An interracial New Adult book…
Just You by Jane Lark
(Starting Out #2)
Published by: Harper Impulse
Publication date: May 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
The morning after the New Year’s Eve before…
Waking up to a new year with a killer hangover and hazy memories of a seriously hot hook-up the night before leaves Portia in an awkward situation… Did I, or didn’t I? The only way she’s going to find out is by standing up to the guy in question.
With no regrets, Justin is willing to play the gentleman and save Portia her embarrassment. Only then he gets a text saying, come over… and he’s not gonna lie – this is friends with a lot of benefits!
But no matter how good the sex is, there’s one thing Justin’s not down with: being this shallow rich girl’s dirty little secret…
Just You is a short, easy-to-read story about two coworkers who might not have given each other a chance…except for a drunken encounter in a hot tub on New Year’s Eve. Just You is the second in the series, but it works well as a standalone. I have not read book one (I Found You), and except for a bit at the end where it appears a storyline that started in I Found You has some drama that will continue in a future book, nothing here really depended on having read the first book.
I found Justin to be a more sympathetic character overall. The relationship he had with his brothers and the respect he had for his mother was absolutely great. He was very good to Portia, even when she was being a bit of a witch, and he called her out when she went over the line. I was definitely cheering for him throughout the book.
Portia wasn’t a bad character overall–her heart was ultimately in the right place and she had some definite justification for her issues–but for most of the book Justin was the more mature and level-headed one in their relationship. She definitely grew on me as the story progressed, though.
That being said, no twenty-something guy from the Bronx is going to ask a girl if she “fancies” going somewhere or doing something…ever. Justin also had a tendency to tack a “yeah?” on the end of his sentences, another Britishism that seemed out of place for a guy who grew up on a street where people getting shot in drivebys is apparently a common occurance. Just like when Portia, who grew up with money and went to boarding school talks about going to “Macky D’s” (which is apparently street slang for McDonald’s–I’ve only heard it shortened to Mickey D’s, so I don’t know where she would have picked the other one up given her background), these things threw me out of the story for a few disconcerting moments.
The interracial relationship was nicely handled here, which was a plus. On the minus side, most of the major conflicts in the story were resolved a bit too easily and neatly to be believed. Still, Just You was an enjoyable way to pass a few weekend hours.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate, and emotional historical and New Adult romance and is the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel, The Illicit Love of a Courtesan as well as a Kindle overall Top 25 bestselling author.
She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.
Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary New Adult stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.
You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was Katherine a story crafted from reality.
Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.
‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’
Jane is also a Charter Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this special understanding of people to bring her characters to life.