This was a hmmmm. It was both interesting and irritating. PattyKates vigorously encouraged us to read this so they would have more people to discuss it with, and Katie kindly lent me her copy. I’m glad I read it. It’s better if you don’t know too much going in, so I’ll keep things general.
Parker Cruse hasn’t been able to get her life together. She gave up an athletic scholarship to follow her high school boyfriend to college (don’t do that). She thought they were going to get married and start a life in the big city together. Instead she found him in bed with her twin sister Piper. Instead of starting a career and married life, she has stalled out living at her parent’s house and bouncing from temp job to temp job. She and her sister no longer have a relationship. Her ex is now her brother in law and her sister is pregnant.
Trying to get her life together, she moves out, but just to a family house nearby. Her first day in her new house she meets her hot, married neighbor, Gus. They are immediately attracted to one another. Gus’ wife hires Parker to be her at home assistant, throwing the two of them together.
What the book does really well is explore Parker’s emotional life, guilt, grief, and forgiveness. Parker needs to do a lot of growing up. What the book does less well is slapping romance tropes on what deserves to be a complicated story. It was an engrossing read with a twist that packs an emotional punch, but in the end I was left feeling unsatisfied.
Without getting into spoilers, I think the writer didn’t think through a lot of issues. So while she got important things about the emotional authenticity of the novel right, a lot of details were not well handled. It moves the book from the great book it could be, to the ok book it is.
One example is a celebration night Parker has with friends. They go from a bar to a brewery, where Parker’s friend orders her a Coors Light. WHAT?? You do NOT go to a brewery and order Coors Light, unless it is the Coors Brewery, and even then, no one should ever order Coors Light in any situation. It’s not a huge thing, but it made me question how much the author thought through what she was writing.