Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams brings sunshine and stunning intimacy to the When in Rome series, making it an absolute delight through every page. Will Griffin and Annie Walker’s story is one that’ll undoubtedly bring comfort, light, and a whole lot of laughs to fans of the genre. Theirs is not only a story worth waiting for but one that’s thoroughly satisfying from the very first page.
In true Sarah Adams fashion, the book is as wholesome as it can be, but perhaps maybe even a little more than usual, as this one focuses intently on the idea of being seen. In her dedication, she notes that this book is “For the softies. The tenderhearted sweeties. The introverts who are afraid to shine.” And through a character as nuanced as Annie Walker, Adams brings this dedication to fruition by nailing the idea that introverts want the safe space to know that they’ll be accepted as they are.
Socializing isn’t always scary for introverts, but not knowing how people will interpret your words or if they could misunderstand you often causes anxiety. (At least for me.) Annie is a softie—she’s a hopeless romantic with a bright heart of gold, but like most human beings, she’s layered. She’s so much more than what people see, and the same can be said about Will. And so often, people don’t chip away at layers; they merely accept what they see without looking deeper. But in the case of Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams, it’s also seldom intentional, making the entire story work for both romantic and platonic relationships to grow.
Thus, the beauty in this story comes from open and honest communication. The third act conflict does not feel forced in any regard, but it beautifully touches on the importance of honesty being a gift we could each utilize. How Annie and Will unveil their heartaches to their families and later to each other makes the story one of healing as well as a gorgeous romance. The mutual pining and the gentle comfort in their dynamic make the story easy to invest in. The detail that they both see each other for who they truly are and accept all parts without question makes for the quiet serenity that allows the reading experience to feel like a much-needed hug.
It’s also worth noting that Sarah Adams has mastered closed-door romance so gorgeously that she outdoes herself every time—intimate enough to make your heart tug without being explicit. Practice Makes Perfect is her steamiest novel yet, beautifully encompassing the art of experiments in a wholesome fade-to-black manner that’s still thoroughly sexy. Pirates and
bodices banana-print pajamas, and sweet banter, there’s something so heartwarming about how everything occurs with Annie and Will that once you start reading, you won’t want to put it down.
The novel is ultimately an unapologetic love letter to the romance genre. It’s a story that underscores the importance of seeing beyond a quiet, generally sweet person’s demeanor to understand that all people are multi-faceted and full of range. It tackles grief, perhaps relatable fears regarding commitments, and all the hilarious small-town shenanigans that make these narratives laugh-out-loud delights. It’s hard to say which novel in the When In Rome series is my favorite, which fundamentally means it’s another win for Adams in nailing a stellar story.
Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams is now available where books are sold.