I have exactly 5 hours and 10 minutes to get from Boston to New York City or the professional opportunity of a lifetime disappears. My only travel option? The second to last seat on a discount bus. Across from the bathroom. Wearing last night’s clothes (don’t ask). All worth it if I can make it in time.
My nerves almost get the best of me, but then there he is, sitting down in the seat next to me. Tall. Friendly smile. Bright indigo streak in his brown hair. The perfect distraction. Turns out he’s on his way to reconnect with an old flame. The one who got away. We can both make it on time – just barely – if the traffic keeps flowing.
Playing road-trip games, avoiding calls from his mother, and effortless conversation keeps us from clockwatching…until the bus breaks down. And my seatmate turns into my copilot as we wrangle a ride in a car three decades old. And hit all the traffic. And oh, Lord, the detours. And somehow I end up careening cross-town on the handlebars of a Citi Bike carrying a box of kittens. (Yeah, don’t ask.)
He’s my hero every step of the way…and I might be falling for him. But what happens when we reach our final destination? Could my seatmate really be my soul mate?
Seatmate showed a different style to Cara Bastone’s other books in the Love Line series. This time the characters are talking in person and they pretty much exactly know who the other person is. No more trying to figure out who you are talking to and whether or not they are a big tech mogul. Sorry slight spoiler if you haven’t read the other books in this series.
As with all of her books, the characters had great chemistry and this one especially felt like I was listening to two people who have known each other for years. However, the chemistry definitely felt more on the friendship side to me. They had great banter but I don’t personally think it was the flirtatious kind. Sam and Gwen felt like childhood best friends and I didn’t get a romance vibe from them. I think I just wrote the same sentence in three different ways? Basically, I’m trying to get across that this didn’t feel like a romance to me.
I liked how chaotic parts of this were, especially the balancing on a bike whilst holding a box of kittens. Pure madness but it was really fun. The carnival part was also super fun and the location seemed really interesting. It was a shame that these non-travelling parts didn’t last very long.
As with each of the books in the Love Lines series, Seatmate features the miscommunication trope. Fortunately, it isn’t as infuriating as the other two but mildly annoying as is always the way with this trope. Sam is on this bus journey as he has been set up on a date with an ‘old flame’ by his mother. He was never totally into it but as time goes by and he connects more with Gwen he doesn’t want to go anymore. At no point do I recall him straight up telling Gwen he doesn’t want to go and honestly this would have solved pretty much everything. Not that there was a massive issue to be solved in this instalment. If anything it was the smoothest sailing one in terms of feelings.
This brings me to my next point of neither character seeming to have very strong feelings for the other. Maybe I wasn’t paying full attention and I’m trying to play up to the insta love trope, but even by the end of the story, I wasn’t convinced of their romantic feelings.
The narrators were very talented and both had the type of voice that I could listen to for hours on end (which I did). I honestly cannot recommend this type of audiobook enough. Multiple cast members/narrators are the way forward in my opinion.
Seatmate has been my least favourite in the Love Line series so far, but it was still a light and fun read. Unfortunately, it was slow to start and felt longer than its quite short five hours of which I listened at 1.5 speed.
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