This is a relatively short read. My first from Joanna Blake, it’s full of angst and young love. Not too young though – they’re in their early 20s but think and talk like they’re teenagers. Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Jackson is the high school football player that didn’t peak during that time. He actually went on to do something valuable and note worthy. He joined the Navy. While stationed on a ship, there was an explosion and Gabe was injured. Going home to recover, Gabe’s care-taker is none other than Tabitha ‘Tabby’ Peterson. Tabby’s the girl that Gabe had a crush on in high school. Once, he’d even tried getting it on with Tabby, but she was smart enough to say no.
During his recovery, Gabe and Tabby reacquaint themselves and things move very quickly from ‘no’ to their HEA. Blake does do a credible job of giving a voice to each main character. Initially, Gabe is strongly in lust with Tabby, that much didn’t change from high school in the way that he saw her. She’s got two assets, and their matching curves, that he (and most of the people in their small town) can’t take his eyes off. They’re described to be of mammoth proportions. To Tabby’s credit, she doesn’t accent her assets unless she’s at work at the local bar and even then she down plays them as much as can be reasonably expected.
Working 2 jobs to make enough money to leave town, Tabby is very motivated to leave. She’s drawn unwanted attention since her breasts started developing and all she wants to do is to leave the town and people who called her ‘Shabby Tabby’. For whatever small town reason, Tabby was deemed promiscuous when her breasts started growing – you know, typical small town mentality that we’re told is rampant in them all. This is no different. Gabe’s only reason for being in town is to heal and then he too is leaving. He’s got plans.
The chemistry between these two seemed more about Gabe wanting Tabby than vice versa. She’s a 22 year-old virgin (nothing wrong with that) but not only was she a virgin, her experience with the opposite sex is very limited. It seemed to be non-existent. I could have stood to see Gabe being a bot more patient with her versus the bull in a china shop mentality he had going. And that entire sex without a condom thing made me stumble a little bit. Tabby seemed smarter than the choice she made.
For as much time as we didn’t see them in the bedroom, I wish we got to see them more as a couple. Too many thoughts, not enough dialogue which made the angst laden Tabby a bit too much sometimes. Gabe was just a pig at others.
Happy reading folks!
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Joanna Blake
Release Date: January 17, 2017