I decided to read this book in anticipation of the pending release of Marisa de los Santos' upcoming book "Belong to Me". I had read reviews from people who have read the ARC of the book, and as they were all glowing, I couldn't wait to start from the beginning and read de los Santos' first novel.
I wasn't disappointed. The novel begins as we meet Cornelia, a tiny woman with big ideas, who feels that she isn't living up to her personal potential. She's college educated, yet she manages a coffee shop, and although she enjoys it, she doesn't think that it's what she was meant to do. It isn't her passion. In walks Martin, a handsome, smooth businessman who is interested in Corneila. The two of them start dating, and although Cornelia wants to be excited about this new relationship, Martin seems emotionally distant and unable to connect with Cornelia at a deeper level.
Now here's where things get complicated. One day, as Cornelia sits behind the counter of her coffeeshop, Martin walks in and introduces her to his 11-year-old daughter Clare. Martin has willingly had very little contact with Clare up to this point, but Clare needs his help. Her mother, Viviana, has been acting erratically lately, and has left the girl to fend for herself as she travels over the Christmas holidays. Clare is broken-hearted and scared of the woman that her mother has become and she felt that she had no one to turn to other than her emotionally distant father. Cornelia immediately swoops into the role of the protector and friend of this fragile little girl, feeling that she has finally found something to be passionate about.
Teo, Cornelia's sister's husband and a close friend from childhood walks into the picture and befriends Clare and supports Cornelia as they travel on the rocky path to finding Clare's mother, and creating a happy ending for all of them. I won't tell you what happens from here, because it's far more fun to find out for yourself, but you can be assured that the rest of the book is not safe from tragedy, loss, and heartbreak, but above all, happy endings.
All in all, an excellent novel. This wasn't chick-lit, but it was definitly written for a female audience. The characters were easy to grow attatched to, the plot was well thought out, and I cried and laughed with everyone all of the way through. I can't wait to read de los Santos' follow-up novel "Belong To Me" as we follow some of the characters in this book as they face new challenges. All in all, an excellent read and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a feel-good read.
For more information on "Love Walked In":
Or to find out more about her upcoming novel "Belong to Me":