All for You, Book 1
Heat Factor: Respect is sexy, especially in bed.
Character Chemistry: They just really like each other.
Plot: Sam always stands on her own feet. When she meets Graham, she realizes that being self-sufficient is kinda lonely, and that maybe she’ll be ok if she lets others help her sometimes.
Overall: Sometimes you just want a gentle, calm book, and this fits the bill. Plus, I learned more than I ever thought I’d know about fly fishing!
Angling for You is a hyper-realistic contemporary romance where two normal people meet, date, and work out their problems with kindness and communication. I know I used to yell a lot about how I wished romance novels would model healthy relationships—the kind of relationship I aspire to have with my husband—but when I actually read them, I find myself unmoved. Turns out when I read a contemporary romance, I want fake dating and drama, not adults acting like reasonable human beings. Another one to chalk up to the weird stuff going on in my id. However, not everyone is me, so if you do like romances that model kindness, respect, and mutual growth, this one is very well done.
Here’s what’s going on. Sam is working several jobs while putting herself through graduate school. One of those jobs is working as a fly fishing guide, where she gets a lot of shit from many of her clients, and not a lot of support from her bosses. Graham is mourning his father—who left him a very fancy fishing pole. (Rod? Don’t ask me to be accurate about terminology here.) Graham hasn’t fished since he was a kid, so he hires Sam to help him brush up on his technique. Cue some really lovely scenes of them fishing together. There’s a bit of the forbidden around their relationship since Sam never dates clients and Graham never dates students at the university (he’s a librarian), but they establish fairly quickly that they’re both ok with making an exception to their self-imposed rules in this instance.
What I liked about this book is that the growth the characters undergo never feels forced. Rather, the growth develops slowly (and sometimes in sudden spurts) as circumstances shift. And while it seems, from the set-up, that only Sam will grow—she is the person whose circumstances shift the most over the course of the narrative—Graham also changes in important ways. Sam learns to accept help; Graham learns that help isn’t always what is needed.
I wouldn’t say this book is super romantic, in the sense that there are no big moments of drama or grand gestures, but there are some lovely small moments between Sam and Graham. Overall, it was a nice read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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