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When grumpy met sunshine by Charlotte Stein
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When grumpy met sunshine (edition 2024)

by Charlotte Stein (Author)

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767350,404 (3.53)9
"When grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets badgered into selling his memoirs, he knows he's never going to be able to write them. He hates revealing a single thing about himself, is allergic to most emotions, and can't imagine doing a good job of putting pen to paper. And so in walks curvy, cheery, cute as heck ghostwriter Mabel Willicker, who knows just how to sunshine and sass her way into getting every little detail out of Alfie. They banter and bicker their way to writing his life story, both of them sure they'll never be anything other than at odds. But after their business arrangement is mistaken for a budding romance, the pair have to pretend to be an item for a public who's ravenous for more of this Cinderella story. Or at least, it feels like it's pretend-until each slow burn step in their fake relationship sparks a heat neither can control. Now they just have to decide: is this sizzling chemistry just for show? Or something so real it might just give them their fairytale ending?"--… (more)
Member:gwendolenau
Title:When grumpy met sunshine
Authors:Charlotte Stein (Author)
Info:London : Macmillan, 2024.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read 2024, fiction, romantic comedy, former footballer, ghostwriter, fake dating, potential discard, 75

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When Grumpy Met Sunshine by Charlotte Stein

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Alfie, a hot, ex-football player, has been badgered into selling his memoirs. The publisher has hired a ghost writer, Mabel. Mabel is full figured and cute as a button. So, the world is shocked when these two are seen around town together. They just don’t seem to fit.

This is almost like two books in one. The first half of the book is adorable. These two characters have a cute banter and are just getting to know each other. The second half of the book is nothing but $€x…almost no plot. It’s not bad, the story just seemed to change directions all of a sudden.

I did enjoy the way the author plays these two characters’ differences. Alfie is the world’s most eligible bachelor. He dates hot models and actresses. So, when Mabel is brought into the scene, the world loses their minds. But, Alfie is oblivious and he falls hard for Mabel! The author totally ROCKED THIS!

Need an opposite-attracts romance…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review. ( )
  fredreeca | Feb 11, 2024 |
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley, all opinions are my own. Charlotte Steins new book When Grumpy met Sunshine is in a word delightful. It's funny and bubbly, has all the feels, is super steamy and has the most wonderful HEA. Alfie Harding is a retired ex-football player, almost as famous for being surly and grumpy as he is for his athletic excellence. Somehow he got himself talked into writing his memoirs and it really is his idea of torture because he's an extremely private person. At the point we meet him has been through ten ghostwriters. His newest ghostwriter Mabel Willicker is his opposite effervescent, charming, chatty and kind. She is no doormat though and walks out of their first meeting when he shows up as his usual surly self. Their next meeting is not much better as she ends up dousing him with pepper spray when he appears to be stalking her. Wonderful banter, fake dating, only one bed, and chemistry that leaves them both singed made this book so enjoyable to read. One of the things that I loved most about this book is that their outward personas were really reactions, camouflage if you will, to similar childhoods and that they really get each other. I love a romance where it's about finding your person, the one who will always have your back.
Steam Level: Very Steamy Publishing Date: February 6, 2024 #WhenGrumpyMetSunshine #MacMillanPublishers #ContemporaryRomance #NetGalley #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #romancereader #oppositesattract #grumpysunshine #onlyonebed #fakedating ( )
  nmgski | Feb 5, 2024 |
When Grumpy Met Sunshine by Charlotte Stein
Contemporary romantic comedy.
Grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets badgered into writing his memoir. He knows he doesn’t want to write it himself because he hates revealing anything personal about his life. So the publisher hires ghostwriter Mabel Willicker to help. Their initial meeting doesn’t go as she expected and then he turns up at a restaurant she’s at and then a coffee shop on way home. What the heck is he doing? He doesn’t want to work with her so why is he following her?
They end up working together but and he does share things with Mabel but he continually puts conditions on what she can and cannot include. Eventually their working together is noticed by the media and since the contract is confidential they end up posing as a romantic couple. Until feeling become more than a simple contract.

🎧 I alternated between an ecopy and an audiobook. The narrator is Emily Spowage who does a marvelous job between the male and female voices, the emotions and the comedic timing. I essentially read this book twice because I couldn’t decide which format I liked better. The fun of the writing had me laughing out loud while listening to the audiobook and bookmarking passages I wanted to note. I believe everyone will be happy with either format. A good narrator can make an audiobook entertaining and this definitely hits the mark.
I listens to the audiobook at my usual 1.5.

I had so much fun highlighting laugh-out-loud lines! There is so much witty banter, I fell in love with the grump and the ghostwriter and while it’s not all smooth sailing, in the end I was crying the happy tears.

Excerpt:
“A mess of a million scary arguments.
Him, coming up with increasingly horrible insults.
Her, eventually tossing him into the nearest wood chipper.
And she just didn’t have easy access to machinery like that.”
Excerpt from When Grumpy Met Sunshine by Charlotte Stein

I received a copy of this from NetGalley and the publisher Macmillan Audio.
I’m buying a copy to revisit this wonderful comedic romance. ( )
  Madison_Fairbanks | Feb 4, 2024 |
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: A steamy, opposites-attract romance with undeniable chemistry between a grumpy retired footballer and his fabulous and very sunshine-y ghostwriter.

When grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets badgered into selling his memoirs, he knows he’s never going to be able to write them. He hates revealing a single thing about himself, is allergic to most emotions, and can’t imagine doing a good job of putting pen to paper.

And so in walks curvy, cheery, cute as heck ghostwriter Mabel Willicker, who knows just how to sunshine and sass her way into getting every little detail out of Alfie. They banter and bicker their way to writing his life story, both of them sure they’ll never be anything other than at odds.

But after their business arrangement is mistaken for a budding romance, the pair have to pretend to be an item for a public who’s ravenous for more of this Cinderella story. Or at least, it feels like it’s pretend―until each slow burn step in their fake relationship sparks a heat neither can control. Now they just have to is this sizzling chemistry just for show? Or something so real it might just give them their fairytale ending?

I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU.

My Review
: Mabel and Alfie, whose names sound like an English music-hall duo, also sound like an English music-hall duo while they bicker and banter. This is an uncomplicated, pleasant iteration of the evergreen romance trope, executed without unnecessary fuss and with the panache one expects from an experienced practitioner of the Art of Romance. The only minor whinge I have is that the pace of this story is not as snappy as the copious dialogue...really more like exchanged monologues, if I am in full-disclosure mode.

If you like your romance reading without male knuckle-dragging, female high-horsing, or mutual sexist disrespect...as I do...you will very likely enjoy this read. ( )
  richardderus | Feb 2, 2024 |
I received this book for free, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review

“See, I knew this would be a mistake. I could tell you’d be all insufferable with me, saying all your cute things until I’m completely turned around. Well, I’m not having it,” he said all in a big, angry, frustrated rush.

When Grumpy Met Sunshine was a story about a retired footballer, Alfie, and a writer, Mabel, who is hired to ghostwrite his memoirs. Alfie has built a reputation as a gruff and grumpy guy and has went through seventeen ghostwriters already. At the meeting to see if Mabel should be hired on, the two banter, leaving Alfie drawn to Mabel and Mabel thinking Alfie insulted her weight. After a little stalking on Alfie's part, Mabel realizes that Alfie's comment wasn't saying what she thought it was and she agrees to help write his book. They then are caught by media and social media hanging out a lot and the speculation becomes that they're dating and to shut down some not so nice comments, Alfie blurts out they are dating and the trope fake-dating starts. As Mabel and Alfie pretend to be in love, the attraction between them builds and eventually Mabel is scared that she might have actually foregone the fake part.

she was enjoying unravelling him.

This story was written in all first person point-of-view from Mabel and in a stream of conscious narrative with short choppy sentences, this, personally, is a very hard writing voice for me to get into and I struggled mightily with being able to lose myself into the story and follow along with what was being said. A lot of this story is talking back and forth between Mabel and Alfie, the sense of setting is them talking in the car, in a house, and a random quick moment at a Beyonce concert. There were also end of chapter additives from various social media sites, Twitter/X, Reddit, etc., to try and help bring the outer world in but they also didn't work for me, I'm not a big social media person, so I think I missed some of that connection and the funny and/or cuteness it was supposed to bring. With only getting Mabel's voice, Alfie came off very unclear to me as a character, and for being late thirties, pretty immature. Mabel, I had a better understanding of but her constant misinterpreting Alfie's comments and actions began to feel a little forced as, you can take into account her insecurities lying to her, but his words and actions really gave no reason for her to think he thought negatively about her weight.

But there was something underneath it, she suspected.
Something else they were saying without really saying it.
About alcoholic fathers, and the effect they could have on you.
Sometimes they turned you to the drink.
And sometimes you went the other way.


The above quote gives some of that lovely connection between characters, they shared a painful childhood trait of having alcoholic fathers but the way it's laid out, short and choppy, imagine the whole story written that way, it just kills the flow for me. (another example:
His hair seemed newly trimmed.
She suspected he’d brushed his beard.
Or that someone had brushed his beard.
Most likely a barber who cost more than she spent on rent per month.
)
I also am not sure I fully understood or went along with why they had to start fake-dating at just before the midpoint of the story, it just didn't make sense and felt like a forced popular trope thrown in.

Because yeah, you weren’t supposed to want violence. But god, sometimes it was good to know someone thought it should happen on your behalf. That you weren’t just weak or nuts or exaggerating. Something didn’t just deserve pity, or whatever else she usually feared she would get, if she dropped some of her Bubbly Girl armor. It was bad, and they would do things about it, if they could.
Things that made her want to do good by him, in return.


The second half was more talking with adding in dirty talk and some open door scenes but since I had issues with the style, and therefore couldn't connect with the characters, I wasn't feeling the chemistry between them and it all just ending up feeling like more words on the page I was struggling to read. There was a moment of sweetness I liked between these two, Alfie brushing Mabel's hair, but the writing style didn't allow the characters or me the reader to slow down and sink into it, I wanted Mabel to simply breath for a second so we could feel the moment. The last twenty percent had Mabel admitting to herself that she loved Alfie but then getting scared he didn't feel the same way, so after she's done writing the memoir, the story has them parting for a year. The very next chapter is the book launch, which brings them together and misunderstandings are talked through when Mabel reads a passage in the memoir that Alfie wrote himself and she sees his actions and feelings in a different light to deliver the HEA.

“I am happy, hanging around with a grumpy arse like you. Because you’re not that. You’re sweet, and kind, and most of all, I trust you. So you know what? If we have to kiss, we have to kiss. I know it’ll be all right. I always know everything will be all right when I’m with you,” she said.

I've read in some other reviews that Alfie seemed based off a tv show Ted Lasso character, I've never watched the show, so I could be missing some connection there and like I said, the narrative style of a character speaking in written word how people talk/think (stream of conscious) is a personal hard style for me to get into, I had to go back and reread so many passages to try and understand what was going on. A personal dislike and some writing that I think needed to be cleaned up, along with talking seemingly ninety percent of the three hundred and twenty-nine pages, made this a story that I could never get into. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Jan 30, 2024 |
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"When grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets badgered into selling his memoirs, he knows he's never going to be able to write them. He hates revealing a single thing about himself, is allergic to most emotions, and can't imagine doing a good job of putting pen to paper. And so in walks curvy, cheery, cute as heck ghostwriter Mabel Willicker, who knows just how to sunshine and sass her way into getting every little detail out of Alfie. They banter and bicker their way to writing his life story, both of them sure they'll never be anything other than at odds. But after their business arrangement is mistaken for a budding romance, the pair have to pretend to be an item for a public who's ravenous for more of this Cinderella story. Or at least, it feels like it's pretend-until each slow burn step in their fake relationship sparks a heat neither can control. Now they just have to decide: is this sizzling chemistry just for show? Or something so real it might just give them their fairytale ending?"--

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