Jimenez, Abby. Part of Your World. Forever, 2022. ISBN 978-1538704370 400 pp. $15.99
In this opposites-attract romance, Dr. Alexis Montgomery, fresh off an abusive relationship and still coping with the mean ex who won’t leave their shared home, meets and falls for grilled cheese making, baby goat fostering, tattooed carpenter who runs a B&B in Wakan in a tourist village two hours away. The scandal? Daniel is only 28 to her 38, and she is a shoe-in for chief of medicine Royaume Northwestern Hospital, where a Montgomery has not only been on staff, but involved, for 125 years. Her world is mansions, designer duds, and staff; Daniel’s is an inherited house hand-built by his grandfather, flannel, and DIY.
Alexis does a lot of angsting over the right thing to do, slowly growing less superficial. Daniel is nothing but sweet and mature –and maybe a bit too perfect to be believed. He’s got his own legacy of sorts: mayor of the little town, he’s the guy who takes care of everyone and everything. The tension is not in the will they/won’t they have sex, but will they/won’t they realize it’s a LOT more than just sex.
Jimenez uses humor very effectively. In one memorable scene, breakfast is disrupted by Daniel’s doggo bringing a gift of a not-dead-yet squirrel to the party and hilarity ensues. Alexis’s brother Derek has run off with a famous pop star, and since there is an NDA, Alexis is listening to her new sister-in-law’s complete oeuvre one album at a time, which seem to correspond with her own moods and the phasing of her relationship. at their second meeting, Daniel reveals there is a $100 bet for who can take her home, this becomes another in-joke. And on a memorable date, Daniel arranges for a showing at the drive through of The Princess Bride, and they quote lines to one another throughout the novel.
I have to admit, with the “fairy tale” description, red-headed heroine and title straight out of The Little Mermaid, I had to adjust my expectations. The cover reflects the city girl/country boy theme and the format: the story is told in alternating points of view, chapter by chapter. Domestic abuse is a strong theme and while it comes with no trigger warnings, a list of resources at the back is relevant and helpful.
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #PartOfYourWorld via #NetGalley