It’s only the middle of March but I’m pretty sure that A Little Too Late will join the list of favorite books of 2018. You know what I’m also sure of? This novel will also join my list of favorite books ever.
The past nine months have been hard on Charlie. When his wife left, she took not only his happiness with her but also his urge to function. Instead of figuring out his life and how to deal with being a single dad, he chose to lose himself in his work.
When he hires a new nanny to look after his children, he didn’t expect someone like Hannah. Hannah is kind, smart, understanding, and always smiling. Without even trying, Hannah shows him what life is supposed to be. After only a few weeks, Hannah is so much more than just the nanny. But Charlie’s and Hannah’s past seem to catch up to them faster than expected.
Staci Hart’s novel left me speechless and smiling after I finished it but there is also this small part of my brain that says “No, it’s completely wrong!”. And it keeps nagging and nagging and won’t stop. Here is why: Hannah is not just any nanny, Hannah is an au pair from Europe, just like I was. She applied for this au pair job through an agency, was matched with a family in NYC and moved there only a few months later. So far, so good. But hooking up with the host dad, married or single, is a total no-go for so many reasons. I heard about those kinds of stories from other au pairs who have heard it from other au pairs who have heard it from even other au pairs but I never met a girl who did such thing myself. I also don’t think that it’s common for au pairs to hook up with their host dads, although it was stated differently in the book. I don’t say that it never happens, but to me “common” implies that at least 50% of the au pairs do it and I don’t think that’s true (or my former au pair cluster was too well-behaved and didn’t do such things). Those rumors only reflect poorly on ex-au pairs, current au pairs, and future au pairs and I don’t like it.
Dear current and/or future au pair host families, rest assured, it is NOT common for an au pair to hook up with the host dad.
BUT: A Little Too Late is a piece of fiction which is why I will rate, review and look at this novel as that: a piece of fiction!
I don’t even know where to start because this book, the story and the characters were everything! Staci Hart has a way of conveying angsty feelings with a few but deep words. I even shed a few tears toward the end because it was oh so sweet. I will definitely think about the characters and their journey for a long, long time.
I really enjoyed getting to know Hannah, especially because she was from Holland, or as I like to call it Dutchland. 😀 She not only taught the kids and Charlie a few words here and there in her mother tongue, she taught me too. I talked to my favorite Dutchie on Skype earlier and I was telling her about the book and the new words I learned. My favorite is definitely kwarktaart.
I think that Hannah is the perfect au pair: she is dedicated, she loves the kids and she is very reliable. Although I found it odd, that she never went out shopping or out for drinks with friends, or maybe Staci Hart decided not to show this side and instead only focus on the love side of the story.
Charlie who was a great dad but didn’t really feel like he earned this title, did the biggest transition in the story and I really admire him for it. He first appeared in Staci Hart’s novel A Thousand Letters as a secondary character. He was a total workaholic which he still was in A Little Too Late. He basically worked 24/7 and when he wasn’t working at the offices of his law firm, he worked from home in his own office.
When Hannah arrived, everything changed and he finally realized what he missed out on all those years. Of course one could argue that it’s only because of Hannah and not because of his two kids that he changed but I see it a little differently. He did in fact change for his kids because he loves them unconditionally and Hannah was only the trigger of it. Charlie was lost for so many years and he just didn’t know how to do it otherwise. He needed a push and that push came from Hannah.
“You do belong. You belong with me, and I belong to you.”
I’ve been a fan of Staci Hart’s novels for a few years now but this one is actually the first paperback of hers I own (thanks for the Christmas gift, little brother!). Honestly, I regret not buying her paperback novels earlier because the inside of the book is GORGEOUS! I can’t wait to buy the rest of them little by little and fall in love with the amazing insides as well.
A Little Too Late is a beautifully, heart-wrenching read and perfect for those of you who love romantic and angsty stories. You won’t be disappointed.