"Love Walked In" is not your typical love story. Cornelia is a 30-something, well-educated woman who works in a Philadelphia coffee shop (the type of coffee shop where artists and academics lounge around, playing chess and engaging in witty repartee all day). Cornelia is a petite, peppy, hopeless romantic who is anxiously awaiting a Cary Grant-type to walk in the door and sweep her off her tiny feet. That moment does in fact happen when handsome, charismatic Martin Grace breezes in the door and leaves Cornelia feeling more than breathless.
Cornelia and Martin embark on a whirlwind romance and Martin seems to be everything that Cornelia is looking for in a man, until he shows up one day at the coffee shop with his young daughter whom he neglected to ever mention. It quickly becomes evident to Cornelia that Clare has no fuzzy feelings for her dapper dad due to his serious apathy for fatherhood. Cornelia soon begins to see that Martin may not be the man of her dreams...
Clare's glamorous mother, Viviana, abandons Clare and Martin and Cornelia are left to tend to her broken heart. Cornelia becomes Clare's main care-taker and the two develop a deep attachment for one another. The relationship between Clare and Cornelia is the main focus of the novel and their story is told from both points of view.
I did enjoy the novel because it's a nice story and it is an easy, relaxing read. However, I was completely thrown off by what I felt was often forced dialogue and a few very unbelievable characters. For example, the author wanted to convey that Cornelia is a huge classic movie fan (which ties into her being a romantic) but the manner in which she chose to do this did not work very well, in my opinion. It just seemed very unnatural and contrived and, on more than one occasion, I found myself thinking, "real people do not talk or think this way!" I felt the same way about Cornelia's friend "Linney" who seemed one-dimensional and more like a caricature than a real person.
On the other hand, I thought Ms. de los Santos did a nice job developing the characters of Clare and Viviana and I was able to feel a connection with both.
So, in the end, I'd say my feelings in regard to this novel are mixed. I do not regret reading it and am happy to recommend it to others, however, I was disappointed that the above-mentioned flaws (or what I consider to be flaws) detracted from what was an otherwise good story.