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There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?
Joel is a newly single parent after having lost the mother of his child. He’s young and struggling with grief and parenting alone.
In the first part of the book Joel is with his partner Dan and it’s Dan’s inability to be a full time parent and commit to a monogamous relationship that eventually leads to their break-up.
In the second half of the story Joel meets Liam. Liam is just who Joel needs, older, steady, loving, caring, interested in parenting.
Though there isn’t as much time as I’d like with the couple as a couple, what there is, is very sweet.
What I appreciated about this book was that it showed a different side to Jay’s writing. She is always a very fluid writer, giving us well-developed characters who are, more than anything, real.
This is the most “angsty” of her books that I’ve read, and it showed her talent for drama as well as light-hearted comedic romance.
Though I would have liked more time with the new couple and perhaps less with Dan, I can see how showing us more fully what happened in the past made Joel who he is now and why he makes the decisions he does.
I thought Evie was well portrayed too and enjoyed the relationship between her and Joel very much.
If you are looking for a more “realistic” take on romance, with some hard twists and turns to the story, this is a great book to check out.
Again I love that we are given a British narrator. He does a great job giving each character a unique voice and he does a great job with the emotion.
I loved his Liam and even thought Claire and Evie were nice (women and kids can be difficult to voice but he did a great job.)
I think his work continues to improve with each narration and I think this is my favorite of his narrations so far.
Overall, 4.25 of 5 hearts