This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Thoughts at a glance: **** (I really liked it)
Summary: (as provided by the publisher)
Flint Hopkins finds the perfect tenant to rent the space above his Minneapolis-based law office.
All the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted on Ellen’s application. Her references are good. And she’s easy on the eyes.
Flint discovers Ellen Rodgers, Board-Certified Music Therapist, plays music. Bongos, guitars, singing—not Beethoven administered through noise-cancelling headphones.
The cut-throat attorney serves up an eviction notice to the bubbly, constantly humming redhead who's too sexy for her own good. But luck is on Ellen’s side when Flint’s autistic son, Harrison, takes an instant liking to her. A single dad can’t compete with guitars—and rats. Yes, she has pet rats.
This woman …
She’s annoyingly happy with a constant need to touch him—adjust his tie, button his shirt, invade his space, and mess with his mind.
She must go.
Their lust-hate relationship escalates into something beautiful and tragic. This sexy, romantic-comedy explores the things we want, the things we need, and the impossible decisions parents and children make to survive.
Thoughts: I've been reviewing Jewel E. Ann's work for a while now--this is my fourth go-round on her review team--and I've always loved her books. Every single one.
I read a lot of contemporary adult/new adult romance, and most of them are a dime a dozen to me: ranging from fluffy to totally overdramatic, often NOT well-written, often lacking in any sort of nuance or complexity, often dripping with gender stereotypes and slut-shaming. They're often very cookie-cutter, focused on getting the hero and heroine together so they can get to the sex already, gawwwwwd!
I have also read some that are excellent, and usually those are the ones that go beyond just the sexy times. My favorite ones are the ones that are also a study in character, who, yes, still have mind-blowing, unapologetic lurrrrve, but who are also real (not always likeable) people with real issues outside of the bedroom as well, and this is something that I've thought Jewel E. Ann has always done well, and it's why I'm always happy to review her books. I first picked up her books for the love stories, but I stayed for the character stories.
I'm not going to lie, her last two books dealt with some definitely problematic people in problematic relationships and dark situations. (Note: They were intentionally problematic and complex--we weren't necessarily supposed to root for them, and I like that sort of a curveball.) Look the Part definitely felt lighter and a little funnier, though that is not to say that the book isn't without some moments where I teared up as well. There were moments that were totally gut-wrenching, and there were moments that made me laugh out loud. ("90% of parenting is cleaning up bodily fluids"--um, YES. I don't think there's a single bodily fluid I haven't come into contact with at this point in my life.)
The summary mentions Flint's son Harrison, and a lot of the story does revolve around their relationship, but I also really appreciated that this book also delves into the relationships between Flint and his parents, as well as Ellen and her parents (and even grandparents). This book is kind of beautiful in its exploration of parent-child relationships, and without spoiling anything, I will say that I loved all the different ways we see that love portrayed in this book.
And yes, the book is sexy. And yes, it gave me FEELS. And Flint is Sex in a Suit (it's canon, I swear) and Ellen is hilarious and smart, and JUST SO YOU KNOW, Flint's PA Amanda is like, my favorite character in the whole story :)
Personally, I would say that this is probably my favorite of Jewel E. Ann's books that I've read in a while, to be honest. Again, while I've loved every single one of her books, I connected to this one a lot, and I'm so grateful to have been able to read this one in advance for review.