In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.
To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was such a sweet story! I've loved Jenn Bennett since Alex, Approximately and have been waiting for another book from her that I would love just as much. I thought Starry Eyes was cute, but it didn't sit at the same level for me. In the case of Serious Moonlight, Bennett has given us another strong love story between two well developed characters, exactly what I was hoping she would do! Birdie struggles to figure out how to be in a relationship and all the quirks that come with it.. Birdie and Daniel are coming from different backgrounds, and it will ultimately be up to Birdie to figure out if she's willing to risk being in a relationship or if she'll keep pushing people away out of fear.
Daniel Pursues Birdie Without Being Aggressive (WIN!)
I honestly think it was great that we get to see a romance where a man woos a woman without making the reader feel like he basically forcing the woman to spend time with him. Daniel is an excellent example of what all men should strive to do; give women options and allow them to decide what they want to do. He understands Birdie and creates adventures and dates that he knows she specifically would like, not just generic dinner and movie dates that can be applied to anyone. I also love that when they talk about sex, she claims that she doesn't need romance, but he's the one that says that he's the one who would like it. He's confident in who he is and I loved seeing how he encourages Birdie to trust him without coming off as arrogant or pushy.
Good Character Development
This is definitely a character driven story, so I appreciated that we were give some really great characters to read about! Birdie definitely has a lot to work and it's great that we see her starting to understand herself better. It honestly makes me so sad that she constantly makes herself feel bad for "being like her mom" just because she decides to have sex. There's a lot happening in her life that she needs to come to terms with, and it's great that she has people like her Aunt Mona and Daniel to help her. Likewise, Daniel has gone through a lot over the last year and I loved seeing how he and his family relationships have changed because of it. There's a lot of honesty and discussion about how to make sure people are taking care of themselves and I thought Bennett did a really good job exploring that theme.
The Mystery Is Boring, But the Dates are Awesome
I understand that Daniel gets Birdie to spend time with him by enticing her with a mystery, so the storyline makes sense, but the actually mystery is fairly boring to me. I just didn't care if they solved it or not. It makes a great excuse for their relationship to develop, but I could have done without the parts where they are actually trying to solve it. It felt flat to me and I wasn't necessarily surprised when they solve it. That said, I LOVE the romantic mystery scavenger hunts that Daniel creates for Birdie. Their first date is awesome and I love how much time Daniel spends creating these romantic moments for Birdie. I thought that those "mysteries" were adorable and I always wanted to see where they ended up (unlike the actual mystery they have to solve).
Overall, this was a really cute love story and I think anyone who has liked Jenn Bennett's other books will love this book too! It's a fun and easy read, with a strong character driven story, and a great spring romance. Serious Moonlight comes out April 16th and I hope you like it as much as I do!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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