by Zilla N.
N.B. We were given an Advance Reader Copy of Soulmate, Stage Right to review, and we could not have been more delighted.
Things that make me happy, a partial list:
- Convoluted television plotlines that the novel’s Protagonists can’t stop watching
- There are two cats
- Hot people
- People who are doing Their Best
- Did I mention one of the cats is a kitten?
- And orange
- He was named Pumpkin by the Love Interest’s daughter, Pressie
- And the Protagonist has to use her Expert Cat Detecting Skills to find Pumpkin for Pressie when he hides behind the dryer
Bixby’s contemporary romance Soulmate, Stage Right is the kind of story that makes me happy. That’s what this story is for. There’s drama, to move the plot, but it keeps running into two Protagonists who are deeply caring people, who just need to find someone who can give back the wealth of affection they have to offer. They’re going to end up together because they make each other happier, fuller people by being together, and they make a little girl and two cats happier that way too.
The plot is a delight, of course. D is a former soap opera star discovering that television and theater call for different skills, and Abby is a high school drama teacher and stage actress who is extremely committed to her craft. And to D’s abs. The plot of the soap opera is as confusing and contrived as any Night Beats fan could hope for. (Though I know Bixby – we got this as an ARC – and when I asked, Bixby assured me that she’s worked out the plot twists of All or Nothing for seasons to come. And she promised me more soap opera goodness in sequels!) There are well-meaning meddling mothers aplenty, not to mention the twin sisters and friends. But there’s no moment where I doubted they belong together.
At its heart, this is a romance about family. It’s about people looking out for the ones they love (though it’s not always appreciated at the time!) It’s about the family you choose, stage friends who are with you for life. Most of all, it’s about the family you make. Two adults, a kid and two cats (one of them an orange kitten named Pumpkin). No wonder this book makes me happy.