What I Love About You
By: Rachel Gibson
Published date: August 26, 2014
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
How hot is it: Pretty hot.
Hero: Blake Junger
Heroine: Natalie Cooper
I actively look forward to the new books of about four or five authors, and when those books finally do come out, I weirdly make myself wait to read them until the perfect time when I know I won’t be interrupted or distracted. Most times, this ends up being a really difficult practice, and one I should probably rethink, but it’s kind of like that thing where you don’t eat the food you like best until last. So in this case, Rachel Gibson is my probably something with a lot of cheese. She’s just one of those authors who can get away with phrases like “magnum wang,” create a town where the high school is called “Truly High,” and still create rich and emotionally fulfilling relationships. And so this weekend was the time I finally got to indulge.
The story here is that Natalie Cooper is a blond-haired blue-eyed ex-cheerleader whose ex-quarterback ex-husband is an ex-convict. (I liked this character, but in most ways, I did actually hate her.) She has a little girl named Charlotte, who I didn’t find too annoying. I have been known to not finish books that have children in them because there’s always baby-talking and lisping and they’re always little more than vomitously obvious plot devices. However, Charlotte wasn’t too bad. Anyway, Blake Junger is a retired Navy SEAL who is battling some PTSD and alcoholism and moves to Truly after rehab to further cope with his addiction. Natalie and Blake meet after he’s “puppy bombed” and tries to pawn his new puppy off on Natalie’s little girl. They end up sharing the dog and forming a relationship, and there’s sex, and Thanksgiving, and fainting, and other stuff, and then they fall in love.
So like I said, I think Rachel Gibson is awesome, but this book was just not my favorite. I don’t know, it hit all the right notes, but it just lacked magic for me. While Blake was one of my favorite of her guys, Natalie was just bleh. I get that we’re supposed to feel sorry for her because she married an asshole and raised a kid on her own, all while opening up her own business. But her only personality traits were that she was a responsible parent who didn’t easily trust people anymore. And that’s pretty boring. I didn’t know why they loved each other, since they didn’t have actual conversations about things, just sexual innuendo and arguments about the dog. I get they both had scars, but I was unsure how they helped each other at all, and so their relationship felt disconnected. The only thing that really grabbed me was when Blake went to AA to finally get real help and support, and I was so with him that I just kind of accepted his words that he was in love with Natalie.
Regardless, I enjoyed reading it. There were some laugh out loud moments for me, and while I’m a fake-laugh whore, I rarely think things are truly funny and not just recycled jokes. I loved Blake’s tattoo about the whirlwind, I dug the whole Navy SEAL thing, and thought Blake’s forthright nature was enough to make the book better than most romance novels. At one point he tells a photo customer to stop taking pictures of their cock. Then one of the supporting characters talks about having a conversation on the “bone phone.” I mean, it’s great stuff. I’m already looking forward to the next one!