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Love Walked In (Love Walked In #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  28,460 Ratings  ·  3,953 Reviews
When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs--eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother--goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meetin ...more
Paperback, 307 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Plume (first published December 29th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Topp
Jun 10, 2008 Lisa Topp rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa by: Therese
I finally met my match - an author that slowed me down! I'm a very fast reader - skimmer actually (you get more read that way), and the style and beauty of this book deserved to have every savory word read.
Clearly an accomplished writer in the craft of poetry, de los Santos conveys the flow and beauty of the written word in this novel.
In addition, she molds likeable, believable characters, and creates an intriging story.
I will read anything she writes!
Mar 12, 2008 Sherese rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
For the first two-thirds of this book, I was in love. The prose was so taut and engaging, I didn’t want to put the darn book down (even though I am technically supposed to be reading Emma). The cultural references alone (books, movies, music) were enough to keep me riveted. I loved the pert and unique language of the adult heroine: Cornelia. Also, the author was very adept at creating very different, very believable voices for the two protagonists: Cornelia and Clare.

So, when the last act came a
May 25, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I was skeptical about this book at first - a former coworker at the bookstore told me I had to read it, but we tend to have different taste. I expected generic chick lit, and was extremely surprised: it wasn't that at all. It was amazing. I adored it. I carried it around for days so I could read every chance I got. I loved it so much that I'm having a hard time articulating why, exactly. The writing was captivating, and I identified with both of the main characters in various ways. The chapters ...more
Jun 13, 2012 Camille rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Love Walked In centers on an unlikely meeting between two narrators -- Cornelia, a 31-year-old cafe manager, and Clare, the 11-year-old daughter of Cornelia's current boyfriend. What unfolds is a strange and at times hopeful narrative of relationships, connections, and love.

Cornelia's narrative is chatty -- like a girlfriend catching up on a whopper of a story --, but it's often over the top. The author uses Cornelia as a place to indulge in being in love with her own precocity, and it is more o
Abigail Hillinger
Jun 06, 2008 Abigail Hillinger rated it liked it
Shelves: lite-lit
After two semesters of doom and gloom novels, my soul needed verbal cuddling. I can see this book translating into a chick-flick, the type of movie mothers bring their daughters to and weep mercilessly halfway into the film. The title itself says it all.

I wasn't hooked immediately into this book, as I normally am with guilty pleasures...and here's why. The author didn't have a set voice she settled into. Her chapters alternated between Cornelia, a thirty-something cafe manager, and Clare, an ele
Jun 09, 2008 Sydney rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes well crafted writing, mom, Jen A, Jen G, Sarah, Janice, Amy
Recommended to Sydney by: Therese
Shelves: book-club, favorites
This is one of the best-written books I've read in years. From the first paragraph, I was hooked. The writing style was just fantastic. It far exceeded my expectations in terms of a first novel.

Cornelia is someone I think I would be friends with in real life. I found myself in her world through the vivid descriptions. It was almost as if the main character was inviting you into her life.

I didn't want to read it too quickly (and I couldn't put it down) because I felt like I had to savor every sin
Apr 02, 2008 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: womens-fiction
Reading, it is truly what I love to do. However, I do not like wordy books. By this I mean, when something can be essentially and beautifully written in say 10 words, why ruin it by writing it with 20. The story, its premise and its entirety are nice concepts which had the possibility of many things. Yet, I could not wait for it to end because the boos itself is so over-the-top wordy, I just wanted to scream. Perhaps it was just me, but some of the sentences were just painful because it was as i ...more
Jun 24, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Romantics
Audio Version.

Written by a poet, Love Walked In described love, family, and womanhood in a beautiful heart-wrenching way.

I quote a section describing exactly, well almost exactly how I feel about my purpose as a mother. The main character's mother has just told her daughter about her life growing up with a mentally ill and alcoholic mother:

“I swore nothing like that would ever touch this family.” And her whole body tilted forward when she said it so great was her ferocity. It was the scene in Go
Aug 24, 2008 Sera rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sera by: Sarah
Shelves: literary-fiction, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erica (daydreamer)
There’s a kind of holiness to love, requited or not, and those people who don’t receive it with gratitude are arrogant beyond saving…I held fast to that fact too, held fast and then, in the last seconds, let it go. I released my thanks into the air like birds, with the hope that, if they didn’t find Martin, they’d at least add themselves to whatever accumulation of goodness might be out there.

Love Walked In wasn’t what I was expecting, I was expecting something sweet and cute, and it was, but it
Heidi L.
Feb 07, 2013 Heidi L. rated it really liked it
Wow, I can't remember exactly how this book came to my attention. I think I fell in love with the cover and then listened to an interview with the author on It's hard to describe this book and how it's written -- crisp, elegant, gut-wrenching, lyrical, heartbreaking, then funny. At first it was hard to get used to the author's style and I had a hard time getting into it, but then after the first 80 pgs. or so (don't all great books take about that long??) I was so attached to t ...more
May 23, 2015 Lynai rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2015-books
The stars are for Teo, being half-Filipino. More about this soon.


Love Walked In was the book club’s book of the month for February. It was supposed to give out feels (was it?) and it did, except that I felt the feels much later in the story. Or maybe it was just me because I didn’t really feel anything for Martin Grace. Sure, he was depicted to be Cornelia’s dream boy (did I just say dream boy? How high school, haha!) but I didn’t like him at all. I didn’t like him at the start — at
Jul 27, 2009 K rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: uncritical chick lit fans
Recommended to K by: margueya
Shelves: marysues, chicklit
So after that cynical, depressing Indian book I thought what I needed was some chick lit, and this was supposed to be more intelligent than average chick lit. Was it? Well, if continual annoying references to old movies (in which I have absolutely no interest), a slightly less hackneyed (perhaps) story line, and a heroine who’s making a valiant effort at having a Personality qualifies as more intelligent chick lit, okay, I’ll give it to you. I guess the fact that I didn’t close the book halfway ...more
Oct 01, 2007 JP rated it it was amazing
Must, must, must get past the title, which I would bet you a million trillion dollars is not what the author wanted to call this book, smacking as it does of some marketing gal with funky glasses but terrible taste in books' idea of a kicky funky and SELLABLE! title. Ugh. So gross.

But must get past it, for this book is wholly delightful and surprising and moving and lovely. I think it was on the "staff recommends" shelf at my bookstore; it's now a book that I recommend (and give to) others.

Aug 11, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I picked up this book by accident, not having read anything by this author, and I am so glad I did! This story is to be read slowly so as to savor the author's writing style. It is a book about a single woman, a wonderful little girl, and a lot of love!
Mar 14, 2015 Tin rated it liked it
What I found enjoyable about Love Walked In is the crispness and clarity of the voices employed in storytelling (although the initial Cornelia chapters felt too long winded). And the alternating narratives of Claire and Cornelia indicated that this isn't your usual romance novel, you know, the one where they trace the path from meet cute to falling in love to happily ever after. The focal point isn't even romantic love, not entirely, no. But the love you get from friendship and family. And I tho ...more
Jun 22, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I'm going to be completely honest about this and hope that my own recent... bitterness isn't seeping in to my review at all.

First, let me talk about the format of the book. I've only read one other book (recently) that used a shifting perspective to tell the story. I thought the vacillation between Cornelia and Clare to be fascinating, as well as much more successfully rendered than The History of Love (as well as less-confusing than said other book, mainly because each chapter says which perspe
Nov 12, 2008 Annalisa rated it liked it
The book starts out when a stranger walks into a store and asks the main character to come to London with him on a whim, which is somehow supposed to be romantic because he's handsome and elegant. I didn't find it romantic. At all. I found it creepy and loaded with red flags of instability. I spent the first hundred pages asking myself why I read modern fiction when I get so irked with stories about jumping from one bed to another until you hit the right one and somehow that is supposed to stick ...more
Jun 14, 2008 Kerri rated it it was ok
Shelves: notsomuch, chick-lit
Sorry, Anastasia, this book sucked.

This is your typical chick lit novel where the single girl (Cornelia) meets the guy of her dreams, hates the guy of her dreams, and loves the guy who has been under her nose the whole time. In addition to the single girl, there is also an 11 year old girl, Clare, whose mother leaves her on the side of the road and her father (who happens to be Cornelia's dream man) doesn't want to take responsibility of Clare. So Cornelia steps up and decides to take Clare in.
Aug 17, 2008 Alison rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: romantics; anyone who ever wanted to marry Cary Grant
Recommended to Alison by: Sarah
"But in the months that followed Martin's gracing of Cafe Dora's doorway, I'd figured out that a real life didn't mean attaining my heart's desire, but knowing it, meant not the satisfaction, but the longing."

This is a sweet, sweet book with a great story about love in all of its forms, redemption, knowing what you want...and the privledge of having things that you're passionate about.

To re-tell any of the story would be to spoil its surprises.

Anyone who's heart is warmed by a cup of hot chocol
Feb 09, 2015 Sheryl rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Ella
I learned to love the kid. But the elements of a normal chic-lit is still there. The men, the eyes and the dose of fluffy adjectives and sugar-coatin around them.
Dec 21, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
A beautiful little love story which explores mental health and its devastating impact on those closet to the source.

I feel I got this book the wrong way around - I read the second of these two books first. Not actually knowing that this one existed and that it came before Belong to Me. I kind of wish I read them in the right order, because having read Belong to Me gave me knowledge which meant I knew how things turned out!

This is the third book from this lovely author that I have read, and I lo
Jun 18, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Okay, I might catch a little grief for this from those of you who gave this book only a couple of stars. Yes, I agree that some plot elements were a little too convenient--like getting a certain character out of the way, but . . .

Kudos to the author for taking a unique approach to writing and story-telling. Maybe not totally unique, but something you don't find in contemporary bestsellers today (unless you count mid-grade fantasy).

Cornelia's story is told in 1st person omniscient POV, and I felt
Marika Gillis
May 05, 2009 Marika Gillis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Erin, Danica, Andie, Shera, Shannon, Lauren, Nan
Shelves: fiction
This book is a love story. Cornelia Brown is the manager of a Philadelphia coffee shop when she begins dating Martin Grace, a Cary Grant look-alike. However, their fairy tale romance doesn't quite unfold the way one would expect.

When 11-year-old Clare is dropped off on the side of the road by her demented mother, she begins a desperate search for her absent father.

Circumstances lead Clare to Cornelia's coffee shop and the love story begins.

Marisa de los Santos tells this enchanting story of a
May 10, 2011 Isamlq rated it really liked it
Awesome! I know, I know… it is such an overrated word, but it honestly does apply in this case. The writing is lyrical.. In the best sense of the word. Everything out of their mouths, so descriptive. In fact, pages one through fifty were a challenge. Getting used to the way things were said, Cornelia’s thoughts in particular, her wordiness, (just like this sentence is going right now,) even her braininess had me pulling back a bit. But as I have said, I took it as a challenge. And from page fift ...more
Oct 05, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: Shana
After being disappointed by the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, this book became the savior of my faith in good writing. I loved the style in which it was written. I liked the changes between the two main characters. 1st person for Cornelia, 3rd person for Clare. I think it was smart to write Clare's point of view from 3rd person since after reading books in the 1st person point of view of a teenager was driving me crazy. Not that Clare isn't smart for her age, but the teenager was "supposed ...more
Feb 19, 2009 Jacki rated it did not like it
I thought about putting this down around page 100 because I wasn't enjoying it at all. I decided to stick it out a little further, because I felt like the story was just starting to gain steam. By that point, I only had 150 pages left and figured I should just finish it. What a mistake.

I thought this book was terrible. What I hated the most was just her wordy, wordy writing. It was messy and all over the place and just too much. No one I've ever met talks like that and I'm fairly confident that
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Marisa de los Santos was a poet for a very long time, with an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. Her first book, FROM THE BONES OUT, a collection of poems, was published in 2000.

She and her husband, writer David Teague, lived in Center City, Philadelphia for a number of years before moving to Wilmington, Delaware in spring of 2003. That summer, Marisa bega
More about Marisa de los Santos...

Other Books in the Series

Love Walked In (2 books)
  • Belong to Me

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“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you've got, say "Oh, my gosh," and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It's not a question of choice.” 206 likes
“Even if someone wasn't perfect or even especially good, you couldn't dismiss the love they felt. Love was always love; it had a rightness all its own, even if the person feeling the love was full of wrongness.” 104 likes
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