February 26th, 2024
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When Grumpy Met Sunshine

When Grumpy Met Sunshine, February 2024
by Charlotte Stein

St. Martin's Griffin
Featuring: Mabel Willicker; Alfie Harding
336 pages
ISBN: 1250867932
EAN: 9781250867933
Kindle: B0C1X8LBP4
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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"She's sunshine and rainbows; he's the grumpy guy who just wants to be left alone."

Fresh Fiction Review

When Grumpy Met Sunshine
Charlotte Stein

Reviewed by Rosie B
Posted February 5, 2024

Romance Comedy

Ex-footballer Alfie Harding does not like people. They want to talk to him and ask him questions he has no desire to give answers to. When he gets badgered into writing his memoirs, this grumpy man knows there’s no way he can write about himself. And finding someone who he’s willing to trust enough to do it seems to be an impossible task.
Mabel Willicker is one of the best ghostwriters around but even she’s not sure she wants to take on writing famous footballer Alfie Harding’s memoirs, especially since he’s already rejected 17 other writers. Their first meeting doesn’t go well at all, so Mabel is surprised when Alfie tracks her down and tells her he wants to work with her.
Things start to go sideways when Mabel is seen with Alfie and everyone assumes they’re a couple. To protect Alfie’s cover as the writer of his memoir, Mabel and Alfie pretend to be together but pretty soon the lines begin to blur and it’s hard to differentiate between fantasy and fiction.
WHEN GRUMPY MET SUNSHINE by Charlotte Stein had me laughing hard so often, I wasn’t sure I’d get through the book. Mabel is a bubbly, sunshine-filled character but she has a lot of self-esteem issues. For anyone who has watched Ted Lasso, Alfie is Roy Kent, which makes it hard for me to see the character as anyone else. This was my first book by Stein and while I enjoyed the comedic aspects of it, I had a really hard time with the writing style. It was repetitive at times, with too much focus on how the main characters were so different, and there was a one-year separation of the characters that just seemed too long for them to come back from. If you’re just looking for something that’ll do a great job of making you laugh WHEN GRUMPY MET SUNSHINE has the banter for you.

Learn more about When Grumpy Met Sunshine


A steamy, opposites-attract romance with undeniable chemistry between a grumpy retired footballer and his fabulous and very sunshine-y ghostwriter.

When grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets badgered into selling his memoirs, he knows he’s never going to be able to write them. He hates revealing a single thing about himself, is allergic to most emotions, and can’t imagine doing a good job of putting pen to paper.

And so in walks curvy, cheery, cute as heck ghostwriter Mabel Willicker, who knows just how to sunshine and sass her way into getting every little detail out of Alfie. They banter and bicker their way to writing his life story, both of them sure they’ll never be anything other than at odds.

But after their business arrangement is mistaken for a budding romance, the pair have to pretend to be an item for a public who’s ravenous for more of this Cinderella story. Or at least, it feels like it’s pretend—until each slow burn step in their fake relationship sparks a heat neither can control. Now they just have to decide: is this sizzling chemistry just for show? Or something so real it might just give them their fairytale ending?

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