99 Percent Mine is the second novel from Sally Thorne. She had a surprise bestseller in the Hating Game which topped many, many 2016 “Best of” lists. It’s taken her some time to get back into writing (there’s an epilogue which explains this) paralyzed as she was by the success of her debut. I absolutely loved the Hating Game and have re-read it a number of times so I pre-ordered 99 Percent Mine and was anxiously awaiting it’s delivery to my Kindle.
It’s a romance but the characters and set up are very different to her first novel. Darcy Barrett is a twin and they lived opposite a boy called Tom from the age of 8. Darcy’s twin brother claimed Tom as his friend (99 percent his, hence the title) but Darcy has lusted after Tom from afar. The book opens when the characters are in their late 20’s and Darcy has been traveling the world long term, she’s currently back in their home town, working in a dive bar to earn money for her next trip. Jamie, the successful twin, is working in a bank. Jamie sends Tom in to help renovate the twins’ Grandmother’s house, left to them in her Will. They will renovate and then sell. Jamie doesn’t trust Darcy to manage the renovation, hence sending Tom in (who luckily owns a renovation company).
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to spell out what happens in the forced proximity plot. Jamie is a nightmare to Darcy and she has serious self esteem issues because of him. Tom is, and always has been, the calming influence, the stabilizer in their relationship. Thus both twins are very jealous of the time that Tom spends with the other twin. This is a novel about learning to share as much as it is a romance. Towards the end of the novel Tom does show that he is his own man and not either twin’s property (or anyone else’s). I liked that there was serious personal growth shown by both Darcy and Tom, slightly less so for Jamie but he does not feature until the latter stages of the book. I’ll definitely be re-reading this before the year is out.