Plot: In Laura Ashley Gallaher’s debut novel, Jessica Connors has just slept with former high school crush and current boss Jake Williams and she is utterly obsessed with and repelled by him. Jake, on the other hand, is something of a jerk—too self-centered to do anything but play games. Jessica sees herself as an independent career-minded woman, but her plans for the future must take into account those terrible migraines she gets, which turn out not to be migraines at all but a cancer that will require a hysterectomy. The life and death choices Jessica and Jake must now confront will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and each other.
Prose/Style: Gallagher describes every moment of the action and every thought that goes through Jessica’s head in painstaking detail. This hyper attention to detail at times make the descriptive prose a little forced, but the dialogue is natural and realistic.
Originality: This novel has everything—a new love, past loves, old trauma, a life-threatening medical crisis, partner violence, an unplanned pregnancy, and a lot of soft-core sex. Gallagher does an excellent job of weaving all of these elements together to create a page-turner that will leave readers eager for her next novel, Losing Love, due out in early 2022.
Character Development/Execution: Despite her fervent need for independence, Jessica has a wide-ranging and committed support network that helps her navigate through her medical challenges and her relationship with Jake to truly become the person she envisions herself being. As Jake faces those challenges with her, his playboy attitude falls away and he becomes a responsible partner not only in his business but in his personal life.
Date Submitted: August 08, 2021