Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review - Just the Thing by Marie Harte

Just the Thing
by Marie Harte
Series: The Donnigans, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 4, 2017


Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn't prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life―along with a gorgeous woman who won't give him the time of day.

Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She's been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn't until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing.

Soon they're sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.

I liked this one, but had a hard time really connecting with the characters at times. With two broken people I expected to get pulled into their connection, and although their issues were addressed, it was done more separate than together so I think this is where the disconnect happened for me.

Both Gavin and Zoe have experienced loss and both are trying to move their lives forward. Where Gavin tried to use alcohol and sex as his escape, Zoe threw herself into work and the gym…the gym where Gavin works. When Zoe finally gives in and decides to accept the offer of a date from Gavin it’s quickly apparent that their attraction and feelings are hot and hard. I loved that Gavin didn’t try to cover up how he felt with Zoe – he did make it clear that he didn’t know how much he had to give, but he was interested in more than a one night stand. Even though I felt their dialogue could sometimes be a bit repetitive – how many times do I need to hear Gavin extolling all his manly virtues – there was some real cute wordplay between these two.
“So you want to keep hanging out and having sex?”

“Or, as your people call it, dating?”

“My people?”

“Yeah, womankind. Because my people are crude.” He shifted a bit, wondering if she’d notice, but he had to. God, she was so tight around him. “Dudes would be calling it all sorts of insulting things.”
There are lots of very serious issues addressed in this book and I enjoyed seeing the interactions between Gavin and his therapist. I think the author did an outstanding job of addressing his issues with the care they deserved.

The Donnagin family seems filled with an interesting if not a bit off-centered group of characters. Between the family prank wars to the fun sibling interactions, this is definitely a family that would be all sorts of fun to be friends with. I loved how close-knit they were and the roles they play in each other’s lives.

There were some fun moments, but overall I just never clicked with this one. It was good, there was nothing really wrong with the book, it read well and has a really great cover, but again, I just never really connected with the characters. That being said, this Donnagin family has definitely gotten me interested in the next story, so I will probably check that out when it comes out.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from NetGalley.

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