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Source: Purchased

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser,” Jack said in a contemplative tone and broke the silence.

“Who said that?” Lindsey asked.

“You did.”

(from Love Locks)

Those who know me well know that Hallmark’s romance movies are my guilty pleasure. I can watch the Hallmark movie marathons all weekend, and I’ve seen some of the movies multiple times. They aren’t Oscar-worthy movies, but they are just the thing when I need to de-stress and enjoy something lighthearted and predictable. (Ask my husband, and he’ll tell you that if I’m cranky, he’ll turn on Hallmark and let me be. :D) So when I saw that Hallmark has its own publishing company, I thought I’d give one of the books a shot.

I chose Love Locks by Cory Martin because I had stumbled upon the movie and watched the last hour of it, enjoying the Paris setting and the theme of second chances. I was curious if a book based on the movie would measure up, especially since I normally watch movies based on books and not the other way around.

Love Locks follows Lindsey, who was an art student and painter in Paris when she fell in love with Jack, the son of a hotel owner. The couple planned to commemorate their love by attaching a lock to the Pont des Arts bridge, but after their lock accidentally falls into the river and Jack doesn’t follow her back to New York as planned, she gave up painting and moved on with her life.

Twenty years later, Lindsey is divorced, the owner of an art magazine, and the proud mother of Alexa, who is following in Lindsey’s footsteps by studying art at the Sorbonne with Lindsey’s mentor, Hugo. Accompanying Alexa to Paris to help get her settled stirs up memories of Jack, and with some meddling by Hugo, Lindsey and Jack are reunited. While Lindsey and Jack ease back into a friendship of sorts and attempt to come to terms with their past, Lindsey has some tough choices to make about her magazine and must learn to accept that her daughter is an adult and eager to fall in love and go out on her own.

What surprised me the most about Love Locks was the writing. Martin brings the story to life in a way that the movie does not, giving readers a glimpse into the characters’ thoughts and fleshing out the story. Having seen the movie, I could easily picture the story in my mind, but I would’ve enjoyed the book regardless. The epilogue was a nice touch, giving readers a chance to see what happens to the characters after the movie ended. And there is a recipe at the end as well, which is an added bonus.

Love Locks was just what you’d expect from a book based on a Hallmark movie: lighthearted, humorous, and romantic. The characters were believable and endearing, and I couldn’t help but feel for Lindsey as I prepare to send my own daughter off to college in a few months. I would definitely give another book from Hallmark Publishing a try, especially since having seen the movie didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the book at all.

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