Audiobook Review: Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

Title: Love Walked In
Author: Marisa de los Santos
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from my personal library
Audiobook reader: Jennifer Ikeda
First line: My life – my real life – started when a man walked into it, a handsome stranger in a perfectly cut suit, and, yes, I know how that sounds.

When I grow up, I want to write like Marisa de los Santos. Two years ago, I devoured Belong to Me in two afternoons poolside while my kid splashed away. I didn’t know at the time that it was a sequel to Love Walked In – I never read books out of order if I can help it. I knew, though, that I had to read the original story starring Cornelia and Teo and Claire.

Cornelia Brown isn’t living up to her potential – a fact she willingly tells us. She’s managing a coffee house in Philadelphia, spending time with her friend Lynnie and wiling away the hours watching romantic movies like The Philadelphia Story. When Martin Grace, a Cary Grant-look-alike walks into the coffee house, her world is turned upside down – only not in the way she expects.

Claire, Martin’s 11-year-old daughter, is living with her mother Vivianna, and her world is falling apart. Her mother isn’t acting like herself, and Claire doesn’t know what to do about it. Then her mother disappears, and she has no choice but to reach out to the father who doesn’t know her at all.

When Cornelia and Claire meet, the stars align. Even though Cornelia knows that Martin is not the love of her life, she agrees to help with Claire until Vivianna is found, because though she hasn’t fallen in love with Martin, she has fallen in love with the brave, smart, and unique Claire.

Cornelia is one of my favorite characters in contemporary fiction. Imagine Anne of Green Gables grown up and living in our modern world. She is passionate about the people in her life, knows what she finds beautiful, and loves with her whole being. In Claire, she finds the child of her heart, if not her body.

The book is written from two perspectives – first person in Cornelia’s voice, and third person from Claire’s perspective. This makes both of them become real – and the actresses reading the two different POVs are brilliant and perfectly matched to the characters. This comes as close to perfect as an audiobook can.

Ms. de los Santos writes with a very unique style – Claire and Cornelia both have real, individual voices. This is the best kind of women’s fiction – it engages all of the senses, makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you long to know the people in the book. I hope her next book comes very quickly. In the meantime, I’m ready for a re-read of Belong to Me.

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17 Responses to Audiobook Review: Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

  1. Mary
    Twitter: bookfanmb

    Nice review, Carrie. I read it last year and it was on my 2009 Favorite Books list. Really liked it. I’ve had Belong To Me on my shelf for months but everyone said to wait a while to read it. I think it’s almost time ­čÖé
    .-= Mary┬┤s last blog ..Mailbox Monday – April 19 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Mary – I know that it’s not a direct sequel – time has passed in the characters’ lives – so that advice makes sense.

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    Because of your review of Belong to Me, I bought the book and is on my list for the TBR Challenge. But I can’t read it without reading this one first! So I am off to try to find the audio…
    .-= Sandy┬┤s last blog ..Sunday Salon: Back to the routine =-.

  3. I absolutely loved this book and have Belong to Me on the shelf ready to read . Great reveiw!
    .-= Colleen (Books in the City)┬┤s last blog ..Review: Alexandra, Gone by Anna McPartlin =-.

  4. Wendy says:

    I loved this one too!!
    .-= Wendy┬┤s last blog ..Other Press ÔÇô An Interesting Source for Books =-.

  5. I loved this book, too, and I haven’t read Belong to Me yet. I can’t wait to get to it.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I haven’t read either of these but Belong to Me has been on my list for quite awhile. Now I know I can read them in the proper order!
    .-= Kathleen┬┤s last blog ..A Reading Week in Review =-.

  7. softdrink says:

    This is one of my favorites! I wish de los Santos had more books out.
    .-= softdrink┬┤s last blog ..The House on Mango Street =-.

  8. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly

    I loved this book! Oh! The main character is so good, so real. You can’t help but wish she was one of your friends. You’re making me want to re-read this again! The ending broke my heart.
    .-= Vasilly┬┤s last blog ..Reading Journal: Good Poems =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Vasilly- exactly – I would love to have Cornelia as a friend. And it broke my heart, too, even though I believed that was the way it should end. Have you read Belong to Me yet? Claire is back in that one, too.

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