Updated: Jan 17
To Sir, With Love
by Lauren Layne
Published by Gallery Books
Love Is Blind meets You’ve Got Mail in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy following two thirty-somethings who meet on a blind dating app—only to realize that their online chemistry is nothing compared to their offline rivalry.
Perpetually cheerful and eager to please, Gracie Cooper strives to make the best out of every situation. So when her father dies just months after a lung cancer diagnosis, she sets aside her dreams of pursuing her passion for art to take over his Midtown Manhattan champagne shop. She soon finds out that the store’s profit margins are being squeezed perilously tight, and complicating matters further, a giant corporation headed by the impossibly handsome, but irritatingly arrogant Sebastian Andrews is proposing a buyout. But Gracie can’t bear the thought of throwing away her father’s dream like she did her own.
Overwhelmed and not wanting to admit to her friends or family that she’s having second thoughts about the shop, Gracie seeks advice and solace from someone she’s never met—the faceless “Sir”, with whom she connected on a blind dating app where matches get to know each other through messages and common interests before exchanging real names or photos.
But although Gracie finds herself slowly falling for Sir online, she has no idea she’s already met him in real life…and they can’t stand each other.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
To Sir, With Love is Lauren Layne's newest stand alone romance, featuring Grace Cooper, a thirty-three year old woman who set aside her dreams of being an artist, to run her deceased father's champagne shop, Sebastian Andrews, the arrogant and persistent man who is trying to buy out the business, and the mysterious "Sir", the mystery man that Grace messages on a dating app. Grace is a romantic, and while unavailable, the mysterious "Sir", with his wit and charm, has her heart. She is 100% sure he is it ... until Sebastian turns up. Despite his intentions on buying out the family business, she is drawn to him immediately. But with "Sir" unavailable, and Sebastian's ultimate goal being to put her out of business, there is no hope. What Grace doesn't know, is that she already knows the identity of "Sir", and he is more available than she knows.
That was a shitty synopsis. This is what one glass of wine turns me into - a rambling mess. Well - a more chaotic one perhaps. Truly, I should have just typed a modern day You've Got Mail, and left it at that, because that IS what this is - You've Got Mail, but on a dating app.
Despite it not being original, it was cute. Lauren Layne knows how to write emotion, and it's all there between these characters. I liked these characters. Likeable, and down to earth. Also, older than the usual romances I read (in their thirties), so more mature and settled. I just had a hard time with just how much it was like You've Got Mail. A little twist would have been great.
To Sir, With Love is a cute, fluffy, "clean" romance. Very hallmark, without the cheese factor. Is it Lauren Layne's best stuff? Not at all, but if you are looking for a quick romance that will leave a smile on your face, you will enjoy To Sir, With Love.
Rachel: "What is the smile?"
I drop my cell phone into my bag and turn my full attention to the baby settled on my thighs, my hand resting protectively over his warm tummy. I wipe a tiny bit of drool from his adorable mouth.
Grace: "That smile is me plotting to steal this baby. And maybe the baby's beautiful daddy."
Rachel: "Never going to work. Felix assures me he's partial to Jewish women. Oh, and he likes big boobs."
Grace: "I can convert. And get a boob job."
Rachel: "You're in your Cinderella mode."
Grace: "I do not have a Cinderella mode."
Rachel: "You totally do. I just watched you feed half our sandwich to the pigeons. Who you named."
Grace: "Are you even a real New Yorker if you don't befriend pigeons in Central Park?"
Rachel: "And then you sang to them."
Grace: "How dare you go around me to my brother-in-law!"
Sebastian: "How dare I?"
Grace: "I run this shop. Not Alex. Ergo, I make the decisions."
Grace: "You keep repeating me. Am I being unclear?"
Sebastian: "No, no. Just enjoying your word choice."
Grace: "Well, see if you can focus on the context."
May: "Tell me about your man. Have you seen his package yet?"
I choke on my martini
May: "Clutch your pearls all you want, dick pics are commonplace nowadays."
Grace: "In what world?"
May: "Hmm, wither you haven't mustered up the courage to see the proof in the pudding or his thing's crooked."
Grace: "I'm not interested in his thing! We're just friends. He's a confidant."
May: "Honey, I'm a confidant. Your sister is a confidant. This is a Situation."
Grace: "I don't remember American cheese tasting like this."
Keva: "That's because it's homemade."
Grace: "Please, let's run away together. Live happily ever after, just us and this cheese."
Grace: "Mr. Andrews. What are you doing here?"
Sebastian: "Learning what sort of food pairs with champagne."
Grace: "First the champagne party. Now this. You're spying on me. Hoping I'll fail, so you can swoop in with your offer the second I do."
Sebastian: "Yes. Spending three hundred dollars tonight is a stellar example of monetary sabotage."
Grace: "Have you told her any of this? Does she know how you feel?"
He blinks at me.
Alec: "She knows I love her."
Oh, men, So sweet. So clueless.
Caleb: "I didn't mention it because you'd start doing that thing."
Grace: "What thing?"
Caleb: "You know. The thing where you start asking if I've met her parents, when she's coming to New York to meet you guys, whether she wants a small intimate ceremony or if you should start looking for availabilities at St. Patrick's ..."
Lily nods and looks my way.
Lily: "You do that. Alec and I started daring where you were nine, and the second time he came over, you showed him a picture you'd colored. Of my wedding dress."
Alec leans forward and looks at me.
Alex: "Really good drawing though."
He gave me a thumbs-up.
To Sir, with reassurances,
Please don't think a thing of it. Of course we can go on as we've been! Here, I'll get us started. An important topic I find it hard to believe we haven't discussed yet: reality TV. Is there anything better? The drama The suspense? The sheer juiciness of it all ...
My dear Lady,
Yours in dissent,
May: "He's proud of you. Your mama too. They'd want you to choose you."
Sebastian: "Are you okay?"
Grace: "My face is all blotchy, huh?"
Sebastian: "My mother would kill me if I answered that."
Sebastian: "What if pursuing one path costs you another?"
Grace: "That, my dear sir, is what you call life."
Sebastian: "This guy of yours, the complicated one. He's the one?"
Grace: "I don't know. I thought so, but now ... I'm not so sure."
Keva: "Okay, I think the fact that Mystery Man signed it Yours means something. That's the first time he's signed it that way?"
Grace: "No, he always signs it Yours, but it's usually sort of playful. Like Yours in something relevant to the conversation ... ice cream, understanding, constipation -"
Sebastian: "I'm sure he's never signed it yours in constipation. If he has, you should seriously reconsider this meeting."
Grace: "You said if you were going to stay, you wouldn't interrupt girl talk."
Sebastian: "No, you said I couldn't interrupt girl talk. I never agreed."