This is my fourth book by Rachel Lacey and she has become a go-to author for heartwarming books.
In Come Away with Me, Piper is an actress on her way to stardom but a traumatic experience has left her with panic attacks on top of the anxiety she’s always known. She’s about to audition for a part in a Hollywood movie and wants to master her fears before they stop her from reaching her dream. One step towards this goal is to go out to a bar and have a drink. Little did she expect to meet someone then. Chloe is a flight attendant from North Carolina who just wanted to have a drink in a gay bar on her night in New York. An unexpectedly nice evening with a mysterious woman in a black wig leaves her hoping for more.
I fell in love with both MCs immediately. I love Chloe’s laidback attitude and general sweetness. I love how much she cares for her family and the way she takes Piper’s issues in stride, showing support without stifling her. I also love Piper’s strong will, her ambition with just the right amount of ego. And I love them together.
It’s always very nice to have characters for whom communication isn’t taboo. There’s a little conflict but it’s realistic, not forced. Opening oneself to love, making a long-distance relationship work, navigating being in different places – both literally and figuratively, dealing with the expectations of celebrity, none of that is easy. Piper is the one with anxiety but Chloe can be vulnerable too and her reaction to the I-love-you scene is one of the loveliest I have read. And the chemistry! Wow.
I had one issue with this book, but I really can’t fault the author for it. On the contrary, it’s another proof of how well written the characters are. When Piper’s first panic attack is described, my idiot body felt it too. My brain wasn’t having a panic attack but my body was. As strange as that feeling was, it definitely didn’t stop me from enjoying this book and I was very happy to find out that there will be at least one more in this series.
Even though it’s book 3 in the Midnight in Manhattan series, Come Away with Me can be read as a standalone. Dragonfly, where Piper and Chloe first meet, is Josie’s bar from Don’t Cry for Me, and the characters from It’s in Her Kiss are mentioned in passing, but that’s all. I strongly recommend reading the other books however, if only because they’re really good too.