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“Leap years are a strange, enchanted time. And for some, even a single February can be life-changing.”

A Love Song for Ricki WildeIn A Love Song for Ricki Wilde, Tia Williams puts a clever and authentic twist on the innately magical romance genre by sprinkling in a dash of magical realism. This story lures you in like a siren song, dazzling you with its entrancing, intoxicating, soulful, charming, and devastating beauty.

The impulsive, free-spirited, and artistic Ricki Wilde has always been a dreamer, and she is just about done with trying to fit into her toxic family. With the help of her newly adopted grandmother, she leaves behind her home, security and wealth to start fresh and open her own flower shop. The charm and glamour of Harlem’s streets sings to her soul, but soon her entire life is upturned when she gets drawn in by the dangerously irresistible pull of a handsome enigmatic stranger; is their meeting just dumb luck, or is there something more magical in the air?

After Seven Days in June immediately became one of my favourite romance novels, I simply couldn’t see how Williams could repeat or possibly even exceed that level of brilliance. But honestly, she did. Seven Days in June might be a bit more poignant and emotional, but there was just a tragic beauty and irresistible charm to A Love Song for Ricki Wilde that completely captured my heart.

Now, I find that there is often a slight touch of absurdity to any magical realism story that only the most skilled authors can pull off. And to me, Tia Williams absolutely nailed the vibe and tone of this story. Everything about A Love Song for Ricki Wilde is just a bit over the top and slightly implausible, but it leans into it and embraces the chaotically wild magic of it all with open arms.

Never before have I even entertained the idea of believing in soulmates, but after reading Ricki and Ezra’s story, I am sold. They are irrevocably and inextricably tied to each other, and their electrifying dynamic simply held me in a chokehold. I loved seeing how they were constantly orbiting around each other, drawn together like moths to a flame. And while this story is mostly focused on the emotional connection rather than the physical, which I highly appreciated, there’s simply no denying that the sparks flew every time they inevitably collided.

But what I maybe loved most about A Love Song for Ricki Wilde, is how Ricki and Ezra’s individual stories didn’t get lost in their intoxicating romance. Their vibrant personalities simply drip off the page, and I was so compelled by their personal complex backstories. Whether it was Ricki’s affinity for flowers and the motivation behind her relentless pursuit of her dreams, Ezra’s obsessive and soul-deep passion for his music, or the mystery behind their inescapable magnetic pull towards each other; I was simply entranced by it all.

And speaking of entrancing, I also loved how Williams brought the city of New York, and especially Harlem, to life. Seeing the contrasts and similarities between the 1920s and 2020s version of the neighbourhood was simply marvellous, and I ate up all the rich Black history and culture that was woven into this narrative. Especially Ezra’s elusive yet impactful presence on the Black music scene and the intriguing hints of Voodoo magic gave this story so much authenticity and heart, and I soon found myself just as bedazzled by it all as Ricki was.

At its heart, A Love Song for Ricki Wilde is just a deeply touching story about the power of love and relationships; not only in the romantic sense, but also on a platonic and familial level. Especially Ricki’s newly adopted grandmother, Ms. Della, absolutely stole the show for me (she’s such a hoot!!), and I loved seeing how she took up the role of guardian angel for Ricki. The found family vibes so beautifully contrasted the toxic dynamic between Ricki’s own blood relations, and all the hysterically funny interactions just brought so many smiles to my face.

And if all that wasn’t enough, there were also some unexpected easter eggs for Seven Days in June, which simply made me kick my feet from sheer delight. Everything about A Love Song for Ricki Wilde is just so masterfully crafted, and it is simply beyond me how Williams executed it all without ever becoming melodramatic or corny. Some of the revelations definitely require some suspension of disbelief, but to me it totally fit with the personalities of these slightly starry-eyed protagonists and only amplified the overall dreamlike quality of the story.

By the end, I wanted to immediately go back to page one and experience this breathtaking story all over again. These characters have taken root within my heart, and can stay there rent-free until eternity. If you are looking for a wonderfully magical, irresistibly intoxicating, effortlessly funny, and slightly mystifying romance story one hundred years in the making, then you have to check out A Love Song for Ricki Wilde; it is simply the epitome of romance.

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

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