All of Me
by Jenny Bunting
Book 1 in the Ivy River Series
After leaving a toxic ex, I’ve returned to the small town of Ivy River to reconnect with my father.
I never expected a handsome, broody man with eyes like embers, to be living above his garage.
Will Stone is completely off limits. Not just because he’s my dad’s employee, but because I have plans to restart my life. Plans that don’t include a relationship.
We flirt; the attraction between us is undeniable. One of us will break soon and I’m afraid it will be me.
My boss’s daughter will be my downfall.
Paul is more than a boss; he’s the father figure I wish I had. Lusting after his daughter is a slap in the face.
Still, Bree’s bringing out emotions I’ve stuffed down deep. I’m punching guys in bars, I’m volunteering to watch a litter of puppies, and I’m falling harder every day.
She’s changing me.
She’s dividing my loyalty.
She’s consuming all of me.
Emotionally abusive ex, trauma from difficult childhood
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR and Jenny Bunting for sending me an arc of All of Me in exchange for a fair and honest review.
When I read the synopsis of this book, and saw the tropes involved, I knew I had to read it.
Unfortunately, I just didn't get that spark.
Did it trigger emotions? Sure.
Did it make me smile? At times.
Was there a plot? There was.
Despite not feeling the spark, I was interested enough to keep going, to find out what happened in the end. The story itself is sweet.
Who doesn't love a forbidden romance?
I just think some things needed to be tweaked - specifically the romance and some word usage that bothered me.
Now, I make no secret that I don't like the love at first sight trope. I find it's a lazy way to bring two characters together. I've read books where it's done right, and other's that it isn't, and I am just not feeling like it was executed here the way it could of been.
Yes, two characters, just like people, can feel an immediate connection with one another. An attraction.
But these two fall in love with one another rather quickly, considering they barely spend any time together. It's implied that there are times they have spent time together off-page ... but how is the reader supposed to believe the romance between these two when we don't get enough moments of them together? How am I supposed to believe that Will loves all these different traits of Bree's, when I don't have enough information to do that?
I want substance to go along with the words.
Some of the words used in this book stood out to me, and took me out of the story.
The word giggle, for instance.
To me, giggle is more feminine. While I don't mind the word giggle being used for a male character when they are being tickled, and its implied that his laughter is high pitched and surprised, I'm okay with it.
One of the times the word giggle is used is in an intimate moment, and honestly, if my husband was doing that to me, and giggled, I would push him away.
Chuckle. A man chuckles. If my husband chuckles in an intimate moment, he gets to continue.
There were things I liked, or course.
I liked her friendship with Sienna. I liked his friendships with Logan and JR.
I liked her reconnecting with her father.
I enjoyed the author's take on Bree's healing journey from her abusive ex, and highlighting the different types of abuse he inflicted. While I had a lot of trouble connecting with these characters, I did connect with Bree on something she does after the break up as an act of rebellion against her ex, because I did the exact same thing.
Now, my ex wasn't abusive. He was great while we were together. I was devastated when we broke up. And angry. I looked in the mirror, and decided to ruin one of the things he said he loved about me - my long hair - and chopped it off.
It didn't look great, but my dad took me to get it fixed up.
But that emotion, that feeling of taking control of something when you feel lost - I connected with that.
All of Me wasn't a hit for me. I couldn't connect with the characters, and despite liking the story, the writing style is just not for me. It may be a good read for you though, so if the synopsis intrigues you, it's out today!