Rarely do I love a single POV story – especially when it is straight contemporary – which made this read a real exception.
This starts with an amazing preface that doubles as both context for Solomon’s reason for writing and as a content warning for a story that isn’t as soft as the animated cover may lead people to believe. Solomon roots this story in her own relationship with her mental health and in her Jewish faith and background – which adds so much to the read honestly.
Ari is everything I want in a heroine – authentic, unique, brilliant, and also a bit of a hot mess. She is a brilliant meteorologist but isn’t able to stand up to her boss. She is happy to move on from her break up – but also is annoyed to go stag to her holiday party alone. She is happy to not let people know her… and that hurts her deeply more than she knows. Arielle grows and works on herself – a radical move in therapy I know! – and when things don’t go her way she actually confronts it.
But despite this being a single POV story – Russ (or Russell) is also a great lead! He is a young father (as in seventeen when his child is born) and has a cordial and friendly relationship with his daughter’s mother. But he also has his own issues around forgiving himself for being a teen parent and deeply loving Elodie. He is also a plus-size hero who apologizes for his body but also accepts his body – and learns that Ari loves it. (And his chest hair!)
A lot of traditionally published contemporary works these days are lower on steam – and I won’t rant about that now – but this book’s slow burn actually burns. It involves a few lovely cinnadom moments. It features a mutual menage a moi and lube used!
Side note: I bounced between the audiobook and the physical book for this and the narrator is PERFECT as Ari so if you are an audio reader – this is a great choice!