When East Coast elite and wealthy bachelor Gavin Williams wakes up in a rural West Virginia hospital, he doesn’t remember who he is or where he’s from.
He doesn’t remember his heiress fiancée, his luxury homes, his exotic travels, or his private plane.
And he especially doesn’t remember insulting local country-girl and fiery redhead Jamie Sutton, smashing her dreams, and leaving her in a pinch.
So when a redhead in overalls stands over his hospital bed and convincingly tells him he loves banjos, hound dogs, and rustling chickens, what’s he supposed to do?
Suddenly Gavin is scrambling to fit into a country life that doesn’t feel familiar and that can’t possibly be his. A wife? Kids? A chicken coop?
His life is full of holes and secrets, desires and dreams, and as Gavin learns more he begins to wonder—will he ever remember? And what happens when he does?
|Title:||My Better Life|
|Series:||Soul Mates in Romeo (Book 6)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
|Point of View:||First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||West Virginia, USA|
|Release Date:||19th July, 2022|
Overboard in the mountains
I have read and enjoyed all of Sarah Ready’s Soul Mates in Romeo series of which this is the 6th book. With that said, it’s very loosely tied to the other books in the series, the town of Romeo or the soul mate predictions of Miss Erma. While that’s not a problem, this book is more connected through family connections (Gavin is Will from Romance by the Book’s twin brother). You still don’t need to have read any other book to enjoy this one and it comes with its own HEA.
While the previous book in the series (Married by Sunday), borrowed from French Kiss, this book is pretty much a straight retelling of the film Overboard (with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) but with the gender roles reversed and transplanted into the mountains. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I happen to love that movie, but there are definitely things that work in a film that don’t work so well when you have to hear about the thoughts, feelings and motivations of the characters on the pages of a book. I was also a teensy bit uncomfortable about the straight lifting of lines from the movie and the scenes that were near identical.
With that said, I liked the characters and storyline and, as always, Sarah Ready really hooks me in with her vibrant and engaging writing style. The book is written in first person, present tense and from the viewpoints of both Jamie and Gavin – which works well, even though for most of the book Gavin has amnesia.
Despite that, Gavin is a nice guy. He doesn’t appear that way at the beginning of the novel but you forgive him as soon as you see how upset he is over his own behaviour. And just in case you haven’t, as soon as he gets to Jamie’s house and his real personality comes out, you’ll fall in love with him. He’s a sweetheart and a good man. I didn’t like the way he thought about Jamie at the beginning – calling her drab and ugly. I know there’s a common storyline where the hero doesn’t find the heroine attractive until he falls in love – then he finds her the most beautiful woman in the world. While that’s nice, Gavin’s initial thoughts on Jamie made it hard for me to believe that he suddenly found her attractive or wanted her as much as he seemed to.
I liked Jamie, too, but her morals and values really took a beating from the whole situation. She definitely showed concern over her actions but she sure did throw those issues out the window when she was having a nice time. I just felt it a wee bit hard to identify with her and her lifestyle. In the film, the family of all boys just needs a woman’s touch in the home (yes, I know, traditional gender roles blah blah blah) but in this story, what Gavin brings to the household isn’t as clear-cut. He fixed some cabinet handles. Come on now – even if I had 3 kids and 3 jobs, you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be fixing my cabinets my damn self. But I digress…
Even though I was slightly disbelieving about the attraction between our main couple, I did enjoy the sexy times. There’s no sex while Gavin has amnesia which I was glad about, despite it meaning the sex came really late on in the story. I’m not sure I could have forgiven Jamie had she properly slept with Gavin while he was Billy.
It’s not my favourite of Sarah Ready’s romances but I admit to finishing the book with a happy sigh. And anyone who knows and likes 80s romantic comedies enough to pay homage to one has to be alright in my book. Still a book I would recommend if you’re reading through the Soul Mates in Romeo series or just looking for a light and fun romance to read while the sun is high. 4 stars.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy.
Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.
Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.
You can visit her online at www.sarahready.com