Book Look: All of You

I'm beginning to feel like the universe did not want me to write this review. Every time I sit down to write it, something comes up, so here I am at six a.m., trying to get this done before my deadline. Because I am a professional (or something). Okay, deep breath, if I can successfully do the thing, then I can have the coffee.

When I was approached about All of You, I was interested and excited because it's very different from my "normal" reading selection. I'm just a woman that doesn't do romance novels, probably because I'm more than a little jaded, but like...they're super formulaic and I can usually guess the ending before I've reached the middle of the book. That's not fun for me, so I generally don't enjoy reading it. That being said, this book ended up surpassing my expectations.

Let's talk about our female protagonist: Cassidy Rae is a single mom working in a diner, trying to make ends meet and provide a great life for her daughter with what she has. She comes across as someone I'd easily be friends with: she's not necessarily easy to get to know (at least she doesn't make it easy for the fella coming up, but we'll get to him), but she's loyal and very sweet once you get her to open up. I really appreciated that, for once, we have a woman in significantly poorer circumstances than our male protagonist, but she's never treated like a damsel in distress just waiting around for some dude to come sweep her off her feet.

She's kinda given up on that scenario, and I can certainly understand and appreciate that.

Then there's Jason, our Prince Charming who really isn't always very charming, but he tries. He happens into the diner Cassidy works in, and he's just charmed by her because she doesn't treat him like he's anything but ordinary--did I mention Jason's part of a pretty well-known band? I guess being served like any other dude's just his thing, because he keeps coming back for her, he keeps trying. He comes around, he gets to know her daughter, and patiently wins her heart.

It's all very sweet.

Reading this book took me back to little Marah, who loved fairy tales and happily ever after...I guess sometimes I still do. This book has very little drama, a guy who respects the woman he's pursuing, and I'll be damned if I didn't root for them in spite of my own personal hangups. Did I have some criticisms about the book? Well sure, I felt like the writing wasn't as strong in a few areas as it had been through the majority of the book, and it was a little bit of a battle for me to get through the last quarter of it--but that's possibly because I finished it while I was on a plane and sometimes that works against you. There's a character that happens into the back half of the book (I'm trying really hard not to spoil this for you guys, because I want you to form your own opinions) that I honestly didn't feel was necessary to bring in; all their presence seemed to do was add a few moments of tension, I guess, but there was enough going on with our established characters, their hangups and family lives, I just felt like it was a little...much.

That being said, I'd read it again. I need to read the rest of the books in the series - I was sent the ARCs for all of them, but then I'd read it again because I feel like I'd care more about the rest of Jason's band if I knew who they were. This is technically a story that can be read without reading the other books, but I feel like I'd personally get more out of it if I knew about the background characters and their relationships.

If you look at my prior posts about this novel, you'll find all sorts of links to Goodreads and Bookbub, so I'll just send you right on over to Amazon to pick this baby up. I really do think it's worth a read and, if romance novels are your thing, I think you'll really enjoy this book. It's a great escape if you're feeling like you need one.