Book Review: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

Posted June 9, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 31 Comments

Nora Goes Off Script
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

One FlameOne Flame

by Annabel Monaghan
Publication Date June 7, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 272
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Evvie Drake Starts Over meets Beach Read in this heartwarming and hilarious novel about a divorced romance channel screenwriter whose script about her marriage’s collapse just might help her reclaim her life and find love.

Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…

Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.

The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.

Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story—the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan was very interesting as well as entertaining.  It made me laugh but had some very emotional parts as well.  I don’t normally enjoy books with movie stars as the main character, but this was a bit different, and I enjoyed it very much. 

Nora Hamilton is a busy, recently divorced, screenwriter for The Romance Channel.  When her lazy husband leaves her and their two children, she writes a script that could never be shown on The Romance Channel, as it’s the opposite of romance.  Nobody is more surprised than Nora when a movie production company buys the rights and decides to make a film right there in her home.  Most of the movie is filmed in and around The Tea House she has in her backyard.  

After filming is complete, Leo, the hot movie star who played her husband in the movie, decides he wants to stay for another week.  He offers her $1000 dollars a day, for seven days so he can stay in her tea house.  She refuses at first but needs the money. He sleeps in the tea house and just seems to want to do normal things with Nora and her two children, Arthur and Bernadette.  Can all this time together allow Nora and Leo to fall in love?

I really enjoyed this book.  I loved all the characters, I don’t usually like the big movie star characters, but Leo was a bit different.  He was reflecting on his life and his choices and enjoys the simple life at Nora’s house.  Nora is just a bit quirky and a lot normal.  It’s so easy to warm up to her, as she’s very easy to like.  Her children, Arthur and Bernadette are adorable, but also realistic and not perfect (like most kids!).  

The book starts out and pulled me right in.  I was intrigued by the behind-the-scenes look at a film production at Nora’s house. Right away I was swept up in Nora’s world and enjoyed every minute of my visit with her, Leo, and her kids.  

I highly recommend Nora Goes Off Script to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Annabel Monaghan

My debut adult novel, Nora Goes Off Script, is coming out on June 7, 2022 from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Writing it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had. Pre-Nora, I wrote fiction for young adults and a column for not-so-young adults. Since you’ve gotten this far into my website, you probably knew that already.

I grew up in Los Angeles, and nearly every one of my relatives still lives in Southern California. I attended Duke University where I studied English. I have an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and a brief history as an investment banker. I also used to teach novel writing at the The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. I now live in the suburbs of New York City with my husband, three sons, and a little dog who sheds.

31 responses to “Book Review: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

  1. This sounds so cute and like such a fun read. I love the sound of Nora and that Leo’s movie star character is done a bit differently from the normal. Adding this one to my TBR.

  2. I love that this book included some more emotional and reflective parts. Sounds like a lovely story with a very interesting setting. Excellent review, Wendy!

  3. I’m with you on the big film star characters; I’m not usually a fan either so glad Leo was done differently. Sounds a nice warm read, with a nice peek into the movie world.