Naturally, Charlie by S.L.Scott
I was fortunate to receive an ARC of Naturally, Charlie and while I enjoyed the book, there were a couple of things that kept me from truly loving the story.
Naturally, Charlie tells the tale of Charlotte “Charlie” Barrow, a woman stuck in the past when she catches the eye of a stranger on the subway. That stranger, freelance writer Charlie Adams notices the pretty red-head as she attempts to get off the train. Through a series of fateful meetings, the two eventually form a friendship that is sitting on the knife’s edge of being more.
I enjoyed the playful banter between the two main characters quite a lot. Their chemistry was palatable right from the beginning, yet Charlie Barrow is afraid of love after a disastrous engagement went awry. As much as Charlie Adams wants more, he is content to not push Charlie B. past her comfort zone, and in my opinion, has more patience than a saint in this novel.
While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it. And trust me; I really, really wanted to love it.
The story is told from alternating points of view, which if done right can really add depth to a story. Unfortunately the second chapter of the book, when told from Charlie A.’s perspective, rubbed me the wrong way because it was a basic retelling of the first chapter from the other person’s perspective. It didn’t really further the story along, and even though we see Charlie Adam’s attraction to Charlie Barrow, I’m not sure we needed to reread chapter one all over again to get that. Thankfully, this didn’t continue through the entire book, unfortunately it still left a bad taste in my mouth right from the start.
Another thing about telling a tale in two perspectives, they each need to have their own unique voice for it to be a powerful statement. I found Charlie Adams voice to not be quite masculine enough for me. His voice in the book was a little too flowery and a little too similar to Charlie B’s. I really liked his character, the things he did and the extreme amount of patience he had to have to deal with Charlie B’s reluctance in moving their relationship past the platonic level. Yet every time his POV came up in the story, it just wasn’t completely believable to me.
There were a a couple of time jumps that confused me, and Charlie Barrow’s constant mantra of “just friends” got to be grating and annoying by the end of the book.
With all that said, I really did enjoy the story and urge you to read it if you are looking for a light, romantic comedy sort of story for your next read.
Overall, I think S.L. Scott’s first novel was successful and I’ll be on the look out for her next endeavor.