Title: Two for the Road
Author: Chantel Guertin
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: March 28, 2023
Note: This is the Canadian title and same book as GIGI, LISTENING in the USA. For readers of Emily Henry, Gail Honeyman and Josie Silver, a tender, funny and wise new novel about a romance bookshop owner who embarks on the adventure–or misadventure–of a lifetime in search of her own happily ever after.
Sometimes there are detours on the road to love . . .
Gigi Rutherford loves love stories. She reads them, she sells them at her romance bookstore, and she could spend hours imagining the meet-cutes of every couple she encounters. But beyond her shop’s walls, Gigi is out of stock when it comes to her own love interests. And instead of enduring bad date after bad date, these days she’d rather curl up at home with her favourite audiobook and the only man that makes her heart skip a beat: Zane Wilkenson, the smooth-voiced narrator that Gigi is convinced is her soulmate.
Then, she’s presented with the chance of a lifetime: a ten-day bus tour through the hills of the English countryside, taking in the sights and sounds of a world an ocean away from her bookstore–all in the presence of Zane, the man of her dreams, in person, as he leads the tour.
But things don’t go as planned. When Gigi arrives at the bus terminal in London, Zane is nowhere to be found. Until he shows up, she’s stuck with an eclectic group of fellow travellers she’d rather not be with on a long road trip: the recently widowed and chatty Charlotte; odd Francis, a walking Trivial Pursuit; Jenny, a true-crime-makeup YouTuber documenting every detail for her subscribers; and Sindhi and Roshi, a long-married couple that just can’t stop bickering. And then there’s the brooding bus driver, Taj, who Gigi finds infuriating but also incredibly alluring . . .
With heart and charm, warmth and humour, Chantel Guertin explores the meaning of love and family–and how, sometimes, the journey to yourself is where you’ll find everything you’ve been searching for.
Gigi Rutherford runs a romance bookstore in Ann Arbor. She’s had many bad dates from dating apps, but who she really wants is Zane Wilkinson, the narrator of her favourite audiobook. For Gigi’s thirtieth birthday, her friends surprise her with a trip to England to go on the bus tour that Zane guides as his regular job. However, when she arrives at the bus tour, Zane isn’t there. Gigi still goes on the tour, but she’s stuck hanging out with Taj, the brooding bus driver. Though the trip doesn’t start out as she planned, Gigi may still find what she was looking for.
This was such a cute story. Gigi references a lot of novels throughout the story, which avid readers will recognize. I always love it when characters like to read. There were some emotional parts in the story, such as when Gigi talked about her parents’ deaths. I liked that some key parts of the characters’ pasts were kept from the reader until close to the end, which made their histories seem more mysterious. Gigi and Taj were a grumpy/sunshine pair. There was a little bit of enemies to lovers, which is one of my favourite tropes.
Two for the Road is an exciting book about a fun England road trip and a cute romance!
Two for the Road will be published in Canada on March 28, with the same story being published as Gigi, Listening in the United States.
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a physical copy and Kensington for sending me a digital copy.
Content warnings: death of parents, car accident (mentioned), parental estrangement, early onset Alzheimer’s
What to read next:
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
Have you read Two for the Road? What did you think of it?