"Attachments" - Rainbow Rowell - 2011

"Attachments" introduces its' characters through a series of emails alternating with sections of prose.  The protagonist, "Lincoln" is 28 years old, holds multiple masters degrees, recently moved back in with his mother, and hasn't had a girlfriend since Freshman year of undergrad.  When we meet him, he is just starting an internet security position at the local (Omaha) paper.  This means he looks for red flags like gambling and porn, but also inter-office personal correspondence - basically he reads any email that pops up on his  'WebFence' filter.  This is how he gets to know to Jennifer, a married copy editor and Beth, the paper's movie reviewer, best friends who understand someone was hired to and probably is reading their emails.   That knowledge doesn't stop them from writing really personal (and funny) messages for most of their work days.  The two women are great, their relationship is real, their issues are very relatable - they are funny and cool, I would love to be friends with either/both of them and it's easy to see why Lincoln would fall in love without even knowing what Beth looks like.   He's painfully shy, and oh, can't stop reading personal emails, so that's awkward, and she has a long-term cool guy musician boyfriend, too.  A lot of things stand in their way, but you just root for these two the whole time!

Needless to say, I loved this book!  I stayed up 'til 3 am reading to finish it, and my alarm goes off at 5:25 so that certainly says a lot!  It features so many things I love, but first and foremost,  a beta 'hero' with a smart and funny love interest.  Plus referenes to "Quantum Leap" and "The Goodbye Girl" as well as several other beloved romantic comedies.  It's laugh out loud funny (more than once).  It takes place in the fall of 1999, during the Y2K scare, which as far as I can recall only affected one thing...

There were a few scary moments as I approached that late, late hour and also approached the end of the novel - I mean, less than 10 pages left - where I feared it could turn out to be a wall banger.  It's not a traditional romance and a HEA is not guaranteed!  Thankfully for me (and this borrowed library book)  I haven't read a more romantic ending in the last year of romances!  I finished it, and immediately read the ending again...and maybe one more time before finally trying to get a little sleep before work!