Twenty-five year old Charlotte “Charlie” Barrow is caught between her old life and the one she is beginning to build when she crosses paths with a handsome stranger on the subway. Not looking for romance, she closes her heart off to the possibilities of love. With a knack for mishaps, Charlie maintains her sense of humor while befriending the kind stranger who seems to be there at all the right times.
New York freelance writer, Charlie Adams, is forging his own path beyond the expectations of the society circles of his childhood. Rejecting family money, and fast-lane friends, he is snubbed by his family as he follows his own compass to a life more extraordinary.
Through a coincidence of events, they come to rely on each other for comfort. This is the tale of two Charlies learning to trust again while fighting their fates to create their own destiny.
First thing I’m going to say is that I’m pretty damn honored to be among the first few who are able to read this story. I have followed the writings of SL for about two years now, so when she asked if The Readiacs would be interested in covering her work, I jumped at the opportunity.
And I’m glad I said yes. I started Naturally, Charlie and finished within three hours. This fast paced contemporary story about friendship and lovah’s is an absolute pleasure in the romcom category.
The character development is spot on. Each supporting character has a purpose and they are used for just the right amount of time. In fact, SL could, if she hasn’t already thought about it, spin-off with the characters of Justin and Rachel and maybe give Connor a story.
Charlie B is that down to earth girl from Chicago who just happens to land the golden boy in college. When life leads them back to NYC – Charlie soon finds out that her happiness is short lived. Everything she thought she knew about love and life was nothing but a sham. She works to rebuild her life after losing what she thought most important.
Charlie A is that Manhattan boy we all oogle. He comes from money and was expected to take over the family business, until he decided he wanted something different and his parents shunned him. Now he does what he wants and it makes him happy. Honestly, you can’t help but feel sorry for him when you meet his mother and cousins – crazy train left the station and forgot to take them along for the ride.
The Charlies “meet” on the subway – it’s that moment we’ve all had. Or as James Blunt aptly sang “I saw your face in a crowded place, and I don’t know what to do, ‘Cause I’ll never be with you.” I thought of this song throughout the entire book, curious to know if SL used it in her playlist. Anyway, they have a moment and before either of them can do anything – Charlie B is gone.
Lady luck is on their side when Charlie A spots her at a bar with her friend Rachel. The only and majorly huge problem is that Rachel has already latched onto Charlie A and Charlie B does the right thing, and leaves even though she knows they (her and Charlie) have a connection.
It’s in the most unlikely circumstance that the two Charlies become friends, he doesn’t cheat on Rachel, and as a reader I was itching for the hook-up. The well written sexual tension oozes off the pages. The character banter is amazing – there are many laugh out loud moments as well as moments when you’ll need a Kleenex or two.
A very unique dynamic that SL has used over the years is the high society dysfunctional family, I don’t know if she intends to do this, or this is just how this particular storyline worked out. It’s interesting to say the least.
Now why I didn’t give it 5 stars – I was set to give it 5 – up until the epilogue. For me an epilogue is a preview of the next book. For some it’s closure. In this particular case I felt it was years of the character’s lives jumbled into a few pages. There was one particular scene that I could’ve done without – it was definitely not needed.
Regardless of my Star count, Naturally, Charlie is well worth the read. SL has done an amazing job putting together a well thought-out storyline that is both entertaining and heart-wrenching and Charlie A does a very nice job charming your pants off.