I’m very fussy when it comes to picking books. Fantasy and historical fiction are my favourite genres and I read them almost exclusively.
I am also a writer and – surprise, surprise – these are the genres I write too.
About four years ago, I was on a writing critique site called Critique Circle. I was submitting chapters of one of my novels, and in order to find critiquing partners, I was critiquing work by other writers. However, I pretty much stayed within the fantasy and historical fiction genres.
Then one day, I was a little fed up with my usual genres and I came across the first chapter of a romance novel, written by Abby Jimenez. I thought I’d have a look and try something different – but to be honest, I was fully expecting it wouldn’t be my thing.
But then I read the chapter and I was HOOKED. Abby’s writing pulled me in, but so did the warmth, the humour, and the characters.
The first chapter of the book that I read, ended up being The Friend Zone – which I quickly devoured. Abby also sent me another book called Jaxon in the Water, which ended up being The Happy Ever After Playlist. These books are both amazing. I couldn’t put them down. I knew, way back then, that these books would be published.
On top of our critiquing relationship, we also developed a great friendship. To this day, Abby and I are in contact. She is my “go-to” for all my writerly questions and she sends me her books to read before they are published.
If you look at her Facebook group, you will see her books are doing big things in America. However, she’s not as well know over in the U.K. and Ireland. This needs to change – and no doubt it will once her books are adapted into movies – which excitingly is on the cards!!
Abby’s books are classed as romance or romantic comedy, but what made them stand out is that they have heart. These are not vapid characters who can’t decide which dress to wear to the next party. No, they are real women with real problems. The Friend Zone deals with fertility issues. The Happy Ever After Playlist deals with recovering from grief and trauma.
And so onto the review for her newest book, Life’s Too Short.
It’s about a young women in her twenties called Vanessa. Her mother, aunt, and sister both died before they were thirty from a rare and fatal genetic disorder. Vanessa is approaching this age – and she has symptoms. She’s decided not to go for treatment and wants to live life to the full – and has made a career out of making videos about her travels. Much to her surprise, her blogs and Youtube videos have amassed a huge number of followers, thus giving her the money to travel as much as she wants.
Her life suddenly becomes more difficult when her half-sister has a baby, decides she can’t cope with being a mother, and gives the baby, Grace, to Vanessa. Now no longer able to travel, Vanessa starts to think about her family and her past.
Living across the hall is Adrian. He is the opposite, the sort who is always planning ahead, has milestones to achieve, is a workaholic. He is certainly not living in the moment. When he helps Vanessa with the new baby in her life, they form a friendship, but can it go any further when Vanessa knows her life will be cut short?
Once again Abby has created a wonderful, heartfelt story. As usual you find yourself laughing hysterically – then reaching for a hanky a moment later. She has a habit of discussing topical issues and this one really touched home for me. Society has so many expectations on young people. Do you study, get a mortgage and pension? Or do you do what you want to do, travel, be creative, but do so knowing that you are not meeting the goals society thinks you should. We all have a little bit of Vanessa and Adrian in us; an inner conflict that Abby has transposed into a romantic novel.
There are lots of laughs – as you’d expect with an Abby Jimenez novel. An elderly chihuahua, a sarcastic PA, and an appearance from Kristen and Sloan (the MC’s from the previous two novels) had me laughing throughout.
It works so well and is an excellent read! If your looking for something that is both real and uplifting, this is a must read for you!
* The book is out for release on the April 20th
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