If Darcy Barrett hadn’t met her dream man when she was eight years old, the rest of the male population wouldn’t be such a let-down. No one measures up to Tom Valeska, aka the best man on Earth, not in looks, brain or heart. Even worse is the knowledge that her twin brother Jamie saw him first, and claimed him forever as his best friend.
Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. One percent of Tom has had to be enough for Darcy, and her adoration has been sustained by his shy kindness. And if she’s honest, his tight t-shirts.
Now Darcy’s got three months left to get her life together before her twin insists on selling the tumble-down cottage they inherited from their grandmother. By night, she’s working in a seedy bar, shooting down lame pickups from bikers. By day, she’s sewing underwear for her best friend and wasting her award-winning photography skills on website shots of pens and novelty mugs. She’s enjoying living the messy life, and a glass of wine or ten… until that one night, when she finds a six-foot-six perfect package on her porch.
Tom’s here, he’s bearing power tools—and he’s single for the first time in a decade.
As a house flipper extraordinaire, Tom has been dispatched by Jamie to give the cottage a drastic facelift that will result in a ton of cash. Darcy doesn’t appreciate Tom’s unsentimental approach to knocking down walls, and he really, really doesn’t approve of her current burnout boyfriend. They can’t be in the same room together without sparks flying- and it’s not the faulty wiring. One bedroom wall separates them at night, and even that’s looking flimsy.
Will Tom ever see Darcy as anything other than a little-sister obstacle to get around? And can she stand up to her most formidable opponent—her twin? This time around, she’s determined to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers, and he’s never managed to say no to her yet…
I have to be upfront with the fact that I am not one of those huge fans of The Hating Game and this might be an equally unpopular opinion. I really just wanted to give Sally Thorne’s writing another chance, especially because this one has my favorite friends to lovers trope, and I was very excited to get approved for the ARC. Now, I’m just not sure what to make of my feelings.
First off, no one is an endearing character here. Darcy comes across as emotionally closed off, selfish, self-pitying, jealous while also being confident enough to stand up for herself and not take s*it from anybody. It was refreshing to see a character with a chronic heart problem, dealing with the affects and managing her life accordingly, but the problem is that she doesn’t manage her health issues properly, is very neglectful to the point of being reckless with her life and I kept wishing that she wouldn’t end up in a hospital. However, despite not liking her initially, I warmed up to her as the story progressed and I feel she grew as a person and also understood what she wanted from life.
Tom is Darcy and Jaime’s best friend and he is quite a shy person despite his imposing figure. It is quite evident from the beginning that he loves Darcy and she him but each have their own insecurities preventing from fessing up their feelings. Tom is especially scared that once the renovation is done, she would leave again like usual. He is not exactly a pushover but he does tend to do everything the twins want, and tries too hard to live up to their expectations of perfection from him. He is too scared of losing them and ends up making mistakes in the process. I liked that he and Darcy were able to communicate more honestly in the latter half of the book but there was just something missing for me.
Jaime is a very disagreeable person and if not for the last 10% , I would have downright hated him. He comes across as rude and uncaring and completely disrespectful of his sister – but the truth is we mostly know him through Darcy’s perspective. So, his redemption towards the end felt too quick and unnatural to me. I actually enjoyed the other side characters more. Darcy’s best friend Truly is a supportive one to have in her corner and I especially found the idea of her underwear business very amusing. The construction crew is also an interesting group of guys and I really enjoyed Darcy’s fun banter with them. I just wish there was a little more story featuring any of them.
One thing I have to commend the author is her knack for writing an entertaining story – one you don’t want to put down even if you are not completely invested in it. I also liked the character development arc that we got Darcy. But I guess it’s time I admit that probably this writing style is not for me – it was too flowery and metaphorical for my tastes. There is also no actual “falling in love” that I could feel happening here. It was obvious that they were in love and just needed some courage to declare their feelings. But I never actually understood the why. There was never any reason for their intense feelings that I could fathom and that really disappointed me.
I just want to say that the book was an entertaining read but not really a memorable one. However, if you are a fan of the author, please take my review with a grain of salt and definitely give this one a chance.