Very Sincerely Yours: The Heartwarming Rom-Com We Need Right Now

Kerry Winfrey has done it again, my friends 

Photo by Amanda Kay Oaks, originally posted to Instagram

Have you ever been so excited for a new book to come out that you were inevitably disappointed? 

I felt that way back when the final Harry Potter book came out, because I couldn’t handle holding it in my hands and knowing it was the end. No matter what lived between those covers, it couldn’t live up to the anticipation of a new book, that midnight release party feeling. 

When Kerry Winfrey’s Very Sincerely Yours landed on my doorstep on release day, though? 

Yeah, that was an entirely different story.

(Full disclosure: Book links that follow are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission should you choose to purchase.) 

Reading Winfrey’s first New Adult Contemporary Romance novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks, was, for me, an experience in being seen. The main character in that book is a 20-something Ohioan who grew up obsessed with romantic comedies, dreaming of her own rom-com worthy love story. 

You could say the same about many prior iterations of myself. So naturally, that book felt less like a book and more like a hug, or a long conversation with a friend.

It was one of those reading experiences that immediately solidified the author as an autobuy (that’s Bookstagram speak for… well, I think it’s pretty self explanatory). 

In spite of my trust in a fellow rom-com loving Ohioan’s ability to create absolutely delightful novels, I confess the premise behind Very Sincerely Yours gave me pause. 

A woman working in a toy store? Falling in love with a man who has a children’s show? 

That’s a lotta kids for someone who is, well… not very good with kids or interested in becoming good with them. But, the combination of Kerry Winfrey being one of my favorite authors and the pre-publication buzz convinced me to set aside my reservations and pre-order the book.

(Twice, accidentally. Again. I gotta come up with a system for these things). 

When it arrived, in its 300+ page glory, I hugged it to my chest and immediately sat down to read. 

Were this a just and fair world, things like “my favorite author released a new book yesterday” would be grounds for a day off work, no questions asked. Alas, this is not that world, and I instead had to take three late evenings (okay, and early mornings) to read it. It’s probably a good thing in the end, since that gave me more time to savor the reading experience. 

Very Sincerely Yours very much lives up to the hype. I did not believe that “sexy Mr. Rodgers” could be a thing. Admittedly the on-the-page steam is minimal, yet… somehow, this book with a premise that made me shake my head and say “huh” completely works. 

Teddy and Everett’s email exchanges are witty and vulnerable, completely making you fall in love with them together before they ever meet in person. That meeting, as you can imagine, is hilarious due to the fact that Everett’s face is on TV on a regular basis while Teddy’s is… not. 

I’ll even forgive Winfrey for playing to trend and doing a dual perspective because a) it fits with the homage to You’ve Got Mail and b) Everett is a sweetheart, so I’m okay with spending some time in his point of view. 

This book is a delight from start to finish. I love the fact that Teddy doesn’t know what she wants out of life and is trying a bunch of new things to try and recapture her spark. As someone who is nearing 30 and having a bit of a career crisis of identity herself, this felt oh-so-relatable. 

Teddy and Everett are two people trying to figure out what they want out of life, and how to fit each other into that equation. 

If you’ve been around for Winfrey’s other two adult romances, there’s a brief visit with a friend from another one of Winfrey’s books, which is always a delightful surprise.

In all, this felt like the perfect book to read as we hesitantly begin to re-enter in-person communication after a year of being — like Teddy and Everett — fully virtual. 

There’s something so comforting about the security of a promised Happily Ever After (or at least Happy For Now) when so much else about the world is big and looming and overwhelming. 

For me personally there’s the added bonus with this book of getting to hang out in Ohio, which I’ve not gotten to do as much with travel restrictions, etc, the past year. 

In all, I recommend this book to fans of You’ve Got Mail, people who love a good romantic comedy, and of course, anyone who has ever lived and loved in the great state of Ohio. 

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What We’re Reading Wednesday, June 23rd

Image created by the author in Canva

Happy Wednesday, and a belated happy Summer Solstice as well! Summer has greeted us here in Pittsburgh with a few thunderstorms, which is some of my favorite reading weather.

Speaking of reading weather… now that the longest day of the year is officially behind us, I find myself surprised to realize I’m a bit excited for fall. I’ve always been a spring and summer kind of girl, and yet… I’m looking forward to lighting all the candles and curling up under a blanket with a good book.

Does this have anything to do with the lack of central AC in our house? Yes, almost certainly, it does.

Still, I love a good summer read, and I’ve been ploughing through books like it’s my job (a girl can dream, am I right?).

We’re going on a road trip out to Acadia National Park in mid-July, and I’m already starting to think about which books I want to take along for the ride. Any recommendations for great road trip vacation reads?

But as that’s week’s away, I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, let’s check in with current and recent reads!

(Full disclosure: Book links that follow are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase. Book of the Month links are referral codes.)

I finally finished Half Sick of Shadows, Laura Sebastian’s feminist retelling of the Lady of Shalott’s story and broader Arthurian legend. I took this book a little slower since it is heavier with no guarantee of a happy ending unlike the romances I generally use to fill my summer months.

I really enjoyed how Sebastian took the familiar Arthurian legends and shaped them anew, giving the women more agency as the center of their stories.

Watching Elaine struggle through all her visions and try to carve out the best possible future for herself and her friends was definitely stressful at times, but I still highly recommended giving it a read if you’re a fan of Camelot, Shalott, etc. This was a Book of the Month early release, and you can preorder it now ahead of the July 6th release date.

Currently, I’m working my way through One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston’s newest romance with a slightly supernatural twist.

I honestly can’t tell if it is actually a bit slow through the middle or if I only think that because I’d heard other people make that comment. Things do seem to have stalled, plot-wise, and I’m not entirely sure where we’re headed re: happily ever after/happily for now.

But, I’m mostly enjoying the ride, and the writing has a great deal of good humor that makes it fun even when there isn’t a ton actually happening.

I’ve also got a hold on Casey McQuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue at the library, since that one is still getting buzz and must be good. But, I have a feeling I may end up floating over to The Wisteria Society for Lady Scoundrels next instead because I have a print copy and it’s calling to me from the table.

Pirates and petticoats with a touch of mischief sounds like a great deal of fun, and I’m hoping this might be a good readalike for These Vicious Masks, which is still one of my favorite books/series.

Audiobook wise, I’m strongly considering paying for another book for this month, instead of waiting on my next LibroFM credit. My commute has become lengthier lately, whether because of some road closures or just people going back into the office, and I find that my podcast rotation isn’t quite enough.

If I do, I’m either going to go with Ashley Ford’s Somebody’s Daughter or my former classmate Brian Broome’s Punch Me Up to the Gods, both of which I’ve heard are excellent on audio as read by the authors.

Now it’s your turn — what are you reading right now? Great articles online? A good book, or one you might DNF?

Before I go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that we’re looking for submissions for future What We’re Reading Wednesday features! As much fun as it is for me to show up every week and talk books, it’s much more fun to hear what you all are reading, and I’d like to cultivate space for that!

Next week should be our first guest post, and I’d love to fill the calendar with some other new voices, as well. You can read all about the guidelines here.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, consider following us at Your Book Friend. This post originally appeared on our Medium page, here.

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