Release: August 30, 2016
(paperback $9.98; e-book $4.99; free on Kindle Unlimited)
In Every Yesterday, Nancy Naigle returns to the fictional North Carolina town Boot Creek. Naigle’s new release (published August 30) is chock-full of sleepy Southern charm. Naigle deftly creates a world where the tea is sweet, the humidity is heavy, and the ties that bind are unbreakable. Independent Megan meets interminable bachelor Noah when they are paired as maid of honor and best man in their friends’ wedding. Bonding over a love of old cars and the baggage they both carry, Megan and Noah find love despite their mutual reticence.
I rated this book a 3 out of 5 stars for story-telling and plot. There were things that worked and things that didn’t in Every Yesterday. Most successful is Naigle’s exposition– Every Yesterday drips with small-town Southern sweetness. The characters eat fried green tomatoes, they face the sweltering heat with begrudging fortitude, and they exude Southern hospitality and connectedness. As someone who lived in the South for a few years, for me, Naigle’s book felt like a lovely return.
The character development, and, in particular, the progression of Megan and Noah’s relationship is somewhat less successful. Noah is described as a staunch bachelor, a manly-man type figure, yet he often reads out of character. Noah initiates many emotional conversations with Megan, helping her analyze her behavior and feelings. While I’m usually all for the sensitive male hero type, these conversations– moments of emotional enlightenment– felt distinctly off-kilter with the rest of Noah’s behavior.
Moreover, the connection between Noah and Megan was not as convincing as I would have liked. Noah comes to town with the intention of dissuading his friend from getting married. As someone so blatantly anti-marriage/anti-relationship, the transition to Mr. Commitment seemed a little far-fetched. Similarly, Megan, hurt from a previous relationship, has no interest in settling down. Sure, a great many romance novels begin this way, but the characters generally have to go through periods of internal wrestling to get to the point where they’re ready to commit. I didn’t feel that Megan and Noah convincingly overcame their hesitations by the time the resolution rolled around.
However, despite its setbacks, Every Yesterday is a charming read. The pure southern-ness of it will reel you in. The subplot about the wedding is actually very engaging; I found myself smiling during the wedding ceremony scene as Noah and Megan’s friends got married. This book isn’t very steamy– I’m giving it only 1 flame– but the intimate connection between Megan and Noah is quite sweet. Indeed, I was overall left with a sense of satisfaction at the end. This book is free on Kindle Unlimited; I would say it’s definitely worth a read if you’re a KU subscriber.