Dear Stranger by Elise K. Ackers

In brief: Reese writes Valentine’s Day letters to strangers. When Ian finds one, he’s determined to find this girl.

The good: Gorgeous story infused with the spirit of Melbourne.

The not-so-good: Sequel please?

Why I chose it: Love Elise’s writing – from Net Galley and Escape Publishing – thank you.

Year: 2014

Pages: 26 (eARC)

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Setting: Melbourne, Australia

My rating: 9.5 out of 10

I love Elise K. Ackers’ writing. She has a fantastic ability to write gorgeous characters and beautiful stories. Dear Stranger, a sweet Valentine story is no exception. She manages to infuse into this story the essence and feeling of Melbourne, flesh out characters with quirks and good intentions and start a promising romance. Wow.

Dear Stranger takes place on Valentine’s Day. Reese is single – her date is with the television and a takeaway – but she’s a genuinely nice person. So much so that she’s written anonymous Valentine’s letters and will be leaving them in Melbourne’s CBD for strangers to find. She hopes that will brighten their day. So in a heart patterned bright dress she sets out on her mission.

Ian notices the girl dressed in splashes of colour in the café and is intrigued. When she leaves, there’s an envelope on the table. Was it a mistake? Ian opens Reese’s letter and is immediately determined to find this girl and reply to her letter. Will he find her? Could this be an entirely different Valentine’s Day for both of them?

This book is simply gorgeous. I didn’t want it to end! I’d love to read more about Reese and Ian – perhaps they could have a sequel? I was really impressed that as the reader, I learnt a lot about them in such few pages. I really warmed to them both. Plus, I felt like I was in Melbourne itself with the rain, the good coffee and the people going about their business. I was a little disappointed to find myself in my house on the other side of the country when I finished Dear Stranger.

If you’re looking for a lovely story that will refresh your jaded soul in a lunchtime/commute/evening, I’d suggest Dear Stranger.

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