Thursday, February 7, 2019

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Release Date - January 29, 2019
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  368 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that's inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.
The Hating Game was an undeniable hit with the romance community and one of the most buzzed about books in the genre in 2016 when it was released. To say expectations were high for Sally Thorne's second novel would be an understatement. Luckily, 99 Percent Mine delivers a book that is just as funny, swoony, and delightful as The Hating Game while ensuring we get something new as well.

Comparisons to The Hating Game are bound to happen which I think is unfortunate. 99 Percent Mine deserves to be judged on its own merit instead of just being compared to something else. The book offers up a love story that is compelling along with some memorable characters. It's a strong romance read that really does deliver on what the synopsis promises.

Those who have read The Hating Game knows that Sally Thorne has a gift for creating characters. The ones we meet in 99 Percent Mine only confirm this. Her characters are vivid and layered in a way that ensures the reader is captivated by them.

Darcy is a flawed, messy character who is incredibly bold. She's half fascinating and half exasperating but she is one hundred percent lovable. I always appreciate characters that are developed enough for me to understand their motivation. I feel like Darcy is exactly this kind of character. The reader gets a real sense of who she is and that allows for them to understand the choices she is making even if they aren't always the best choices. I loved her wild, live life to the fullest personality and that she was still shown to be vulnerable and have insecurities.

Tom Valeska has raised the bar for future leading men in romance novels. He's so kind, patient, and solid. He's dependable and protective without being overbearing. He is the good boy that just happens to also have  bit of a sexy edge to him. He's allowed to show his own vulnerabilities and weakness which is something not often showcased in romance novels. I mostly just appreciated that his protectiveness never felt suffocating. It never felt like he was dismissing Darcy's agency even as he wanted to care for her. It might be that Darcy is quick to call him on this behaviour, and that she is quick to do whatever she wants to do,  but it just the right level of 'alpha male' behaviour for me.

The relationship in this one comes with a history. They've known each other for years before the readers meet them. It's a relationship that feels lived in. This history is evident in every aspect of their romance. Their bond and friendship shine brightly through everything else. There is an ease and chemistry that is captured and comes through because of the writing. Their history feels genuine and makes the romance feel even more believable.

The other connection that is important to the story is the one between Darcy and her twin brother, Jamie. They drive each other crazy but love each other just as fiercely. This relationship felt pretty authentic as well. They fight like most siblings do but would do anything for each other. Jamie's golden boy status and attitude often infuriates Darcy while Darcy's tendency to ignore her health issues, and run away from all her other ones, aggravates Jamie just as much.

Darcy's best friend Truly needs her own book. She's charming and memorable in a way that lends itself to a companion novel. I found myself wanting to know more about her when I was reading and that is a testament to Sally's ability to craft vivid secondary characters. I also would love for Underswears to be an actual thing that exists.

Romance fans will eagerly devour this one and immediately beg to know when the next book by Sally Thorne will be released. She's definitely proven herself to be a writer to watch in the rom-com genre and that she can consistently deliver a book that will make you swoon and leave you feeling a little happier than before you read it.

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