There’s something about Jimenez’s writing style that makes it easy for me to devour her words, and this was another great example of that. Also another great example of her very specific formula frustrating me, lol. We’re five books in, and by now I am FULLY aware that her romances are rom coms in the first half and angst fests in the back half. That was certainly the case here as well. I loved the unique progression from strangers to pen pals to friends and fake lovers to forever. I also loved the soft and gentle hero, who was both super swoony and also exceedingly endearing. It was awesome to read about a quieter hero who struggles with social anxiety, and Jacob was just the SWEETEST man. I love a good fake relationship romance, and this one was a lot of fun. Well, at least for awhile, lol. Watching these two fall for each other in such a tender way was definitely engaging, and it would’ve been an easy 5-star rating for me… if only it’d stuck the landing.
The story follows Briana, a doctor who quickly becomes irritated by the new hire at work. Jacob had a rocky start with all of his co-workers, and Briana is no exception. So when he writes her a letter, it’s a complete surprise to Briana. While Jacob might not be great with words when put on the spot, Briana discovers that he’s an entirely different man once you dig beneath the surface. The two start up a pen pal friendship that soon becomes more complicated than either expected. It’s not long before Briana is agreeing to be Jacob’s fake girlfriend, and the two fall into the kind of fake relationship that feels completely natural. But both are aware that it’s all an act, and any feelings they develop are entirely one-sided. It’s tough to keep that in mind though, especially when everything feels so easy between them.
Interestingly enough, I’ve seriously enjoyed ALL of Jimenez’s books, but only one has received a 5-star rating from me. And that’s because they all shift from these swoonworthy rom coms into something heavier and more dramatic in the back half – often going so far in that direction that it extinguishes my love for the couple. This didn’t go QUITE that far, but it was a close call. Much of this is soft and quiet, with a great friends to lovers feel and a cinnamon roll hero. I could feel the longing, and the mutual pining was so well done. Tons of miscommunication, but well done. I also loved the focus on Jacob’s anxiety, and that the one thing he’d always considered to be a flaw was actually what brought them closer. Briana’s patience and understanding made this feel richer, and it was clear that these two were perfect together. We also knew that Briana’s insecurities would come creeping in at some point, and they were always lurking beneath the surface. A major catalyst for all that miscommunication. But I felt like too much happened at the very end. Not only is this a super slow burn, but there is a TON of added drama in the final chapters. There was just SO much going on, and it did a lot of damage to the vibes Jimenez had been building up to that point. I won’t spoil the story, but I definitely was not a fan. However, the vast majority of this was very good, and I sincerely enjoyed it.
The audio is excellent! Zachary Webber always does a great job, and Kyla Garcia also gave a solid performance. Both of their voices were easy to listen to and fit the characters well, so the audio immediately enhanced my reading experience. The runtime (11 hours) was also ideal for bingeing, and the hours flew by. The super slow burn made it perfect as a workday listen, and the overall tone worked for that as well. I actually think the intimate scenes were spicier than Jimenez’s usual, but they were contained to the final chapters. All in all, I’m glad that I experienced this one on audio, and highly recommend the format.
Dr. Briana Ortiz’s life is seriously flatlining. Her divorce is just about finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and that promotion she wants? Oh, that’s probably going to the new man-doctor who’s already registering eighty-friggin’-seven on Briana’s “pain in my ass” scale. But just when all systems are set to hate, Dr. Jacob Maddox completely flips the game . . . by sending Briana a letter.
And it’s a really good letter. Like the kind that proves that Jacob isn’t actually Satan. Worse, he might be this fantastically funny and subversively likeable guy who’s terrible at first impressions. Because suddenly he and Bri are exchanging letters, sharing lunch dates in her “sob closet,” and discussing the merits of freakishly tiny horses. But when Jacob decides to give Briana the best gift imaginable—a kidney for her brother—she wonders just how she can resist this quietly sexy new doctor . . . especially when he calls in a favor she can’t refuse.
Start the series today!
You can definitely read these as standalones, but characters from the Part of Your World do make an appearance.
The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.
After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.
While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.
Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?
Read the audiobook review here
About the Author:
Abby Jimenez is a Food Network winner, New York Times best selling author, and recipient of the 2022 Minnesota Book Award for her novel Life’s Too Short. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen back in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to win numerous Food Network competitions and, like her books, has amassed an international following.
Abby loves a good romance, coffee, doglets, and not leaving the house.
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