REVIEW: A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

Posted June 14th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Review / 4 comments


In A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston, As an English professor, Eileen “Elsy” Merriweather gets to discuss great works of literature on the daily. Her true literary love, though? Romance novels. Particularly the Quixotic Falls series by Rachel Flowers set in fictional Eloraton, New York. Those books have gotten her through some of the worst days of her life and are so familiar to her that the characters are like real everyday friends. So, when Elsy gets lost on her way to a reading retreat and ends up in a small town that seems oddly similar to Eloraton, she chalks it up to her desperate need for a vacation. But it somehow turns out to actually be Eloraton.

“Am I dead?”
He snorted. “No. You’re not.”
“Oh,” I said, looking down Main Street again, “then I’m running out of ideas for how this is real. Because it’s not–I know it’s not.”

The fictional town seems all too real, with Elsy’s favorite cast members popping up in their respective businesses and acting just as they did in the books. The one exception is bookstore owner Anders. She doesn’t recall seeing him in the series and can’t figure out if he was to be a new character in the fifth novel–a story that will never be finished since the author’s untimely death. All Elsy knows is that Anders gives off very strong book hero vibes. And her attraction to him is inconvenient as she’s pretty sure her time in town is limited so she can’t be his heroine. But as she spends her days interacting with the previous couples and other side characters, Elsy could see herself settling down there. If only she could figure out if Anders wants her to stay or not.

‘Every reader I’d ever known had wanted nothing more than to fall into the arms of a book boyfriend, some fictional Darcy, a shade of a Byronic hero, all to their own. So I did.’

A NOVEL LOVE STORY was, at its heart, a love letter to the romance readers who fangirl, blog, obsess over, and support the books that capture their heart. An intriguing mix of magical realism and small town slow-burn romance, Ashley Poston’s storytelling was yet again on point.

“Follow your heart. Even if it leads you wrong, will you really regret it?”

Ashley Poston never fails to take readers on an amazing, sometimes even mind-bending, journey. A NOVEL LOVE STORY was the kind of romance that’s all too easy to get swept away in–especially if you can suspend disbelief and just go along with the magical realism she uses to take her books to new heights. And while I loved that sense of fantasy, it was the book-within-a-book aspect that sold me. As well as our heroine Elsy’s proud adoration of the romance genre.

Somehow Poston perfectly put into words what it would be like to find ourselves actually *in* our favorite romance series. In Elsy’s case it was the (fictional) Quixotic Falls books by Rachel Flowers, set in Eloraton, New York. A teeny tiny town with only one road leading in or out, it was quite the backdrop for Elsy to spend time and finally move past a bad breakup from a few years before. I think it was very relatable how she reacted to meeting her favorite characters. The awe, elation, shock, and yes, confusion. For the most part, Elsy took things in stride. It was Anders, the grumpy bookstore owner, though, who she didn’t remember from the books that threw her for a loop.

I still had a few questions at the close of the story but for the most part, this was a fun adventure involving all things Romancelandia that I think readers will enjoy–especially the swoon-worthy grand romantic gesture at the end.

QOTD: Is there a romance series you’d like to find yourself able to visit?

Book Info:

Publication: Published: June 25th, 2024 | Berkley |

A professor of literature finds herself caught up in a work of fiction… literally.

Eileen Merriweather loves to get lost in a good happily-ever-after. The fictional kind, anyway. Because at least imaginary men don’t leave you at the altar. She feels safe in a book. At home. Which might be why she’s so set on going to her annual book club retreat this year—she needs good friends, cheap wine, and grand romantic gestures—no matter what.

But when her car unexpectedly breaks down on the way, she finds herself stranded in a quaint town that feels like it’s right out of a novel…

Because it is.

This place can’t be real, and yet… she’s here, in Eloraton, the town of her favorite romance series, where the candy store’s honey taffy is always sweet, the local bar’s burgers are always a little burnt, and rain always comes in the afternoon. It feels like home. It’s perfect—and perfectly frozen, trapped in the late author’s last unfinished story.

Elsy is sure that’s why she must be here: to help bring the town to its storybook ending.

Except there is a character in Eloraton that she can’t place—a grumpy bookstore owner with mint-green eyes, an irritatingly sexy mouth and impeccable taste in novels. And he does not want her finishing this book.

Which is a problem because Elsy is beginning to think the town’s happily-ever-after might just be intertwined with her own.



4 Responses to “REVIEW: A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston”

  1. Amy R

    QOTD: Is there a romance series you’d like to find yourself able to visit? Kristen Ashley’s town

  2. Glenda M

    Thanks so much for the review! I honestly can’t think of any series or books I’d want to live in — there are lots of not fun things that don’t get brought up in books, reality and all that.

  3. erahime

    There’s many book settings that I wouldn’t mind visiting some of their establishments. And I also enjoyed reading the excerpt, Team HJ.