It’s time, once again, for another marvelous blog tour hosted by The Write Reads! This time, we’re going a bit outside of my wheelhouse. I’m not a huge romance reader but, as of late, I have found quite a few that I’ve enjoyed. I’m happy to say that the topic of today’s tour stop is yet another one! I’ll be highlighting a new contemporary romance featuring a heartbroken woman and, of all things, a Lift driver: The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara! I was definitely intrigued by the premise of this book and just had to join in the tour!
Before I get into it, though, I want to say thank you! Thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads (and all the behind-the-scenes folk!) for giving me a spot on this tour. And thank you to the publisher, Aria Fiction, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation and an honest review. It is, as always, appreciated.
Now, let’s get to this post!
“What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?
‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’
‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’
And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.
So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…
Come on this 5* journey to love, laughter and back again, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.“
About the Author
As a child, Olivia not-so-quietly ‘observed’ (AKA bothered with countless questions) her grandfather — who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania — edit hundreds of books. And when he wasn’t editing, he read. Everything, all the time. Just like her father, who wrote short sci-fi stories, and was set on building the largest library she’d ever seen and her mother who’s never found without a book…wherever she goes. Her love for words came naturally, and after studying marketing, communications & photography, Olivia worked as a journalist for a newspaper and news television network in Romania.
An unapologetic citizen of the world, she spent a few years in Greece, Sweden, France, before settling in sunny California with her photographer husband and young daughter, where she works in marketing and writes. Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-growing menagerie that completes the family: Pumpkin, the Maine Coon mix, three black cats and a siamese kitten.
When she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she reads (across genres), watches old movies and collects vintage books, vinyl records, and eerie paintings. She loves traveling (and can’t wait until she can do it again, safely), swimming, biking, hiking and of course, photography.
SOMEDAY IN PARIS, her debut, published by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus in May 2020 became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021. Her second novel, THE MEETING POINT, a contemporary romcom set in Northern California, is set to be published as an e-book on September 2, 2021 and in paperback in December 2021 in the UK and March, 2022 in the US.
Let me start this off by saying, my goodness, did this give me that warm, fuzzy feeling! This book was like a warm hug and I adored it.
We start the story following a young woman named Maya. Maya is having a bad day. She’s just been fired from her job and, when she flies to California to surprise her boyfriend on her birthday, she discovers that he’s been sighted necking with some strange blonde woman. But, what started out as the worst birthday of her life morphs into the perfect, fairy tale day when the Lift driver who broke the news about her boyfriend leads her on a guided tour (via text message) through a beautiful sea-side town. Could this chance encounter be Maya’s ticket to what she has been missing?
Uuuugh, this was so cute! I loved the feel of this book, if that makes sense? It just settled in my happy place and had me smiling throughout most of it. I loved Olivia Lara’s writing. It has a way of drawing you into the story and it’s incredibly readable! I flew through this book in just a couple of days and was a little sad when I reached the end of the story.
I will say, though I love Maya, there were so many moments when I wanted to shake her! Her tendancy to focus on the romantic stories she imagines for complete strangers but ignoring her own not-so-great love life just made me want to groan so much. Especially moments where she would take behavior that you know she would never let a friend or loved one accept. But that’s the way of it, isn’t it? People can be great at being supportive and fighting for others, but completely awful at standing up for themselves. It was great watching Maya grow as the story progressed. As for our mysterious Lift driver, I have to say, at the beginning, I was a little creeped out by him 😂 Probably because I’m old and cynical and was like “This man is legit going to murder you, Maya…” But my cynical, little heart was won over in the end and I love how everything turned out!
Not gonna lie, though, I think my absolute favorite thing about this book is that magical birthday Maya spends in Carmel at the very beginning of the book. Mostly because that sounds like the perfect day to me! I love the ocean, I love quirky small towns, and the food all sounded so good, omg 🤤 The author really brings this town and the day to life, so much so that I felt like I was actually along for the adventure. Also, the idea of someone giving you a spontaneous guided tour over text just sounds like fun. This part just showcases the best of the writing that made me enjoy this book so much.
Final thoughts: This was such a sweet read and definitely put a smile on my face. This deals with some rough topics, but the payout is well worth it. Though Maya felt a little weak as a main character at first, I loved getting to watch her grow and learn and experience joy. The writing is incredible and will make you feel like you’re a part of this mysterious adventure! If you’re looking for a fun, fast romance that will gives you heartbreak, summer romance, and warm fuzzies all in one story, I think you would enjoy The Meeting Point!