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Love at First

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw--or rather, heard--the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It's a memory that's never faded, though he's put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans t ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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  • Love at First by Kate Clayborn
    Love at First
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    Release date: Feb 23, 2021
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    Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his
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    Giveaway dates: Dec 25 - Jan 24, 2021

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    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.19  · 
    Rating details
     ·  242 ratings  ·  203 reviews


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    jessica
    Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    i really dont have much to say about this, surprisingly. i mean, i enjoyed the story overall. its cute, its light, it has some adorable moments. but its also a little forgettable? that sounds a bit harsh, but this isnt really something i will be thinking about years to come, if that makes sense.

    i found myself much more invested in will and his backstory, and i would have loved to see more of that. actually, i would have had will and nora meet when they were teenagers. i think that would have he
    ...more
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I’m smiling! My cheeks , my chin, my entire face hurts! The laugh lines at my cheeks look scarier, reminding me of deep lines belongs to something between Nicholson’s Joker blends with Phoenix’s Joker! But I don’t care! I’m feeling so good!

    I love reading thrillers to bend my nerves and I love reading feel good romcoms to heal those poor nerves after the destruction those thrillers have made!

    And this book is definitely the best cure to calm my nerves, making me sing aloud and rehearse my danc
    ...more
    EmBibliophile
    Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
    This wasn’t a bad book, I just didn’t care? I mean yes it was sweet and i love books with side characters that are like a small community and so neighbourly and on each other’s business. So yes I liked all of that, but my main issue was with the two main characters. They were just so flat. Two dimensional and so repetitieve. I don’t feel like I get to know them no matter how hard i tried. I also found the romance kinda boring, lacking, and with a nonexistent chemistry. When did they start fallin ...more
    preoccupiedbybooks
    Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    3.5 Stars

    A sweet and gentle frenemies to lovers story about love, community, grief and fate

    Sixteen years ago Will Sterling almost met the girl of his dreams, outside his estranged uncle's building. Now a doctor, Will unexpectedly inherits his uncle's apartment, and plans to renovate it and rent it out.
    Nora Clarke, is living in her beloved grandmother's apartment, working remotely for a digital design and marketing agency for sustainability focused brands. Nora is fiercely protective of the buil
    ...more
    h o l l i s
    I want to say that if you loved LOVE LETTERING you will also love this but it's not something that I would even compare one to the other. Unless you consider all the emotions I felt for both. In which case yes. Just.. yes.

    What I love so much about Clayborn is how quiet her books are even as they yell in your face, in your heart, in your soul. I might even have to call it the Quincy effect. You might end up a mess from the experience but you love it anyway (I swear this'll make sense to people wh
    ...more
    Sam (AMNReader)
    Competing with my friend Hollis for complete lack of chill and worrying about expectations if I save it up, it might not hit the same or I might be disappointed, I dove headfirst into this. I'll re-up my comment on her review. By 15%, I wasn't worried. The characters already felt real and rounded, the story line in that killing me softly Kate way meanders pleasantly but purposefully to the point it wasn't clear if I cared if I ever finished the book the characters were so wonderful to spend time ...more
    Blackjack
    Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    4.5

    Such a quintessential Clayborn novel in many ways, and now that she’s written a handful, it’s pretty easy to note her unique stylistic features and themes. I sunk effortlessly into the world she creates here from the first pages and felt comforted by her vision of a world as it could or should be, complete with a community of people who love and support each other as much as the main couple. At times I will admit that I felt that I was waiting for more romantic emotional discord or “angst” an
    ...more
    aarya
    2020 Winter Bingo (#SnowInLoveBingo❄️): Feels Like Home

    LOVE AT FIRST is fine, but I also don’t feel the “OMG, this is a life-transforming romance novel and I want to yell at everyone to read it” buzz I usually get from KC’s work. Maybe it’s unfair that my ridiculously high expectations made this an overall okay/forgettable read after a couple days.

    So this next bit is minor in the grand scheme of things, but I do want to discuss it (just because it’s minor doesn’t mean it’s not interesting o
    ...more
    JenReadsRomance
    Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    So, full disclosure, Kate is a friend of mine, so know that going in. But this book FUCKING WRECKED ME in the best way.

    I don't want to spoil it, but I just think it's perfect and beautiful and I cried at the end, and this book is basically the platonic ideal of a romance for me. SO MANY FEELINGS. This book would be a great into to the genre for someone looking to dive in, but it also reminded this die hard romance fan of why I love the genre.

    It's beautiful and perfect and I know I'm just gushi
    ...more
    b.andherbooks
    Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arc, contemporary, romance
    I was so very lucky to receive an ARC of one of my most anticipated 2021 romances. I sunk into Love at First (February 2021) by Kate Clayborn this weekend, and it is essentially the electric brush of two lovers' hands captured in perfect book form.

    Love at First reminded me of all the romantic touches I've loved in so many different forms of media. From the perfect rhyme in a sonnet, to Romeo falling head over heels at the first sight of Juliet, the Darcy hand flex in 2005's P&P, I highlighted th
    ...more
    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
    On my blog.

    Galley provided by publisher

    Kate Clayborn’s Love Lettering was the first of hers that I have read and I loved it, so I thought, of course I’m also going to love her next one. And I did like it. Kate Clayborn has a really good and easy to read style that will have you rooting for the couple. What I didn’t like here, or liked less, was Will.

    Or rather, Will in the context of the plot at the start, I guess.

    You see, contemporary enemies (although not really, let’s go rivals, maybe that
    ...more
    Kelly
    Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
    3.5 stars

    Love at first is a romance between Nora, a young woman who considers her neighbors like her family. They all know each other and do not like a change of habits. And that change comes in the form of Will, a nephew who recently inherited his uncle's apartment. The only time he met his uncle was when his mother came to talk to him when Will was a teenager. Back then, he saw a girl he still hasn't forgotten... He left before saying hello to her but years later, he'll be able to have a prope
    ...more
    *The Angry Reader*
    Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2020, arcs
    Let me tell you, I was something of a reluctant reader here. I’m busier than ever at work. The kid Is back in public school. Half my office has the virus - literally. Let’s sum it up for you succinctly - mood: Watching the Sopranos and just obsessed with Tony and his crew and his neuroses (and not his awful awful mother. I cannot tell you how I loathe that woman!)
    So smart, subtle, feminist Kate Clayborn was a bad choice. I should have gone with Hotel New Hampshire. I was reluctant. Begrudging. I
    ...more
    Hannah Hearts Romance
    Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    If Kate Clayborn can write something I don’t like—well, I don’t ever want her to do it. Clayborn’s writing style just does it for me, and Love At First is no exception. I gobbled this book up like my favorite dessert despite election 2020 anxiety and general dread about the state of the world. It made me laugh, swoon, and brought tears to my eyes (which for me is the highest praise, cuz this bitch doesn’t cry over books).

    I was a bit hesitant while reading the prologue. I wasn’t sure where we wer
    ...more
    Anj
    Nov 05, 2020 rated it liked it
    Shelves: arc, dnf
    I hate doing this.
    DNFed at 50%


    (ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher as an exchange for my honest review)

    I really wished I enjoyed this book more so I didn't have to DNF it. I usually DNF books at around the 30% mark but since this is an ARC, I tried my best to like it more. I pushed myself to read more even if I'm slowly losing interest. To try harder just because I owe it to the publisher and the author. But, there's just no point torturing myself reading a book I have no time for anymor
    ...more
    Lisa
    Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Thanks to NetGalley for a arc copy for a honest review. Love At First was such a good read, I fell in love with Nora and Will a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read

    Happy Reading
    Lisa
    Gaufre
    Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
    What does the title mean?
    The most popular guess would be "Love at First Sight". This would be wrong; it is more like love at first sound, when Will was a teenager and hears Nora as his life is about to be upheaved. Then it might be "Love at first light", when Nora and Will first meet again after more than a decade after he inherits the apartment in the same building at hers and talks to her at 4am from their respective balconies. "Love at first fight"? They are enemies at first because he wants
    ...more
    Sara
    Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    What a beautiful book. It deals with love, community, family, grief, and belonging.

    Nora is the president of her building’s board. Will has inherited an apartment from an uncle he never knew. Will wants to turn his unit into a rental, but Nora tries to show him that this building is really a family. The building does not make his renovation easy.

    Will is tightly wound due to his past. He is afraid to let go and let someone in. Nora is not open to newcomers because she wants to protect her found fa
    ...more
    N.G.Peltier N.G.Peltier
    Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I was so lucky to get approved for an ARC of this!
    Once again Kate has written this super sweet book that just makes me swoonsh and go "awww" in many parts. Will and Nora were great! From the prologue where we see a young Will who doesn't even see Nora but falls for her laugh, I think I was hooked.

    Then they meet again, sixteen years later, and he realizes it's balcony girl! Things soon take a turn because Will is branded the enemy since he's gotten their apartment building from his uncle, who le
    ...more
    Alaina
    Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Love at First was all kinds of cute and adorable. In it, you will meet Nora and Will. Now these two met two times in their life. Once, when they were both around 16 years old but it was way too dark out in order to make them see it was actually them or not. The second time around? Well, they were a bit older and are sort of rivals.

    I wouldn't necessarily put this under enemies to lovers kind of romance. More like a second c
    ...more
    Ancillar
    Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    My first Kate Clayborn book (can't believe I didn't read love lettering ) . This book tells the story of Will and Nora who met when they were teenagers but didn't really see each other's face only to meet 16 years later at the same building . Instead of being lovey dovey and let's get into it they are bickering . It goes from an almost relationship to a frenemies kinda situation and eventually becomes a friendship . After a stressful week this book was calming and much needed. Highly recommend i ...more
    Janae
    Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Love Lettering was on of my very first Netgalley approves when I first started this reviewer journey. I knew I absolutely have to devour this one by Kate Clayborn.

    Clayborn has such a unique writing style. I appreciate how we are able to truly get into the character's heads that she creates.

    This plot started with a view of a fifteen year old boy's point of view. We see a small snippet into this adolescent before we dive fully into the present. Sixteen years later we find Will is an adult, but we
    ...more
    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    Will Sterling is a sad boi who deserves a hug.

    RTC
    LianaReads blog
    Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
    4.5 stars
    Rtc but I liked it a bit more than the first one, this one is a bit different
    Dísir
    ‘Love at First’ reads like…a story written in fanfiction style—albeit well-written fanfic, so this is in no way a slight—from start to finish. I couldn’t put my finger on it and puzzled about Kate Clayborn’s writing style for the longest time until it hit me that there’s so much there that takes up your concentration just to get into the story. It’s ultra-descriptive, very introspective when it comes to the protagonists’ brooding thoughts and in many ways, filled with understated charm that I ca ...more
    Georgia
    Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: ebook, arc, netgalley, 2020
    More on Chill and read

    This is the first Kate Clayborn book I am reading and I have to say I really enjoyed it and I’m considering reading some more! I read about one or two contemporary romances each year, one is always by a good friend and favourite author, so I now know where to look for a second!

    This whole story started sixteen years ago, when a fifteen year old Will Sterling, kind of saw, but mostly heard the girl of his dreams. It was a brief encounter, as he stood beneath her apartment. Th
    ...more
    Isabel Ibañez
    Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    So I will forever read anything by Kate. Her writing is sublime and I can never get enough of her stories. This one is cozy and sweet and steamy. All the stars.
    Tracie Gutknecht
    Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2021, netgalley
    Romance

    Kate Clayborn is a new author to me. I stumbled upon her books earlier this year when I needed a break from all the troubles of 2020. I have to say that I am a huge fan. Her books have characters with real issues. Of course, it's a romance novel, but it just feels like a good story. She doesn't dwell on the sex, but rather on growing the relationship of the characters, which makes it more believable and a great read.

    Will is 15 when he falls in love with a girl's laugh. It lights him up in
    ...more
    Lucinda
    Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I read Love Lettering by the author, and loved it, but this one! All the feels! So, so good!

    Nora and Will; Will and Nora. There's so much between these two, so many emotions, and I was right there with them the whole way.

    Nora and Will have a somewhat of a similar past growing up. She with parents who were too busy, spending her summer with her Nonna; he with parents who couldn't be bothered with him. The difference was, Nora and Nonna and the tenants where Nonna lived, like a family of their own
    ...more
    Samantha
    Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    My last read of 2020! Which feels very thematically appropriate for this read. This romance was very different from Love Lettering, though not in a bad way? It was very sweet and soft and just a good way to send off the year!
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    1,243 followers
    Kate Clayborn is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Bookpage, and more. By day she works in education, and by night (and sometimes, by very early morning) she writes contemporary romances about smart, strong, modern heroines who face the world alongside true friends and complica ...more

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