Set in Jae’s own Germany, the location is probably the most interesting thing about this book. Uh oh!
Woman A is a hotshot business consultant who quits her job after being passed over for all the cool projects by her sexist workplace. Woman B is the assistant of Woman A’s uncle, helping to run his paper goods store in a charming, yet dull, small town. Woman A is persuaded by her mother to parachute in for 3 months of free consultancy to help the uncle turn things around while she looks for a more permanent and interesting job.
What could possibly happen? Initially the women don’t hit it off, although the physical attraction is immediate. They gradually overcome their misunderstandings. They see each other outside work. They ride in Woman A’s luxury car. They go on a day trip to a paper fair in Frankfurt. They implement obvious business ideas to stop losing so much money. Woman B starts to settle in to small town life, taking the local transport instead of driving into town. Woman B buys a table so she can have Woman A over for dinner! It’s fine. Not exciting, but fine. There are expensive pens. Hand made notebooks. No profit margins in photocopier paper. Swoon. The same formula (business needs turning around, women don’t like each other…) is slightly better executed in Blend.
But wait? What’s this? A Jae book without something unconventional in it? Do not fear! One of the sex scenes is curtailed because one of the women has her period. This is literally only the second time I’ve ever come across mention of menstruation in a romance (the other time it was a major, and desirable, feature of the sex scene). It’s very refreshing, although could be bolder. Also, Woman A’s sister and Woman B’s best (female) buddy are both quite the players, who then hit it off and jump straight into bed with each other, which is also quite refreshing. Oh, and it might be meant to be a thing that Woman B is (whisper it) bisexual. Whatevs.
Sadly, the romantic conclusion felt totally absurd to me (the business couldn’t have turned around *that* much in 3 months), but a happy ever after of some description seemed plausible at least.
2 thoughts on “Paper Love by Jae”
I have found that often Jae, an otherwise wonderful writer, has a tendency to stop writing before she actually gets to the end of the story, which makes the HEA seem rushed and unsatisfying. I felt like this was the case with Paper Love.
Very well put. The Sherif thinks (sometimes) you basically just get her outline delivered at the end, instead of the fleshed out story.