Coming Attractions by Mark R. Hunter
I have to admit that the cover, and the blurb won me over. So it's a shame that I can't get a copy of the cover up here. I put the author's link below. I've always loved going to the local drive-in movie theater closest to our house. We have many happy memories of bringing our four kids (under 12 always free) to see movies that we'd never have been able to afford otherwise. They played on antiquated equipment there, and we brought our own popcorn and pizza. If we stayed for both movies, we'd buy them ice-cream novelties during the break. It's been closed for a couple of years now, but word is that someone is looking to re-open it. In these times of social distancing, when breathing the same air as a hundred or so people isn't an attractive idea, it would seem that drive-ins should be making a come-back. Besides, one does eventually get tired of binge-watching shows on TV, no matter how big your screen is.
Maddie is not just a lawyer, but a driven female in a primarily male business, who is determined to smash the glass ceiling and make partner. She recently allowed her personal life and business life to mix, and ended up almost ending her career by tossing a drink in the face of her fiance--a full partner at her firm. Now she's been exiled to rural Indiana, away from Boston and all of the creature comforts she's come to enjoy--things that accompany a moneyed life-style. She's been assigned to do whatever it takes to get her firm's hands on the land owned by a man whose family has owned and operated the local drive-in for 50 years.
She decides to investigate the theater, thinking that it's probably on its last legs--she's never been to a drive-in, and neither has anyone else she knows. What she finds is a huge crowd of local folks, all sporting bumper stickers supporting their favorite movie spot. She ends up in the classic romantic-comedy trope of a meet-cute. The man is hot, sexy, and widowed, with two precocious children who promptly decide they like her a lot, and invite her to their house for dinner. She and Logan try to fight their mutual attraction, but not too hard. Coincidences keep occurring that throw them together, like when she needs to feed her coffee addiction, only to discover that the only coffee shop in town is owned and operated by him and his family. Of course it is!
The story is predictable, but cute. The nasty ex-fiance appears, and gets vanquished to everyone's satisfaction. And Maddie learns what is truly important in life isn't things you can buy, but, as was said in Miracle on 34th Street, those lovely intangibles. This is definitely a G-rated sweet romance. I was irked by the suggestion that at age 29, Maddie is still staunchly defending her virtue, despite having had a nasty alpha-male for a fiance. But realism isn't important in this frothy, cotton-candy romance. She and Logan never do more than share chaste kisses--well, okay, he does look at her with lust in his eyes a few times. But the whole story is a fairy tale of good versus evil, and you know from the start that the good guys will win. If you want a pleasant read--a rom-com with heart, this book is perfect for you.