About the Book:
Title: By Any Other Name
Author: Lauren Kate
Page Length: 288
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Synopsis: What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.
With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?
But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.
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Lanie is a romance editor who has just been put in charge of the company’s best-selling and most popular novelist. Noa Callaway is way behind deadline and super elusive and Lanie’s favorite writer. Though they haven’t met in person, they’ve been friends for years, playing online chess together and chatting, and Lanie is beyond thrilled for the opportunity to serve as her editor. But when they finally meet, Lanie is stunned by what she learns, and she begins to question everything she knows about love, life, and her relationships.
Throughout the story, Noa struggles with writer’s block, and Lanie helps to inspire the author by taking them to various beautiful and inspiring places throughout New York. What results is a wonderful exploration of the city. New York is such a fabulous backdrop to the story, and I love that they visit some of their favorite places and things to do.
Lanie is a fun and layered protagonist who wears her heart on her sleeve and enthusiastically believes in love and happily-ever-afters. The way she feels about books and reading and literature in general speaks to me on a deep level. My entire life has been influenced by books. I’m a former high school English teacher, I run a book blog, I’ve named my children after literary characters and authors, and the librarians at my local library greet me like I’m an old friend (which, at this point, I am. Lol). Lanie lives her life by meaningful insights from her favorite books and speaks passionately about her love of literature and the publishing business. Her career is devoted to this passion, and she uses her favorite romance novel as inspiration for her love life and choice of a partner. .
Lanie learns a lot about herself throughout the book, and I enjoyed her personal journey. One such lesson she learned is that just because a man seems perfect, it doesn’t mean he’s perfect for you. Lanie has an idealized idea of what her relationship is, and she ignores a lot of the signs that suggest she’s not as content as she professes. I think she takes a hard look at her life, her dreams, her future, and what she really wants for herself. She shows tremendous growth and really takes charge of her life.
The relationship between Lanie and her love interest is slow-building and lovely. They have such great banter, and their fun outings are so sweet and charming and fun. I also like that they support each other through some difficult and painful times. Breakups, ill family members, work-related pressures, writer’s block, and more burden them, yet they are repeatedly there for each other. There is a quiet strength in their relationship and an amazing foundation that has slowly strengthened over the almost decade-long work relationship. There’s also a comfort level throughout the book that wouldn’t have been there if they’d just met. They connect on a deep level, and I think that helps Lanie deal with the shock and feeling of betrayal when they first meet.
By Any Other Name is a charming contemporary romance and one I highly recommend. It has great characters, the love story is romantic, and it’s a love story to books and writing and New York. Thanks so much NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
The effusive love of books, reading, and literature.
Life’s greatest mystery is whether we shall die bravely.
Lowered expectations don’t invite disappointment. They expect the imperfect in all of us.
In faith in love were a source of energy, you could power a small planet.
Your eyes should always be where you want to be twenty seconds from now. Don’t look down at where you are, only at where you’re going.
I would recommend this read to people who enjoy contemporary romance, rom-coms, and stories set in New York City.