Hello Stranger by Katherine Center
Contemporary Romance | Fiction
Hello Stranger is the sort of absolutely delightful read I’ve come to expect and love from Katherine Center! With a twist on the familiar “amnesia storylines” in which the heroine can’t remember who she was in love with, Hello Stranger features a young woman, Sadie, who develops facial blindness and can’t SEE who she’s in love with. Worse yet, Sadie is a portrait artist who has just had her big, lucky break. But how can she paint a face that she can no longer see?
There is something really comforting in sitting down for a read that you know will have a happy ending, swoon-worthy romance, and its share of humor and joy. Katherine Center never fails to deliver on that.
Hello Stranger follows the ever-independent, Sadie, a portrait artist who undergoes brain surgery, only to awake and discover that she can no longer recognize faces. This acquired apperceptive prosopagnosia diagnosis (or face blindness) made for a really unique plot — how often does the main character fall in love with not one but two men whose faces she’s never seen?
Center’s usual humor and banter fill each and every page of this novel, giving us a main character that sparkles but also feels authentic. While Sadie’s determination to not accept help or show weakness was sometimes frustrating, it made for a really relatable character. Sadie is the kind of protagonist you just enjoy hanging out with — fun and determined, witty and kind. Not to mention that she rollerskates, sings aloud to Smokey Robinson in the grocery store, and has the most loveable, little dog, Peanut.
The romance in this story was also exactly what I was looking for. There is no steam but there is a ton of sweet!
As Center herself often says, the point of a romance novel is not a “surprise” but a delicious sense of anticipation. And this story definitely provided that. The plot is entertaining and mesmerizing, and you can’t help but continue reading to see how it all happily wraps together in the end.
Those who love sweet rom-coms!
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance e-copy of the book provided courtesy of St Martins Press and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition. It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.
Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?
As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.