Friday, January 19, 2024

Book Review: Stuck With You

By Sara Steven

Jade Monroe has finally found the man of her dreams.   Or has she? Despite them being newly engaged, her fiancé Conner has suddenly gone radio silent. And even though her family are all giving her the same advice, (he's just not that into you) she’s not convinced. Cue her friends who can see something she can’t. 

River Matthews has always been his authentic self, without apologies. Honest to a fault, light-hearted & a little lonely. Currently he's the last single standing in his group of friends & he's starting to feel his 'biological' clock ticking. He’s got close to happily-ever-after before, but now it’s once-bitten-twice-shy, and the only way he’s going to find ‘the one’ is if he takes a chance. 

The wisdom goes that if you just stop looking, your perfect partner will appear, but who will be there when Jade and River stop searching for ‘the one’? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I’ve read several other books by Aimee Brown, learning a little about River when he was a secondary character, before I dived into Stuck With You. River's personality really stuck out to me, given how rough around the edges he is. It was really nice to get a deeper perspective into how he thinks, especially when it comes to romance. Jade is a woman who has been on his mind for a very long time, but given the fact that she’s taken, he knows that nothing could ever come from his secret crush. 

Jade hasn’t had an easy life. She’s lost so much, so even though it seems crazy that she’d accept a proposal so soon after knowing Conner, it made sense. Even when her friends and family try to convince her to really see Conner for who he is, it’s hard to let go of the fact that someone loves her–even though that love seems misguided and veiled in secrecy. Conner was a really unlikable character. From the get go, I sided with Jade’s support system! I think it can be really hard to see the truth when you’re on the inside, looking out, versus standing on the outside, looking in on a situation.

Despite the fact that Jade knows she’s technically engaged, finding companionship and friendship through being with River is just so easy and organic. As much as he’s felt a crush on Jade, there have been moments in the past where Jade has felt the same about him, but neither of them have ever spoken up about it. I thought given River’s personality, it might be tough for him to find someone who really compliments him, but I think Jade does. They seem to be a good fit–even if it means that friendship is all they’ll ever achieve together. 

I liked the angle of “will they or won’t they,” particularly when it comes to Jade and deciding on the fate of her engagement, and River and his future romantic relationship with Jade, but what I liked most was getting to see River in a completely different light. In the other books he’s highlighted in, he comes off as an obnoxious goofball who doesn’t let up, but here, in Stuck With You, we get to see a more sensitive side to him. There is more vulnerability to him, which makes him more endearing. We get to see him through Jade’s viewpoint, softening those hard-to-reach edges. It made for a really entertaining, enjoyable, yet sweet read, too. A definite five-star experience for me!

Thanks to Aimee Brown for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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