrets, and scandals. Tierney has assembled and developed thought-provoking characters, which leads to a wholesome story. Beyond Quinn and Hallie, I saw life through the lens of Maria, Lisa, Mike, Paul, Jolivia, and Maddie. How do we balance helping the less privileged without hurting our finances? Is it right to detest others for not giving as much as we do? I also loved the conflicting discussions about faith, sexuality, and abortions. However, my highlight was watching Hallie’s journey to self-discovery. It’s never too late to start over.

K.C. Finn

Love, Literally is a work of fiction in the contemporary romance, interpersonal drama, and slice-of-life subgenres. It is best suited to mature readers owing to the use of explicit language throughout and scenes of a sexual nature. Penned by author J. T. Tierney, the novel explores Hallie Bancroft's life upheaval on the brink of her 42nd birthday: she loses her job, boyfriend, and roommate. Seeking solace, Hallie and her friend Maria find refuge in a Cape Cod mansion, where she meets Quinn O'Neill, a charming English professor. Their shared passion for literature sparks a vibrant romance, but their love faces challenges from their pasts and uncertain futures.

Author J. T. Tierney has a real knack for character development and emotion that has resulted in an enchanting novel immersed in the complexities of love and self-discovery. The narrative delivers equal measures of romance, friendship, and the pursuit of happiness against a backdrop of literary references and witty banter, offering a read that feels light and airy but with a strong emotional throughline. Hallie and Quinn's dynamic relationship, fueled by their mutual admiration for literature, captivates the reader from the outset, and I was very impressed with the command of dialogue to characterize them as individuals and their bond. As the story unfolds, their internal struggles and external obstacles roll out at a natural pace and offer some really interesting twists that showcase their vulnerabilities and strengths really well. Tierney adeptly navigates the delicate balance between love's euphoria and its inherent challenges, leaving readers pondering the power of choice and resilience in the face of adversity. Overall, Love, Literally is a poignant exploration of the human heart that I would highly recommend for fans of vivid, realistic contemporary romance everywhere.

Essien Asian

Hallie Bancroft is at a crossroads in her life. Her complicated relationship looks to have crashed when her boyfriend Nick disappears without a trace, and, when she comes to terms with that, she loses her job. On the verge of depression, Hallie unburdens her heart to a close friend, who convinces her to come to Cape Cod for a short break. The last person she expects to meet on the holiday is Quin O'Neill, an English professor as charming as he is mysterious. Over time, they get to know each other better, but complications arise, as with all human relationships. Will they give in to their secret desires? Only time will tell in J.T. Tierney's Love, Literally.

J.T. Tierney's unorthodox approach to crafting a love story results in a captivating and incredibly realistic book. There is a beautiful deviation from the time-worn formula of young love with a tendency for all parties in the romantic entanglement to be head over heels for something more mature in both the ages of the parties involved and their interactions. With the main characters' atypical backstories, Tierney expertly embodies the theme of finding love in the most unlikely places. Quin and Hallie's remarkably sophisticated exchanges and distinctive wordplay characterize Love, Literally. Readers will enjoy each exchange's unique tone and fascinating details as they connect over strange subjects like their health scares. Tierney deserves plaudits for not holding back when addressing sensitive topics like abuse and abortion in the cleverly constructed subplots. These enhance the originality of this one-of-a-kind creation. Tierney's Love, Literally is in a class of its own.