Book Title and Author: More Than Words by Jill Santopolo
Publication Date and Publisher: February 5, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Pages: 352 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: January 2, 2019 (e-arc)
Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter, a good girlfriend. Raised by her father, owner of New York City’s glamorous Gregory Hotels, after her mother’s death, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And her boyfriend Tim, thoughtful, kind, and honest, not to mention her best friend since childhood, feels the same. But after Nina’s father passes away, she learns he may not have practiced what he preached.
As her world falls apart, Nina begins to question everything she thought she knew and to see the men in her life–her father, her boyfriend, and unexpectedly, her handsome and attentive boss, Rafael–in a new light. Soon Nina finds herself caught between the world she knows and loves and a passion that could upend everything.
More than Words is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about grief, loss, love, and self-discovery, and how we choose which life we are meant to live.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo didn’t really work for me, but I wanted to give the author another try because although I didn’t love that particular story, I did love Santopolo’s magical and eloquent writing style. I’m so glad I decided to read her newest novel! More Than Words was a captivating story filled with lots of drama and romance, but more than that it is a story about one woman’s journey through heartbreak, loss, and grief to find out who she really wants to be.
Nina Gregory has everything. She’s a Manhattan heiress who grew up knowing that one day she’d be running the luxurious Gregory hotels that have been in her family for generations. She’s had the perfect upbringing–the best of everything and has been taught by her father that their legacy and the reputation they present to the world as a Gregory is what matters most. Even now, although she’s working as a speechwriter for the very handsome mayoral candidate Rafael O’Connor-Ruiz until she takes over the Gregory Corporation, the rest of her life seems to be going just the way her dad has it mapped: she’s dating Tim, her childhood best friend, and son of her father’s best friend and the company’s CEO, and Tim (and everyone else) knows they’ll get married and have kids one day who will carry on the Gregory legacy while he takes over his dad’s position in the company. Everything seems just perfect.
Taking over as head of the Gregory Corporation comes much sooner than Nina is ready when her father dies, and she’s left feeling lost in her grief and wholly unready for something she’s known she’d have to take on her entire life. Yet, speechwriting and politics make her feel a passion that she doesn’t feel in her new role, especially once she learns things about the dad she held so highly on a pedestal that quickly shatters those illusions of both the man and the job…
Nina’s also intensely drawn to Rafael in a way that’s different than she feels for Tim, so her romantic life begins to complicate things. She starts to wonder if she has to be who and what she’s always been told she must be–is following the life her dad mapped for her the only way? Or can Nina go her own way, follow her own passions, and be the person she wants to be even if that goes against everything she was ever taught?
I really enjoyed the character of Nina and was highly sympathetic to everything she went through. Her grief at losing her dad was intensely painful, and I cried with her. I think it hit close to me since my dad almost passed away a few months ago after having a heart attack, so those emotions were still raw and scary when I read this book. Anyone who has lost a parent, I think, would easily sympathize with Nina’s loss. I thought that Santapolo did a wonderful job showing how Nina grew as a character from the beginning to the end of the novel, and I loved seeing the choices that she made on her journey of self-discovery.
More Than Words is a love story too and I highly enjoyed the romance in the book. I felt it was perfect for Nina’s story and both of the men in this love triangle were very easy to love, which only made it that much more bittersweet since you knew that no matter who she chose or what happened that someone would get hurt.
The novel was a quick read for me and although it had its moments that made me cry, I can say that when I finished it, I was smiling because I was happy with how everything worked out even if it did have some predictable moments, but that’s okay too. Again, I love how magical Santopolo’s writing style is and am so glad that I gave her another try and will be keeping my eye out for her next book! She definitely weaves a beautiful and touching story with her newest novel, and I recommend you read it!
**Thank you, Edelweiss and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for the ARC to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.**