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  • A fun rom-com.

    Meet Me In The Margins is the fourth novel by American author, Melissa Ferguson. Savannah Cade works as an Assistant Acquisitions Editor for Pennington Publishing, known for non-fiction and literary fiction. But Savannah’s real passion is the romance novel she’s been writing since college, tentatively titled Pining For You. Savannah is probably the least accomplished member of her overachieving family: it would be so good to succeed at something, especially beside her highly qualified younger sister. Living with Olivia, super-fit and studying for two PhDs, she (unfortunately) regularly encounters her ex-boyfriend and soon-to-be brother-in-law, Ferris, the awkwardness of which has mostly worn off. Trying to meet a submission deadline for a romance editor she met at a conference, Savannah brings that manuscript to work to do some final edits, then has to quickly hide it away: CEO Patricia Pennington would NOT approve. When she later retrieves it, she finds someone has written comments and criticism in the margins. Savannah is miffed, but also intrigued: who at Pennington has critiqued her work? Patricia Pennington’s son, William has recently joined the team as VP and Publisher of their Pennington Pen division (Savannah’s) and somehow, she has a number of somewhat embarrassing interactions with him. Her colleagues are worried about their jobs: William is there to save Pennington from going under, but out of hours Will and Savannah seem to connect. When she later meets with Claire Donovan, chief editor of a romance publishing house, Savannah listens carefully to her criticism, which aligns with her mystery reviewer: she has to concede that perhaps those remarks are valid. Soon, she has returned the manuscript to its hiding place with a polite request attached for help. She’s almost convinced that Will is her mystery editor, and not unhappy when the comments turn a little flirtatious, but then she spots another colleague near the space where she usually leaves the manuscript… Even if the outcome is predictable from the start, this is still an enjoyable journey to a sweet ending. Ferguson gives the reader some appealing characters and witty dialogue. The Cade family’s idea of loyalty is a little warped, and Savannah draws out the mystery of her editor longer than is perhaps realistic, but romance fans will appreciate the happy-ever-after ending. A fun rom-com. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction.

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  • Charming secret reviewer romance - recommended

    Savannah Cade is an Assistant Acquisitions Editor for a small, high-brow publishing company called Pennington Publishing in Nashville. The owner, Ms Pennington, frowns on populist writing such as romance, Sci-Fi, westerns etc, preferring non-fiction titles. Whilst Savannah is very good at her job, she has a secret, she has been writing her very own romance novel! One day, when Savannah retreats to her secret bolt-hole hidden behind a cabinet in the ARC room she finds that someone has read her manuscript and made scathing comments on it. Savannah's personal life is a bit of a car crash. She broke up with her long-term boyfriend, who promptly asked out her younger, thinner, more successful, more driven, sister Olivia and they got engaged within three months. Now Savannah is reduced to renting her sister's spare room and pretending to be happy about house-sharing with her ex. Also her sister is obsessed with exercise and has started an annual Steps-4-Life Step-a-thon to raise money for charity which means she interrogates Savannah about her daily steps. Then things take a downturn professionally when Ms Pennington's son William leaves his fancy publishing house in New York to run Pennington Pub with his mother, amid rumours that the business is performing badly. Then a well-respected editor of a romance publishing house who had expressed interest in Savannah's manuscript tells her that the novel needs a lot of work before it could be published, and she only has a few weeks before she retires. Savannah is devastated by the news, but the editor's comments are very similar to those made by her mystery reviewer. Can she persuade the mystery reviewer to give her further feedback so that she can whip her novel into shape? I have commented so many times this year about the number of re-imaginings of You've Got Mail I've read this year, this is in a similar vein. Savannah gets over her dislike/ fear of William Pennington quite quickly and they become friends, but she is also drawn to the wit and vulnerability shown by her mystery reviewer, who she thinks is a colleague called Sam, even though in real life Sam never seems to have the spark of his review comments. This was just lovely, I really loved the mystery reviewer's comment that Savannah can have one character with a fancy name but not both, because its not opera. I can also sympathise with Savannah reading the Word of the Day and then trying to work it into everyday conversation. It's funny, sweet, charming and I read it in a single weekend when I had much more urgent books to read because it was more appealing than the rest of my TBR pile :) Highly recommended. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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  • Entertaining book

    This was a well-written, entertaining book. It was clever, creative, fun and held my interest. I wanted to find out what would happen next. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

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  • Heart-warming bookish romance!

    I always find it hard to resist books about books. Especially ones set in the publishing world. I love the glimpse behind closed doors, getting even a fictionalized version of how a book is born. Throw in a love story and I’m in my happy place. Meet Me in the Margins is a heart-warming, light read, perfect for when we need a romance with an uplifting and positive experience. Savannah Cade is a people pleaser. Which makes her good at her job keeping authors happy at Pennington, the selective publishing house where she works. She’s also loyal. To her friends and her family. Even the younger sister (and her roommate) who is currently engaged to Savannah’s ex-boyfriend. But she’s also secretly writing a romance novel, a genre that is not allowed by Mrs. Pennington, the CEO at her publishing house. After an unfortunate first meeting with the new VP, Mrs. Pennington’s son Will, Savannah stashes her secret manuscript in a hidden room at the publishing house she thought only she knew about, then discovers it the next day with notes in the margins. After initially being outraged, she realizes she could use the help and a clandestine editing exchange begins. I enjoyed the witty exchanges on the manuscript and how Savannah and her secret editor grow more confident in their exchanges, revealing more and more about their personal lives to each other. And as Savannah’s confidence in her story grows so does her confidence in her personal life. This first person, single point of view romance is a quick read and could easily be finished in one day. It’s set in Nashville, Tennessee, mostly through the month of February, which means a cute Valentine’s Day addition to the story, as well. And if you prefer your romances less steamy, this one is a solid PG. Meet Me in the Margins had me smiling, loving the peek into the publishing world, with the secret editing exchanges and the hidden room being the cherries on top. I was rooting for lovable Savannah to find her footing at work and in her family, to finally get the recognition she deserved. A bookish romance guaranteed to warm your heart! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to Thomas Nelson Fiction and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy.

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  • Beautiful and memorable!

    I got this ARC on the recommendation of someone on Bookstagram. She seemed totally enthralled with this book and now I understand why. The plot was so unique. The romance was developed without the characters even being in the same room most of the time and almost seemed to develop just by chance because it was so subtle and totally lovely. I loved the setting of a small publishing company that set up business in an old Victorian mansion that has a hidden room that few know of. It's in this room that Savannah and her mystery manuscript editor exchange notes and mild flirtation in the margin of the romance manuscript she is hoping to get published. The secondary characters are well developed and also play an integral part of the story. The entire plot is very smooth and the transitions from one scene to another graceful and seamless. Beautiful and memorable! I was gifted a copy of this book via Thomas Nelson and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

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