The Seat Filler (2021)

About the Book

Book: The Seat Filler

Author: Sariah Wilson

Genre: Contemporary Romance — Clean, but STEAMY!

Release Date: April 27, 2021

The movie star and the dog groomer are one kiss away from the perfect love story. That’s the hiccup in a warm and witty romance by the bestselling author of Roommaid.

The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.

She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.

The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.

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My Thoughts

This novel brought me immense joy. IMMENSE JOY!

When I read the synopsis I was a little hesitant to get this book. I am not a fan of Hallmark movies and stories at all. They’re campy and sickly sweet and super annoying and totally unrealistic and boring. I worried that maybe this book would be too Hallmarky and too unbelievable. The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson is SO not a Hallmark-level story. It’s quite fantastic. It made me laugh out loud. I stopped 72 times to re-read passages to my husband so I could share the funny with him (cause I knew he wanted me to … LOL!). And it made me weak in the knees. There has only ever been one story that’s actually made me weak in the knees and that is the 2011 film Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender. So for this novel to do that to me says quite a bit about the chemistry sizzling between Juliet and Noah. This story definitely has its STEAMY moments for sure — it’s a story about a seriously gorgeous man teaching a woman how to overcome debilitating anxiety and a kissing phobia — so yeah, tons of hot kissing! But that’s not what made me weak in the knees. Rather, it’s all the moments Noah looks at Juliet with love and hope and desire and so much happiness he could burst, and the moments when it’s crystal clear she has his sole attention and he actually cares about what she thinks and says, and the moments when he acts for her because he genuinely cares about her and wants her to feel safe and happy and cherished. These moments, for me, are better than any kissing scene because they illustrate true love and not just hormonal infatuation. And, this is what I love the most about this story — it has massive substance cause it’s not just a sappy kissing book. Juliet is a wonderful character. She’s so loyal and funny and genuine. She has real hang-ups brought on by some real issues from her childhood and teenage years. She’s a down-to-earth mess but amazing nonetheless. I appreciate that Juliet knows she has a mental health problem. She knows it makes her life unique and lonely and difficult. But she also knows she is willing to work to make herself better and healthier so she can achieve her dreams of falling in love and having a family. And, I LOVE that Noah wants to be there for Juliet to help her on her journey to being that better, more complete version of herself. In this, they are actual best friends and this best-friend foundation allows their intense chemistry and ensuing romantic relationship to be all the more real and believable.

The Seat Filler is outstanding. I actually want to re-read it again right now cause it gave me all those delicious happy-and-smiling-and-satisfied reader feelings that I want to experience for a little while longer. This is definitely a steamy, clean-read romance that I HIGHLY recommend.

Note to Christian-Fiction readers: This book is STEAMY. There is no sex but the kisses are amazing and intense. If intense kissing is a deal breaker for you, I would recommend not reading this book. It’s also not a Christian story, just to be clear.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form through my Kindle Unlimited subscription on June 3, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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