Small Change by Roan Parrish (Small Change #1)
Released: June 1, 2017
Reviewed by Tracey
Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.
Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.
When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.
Small Change by Roan Parrish is the first in a new series that is a spin off from The Middle of Somewhere books. Ginger is a feisty tattoo artist who has risen, in a male dominated profession, to owning her own shop, and she is planning her first art show. She is such a well-drawn character that she practically leaps off the page. Her foibles and quirks ring authentically. Owning her tattoo shop in Philadelphia has come at a price, and she has never had the time for personal relationships. She has a strong need to prove herself to her family and friends and to show that she can stand on her own two feet without needing the help of others, independence means everything to her. She is also struggling with the fact that her best friend, Daniel, has left town and moved off for a job opportunity. The author introduced Christopher and Ginger in The Middle of Somewhere (first book in the series) as side characters to Daniel’s story. The timeline for Small Change runs parallel to Daniel’s story, so it’s all happening at the same time.
Christopher owns a coffee and sandwich shop down the street from Ginger. They meet at the shop, and the chemistry between the two is instantaneous. Christopher is a sweet guy, but I just want to add a ‘bless his heart’ to any description of him. He’s the almost perfect boy next door…..unfortunately, that comes off as a little boring. His POV in the book is expressed in emails written to his brother, and I see more life and depth in his emails than in his dialogue with Ginger. Their romance is sweet, with some pretty hot sex going on…there is a wicked hot alley scene, but sex standing up in public always seems exciting and a little nasty! He is endlessly patient with Ginger’s elusiveness, I think much more than any man in real life would be. He’s just a little too good to be true, and Ginger seems to think the same thing. She can’t help feeling that he’s going to realize she’s not worth the effort and then he’ll be in the wind. She thinks anyone who would be with her would want her to change.
When I’d asked Christopher what I should wear, I had a thought I meant should I dress up, but it was only when he’d looked at me blankly and told me to wear whatever I wanted that I realized I’d halfway been expecting him to tell me to wear something to cover up my tattoos.”
Christopher falls in love with Ginger just as she is and Ginger just cannot understand that concept. Everyone in her life, except her close friends, wanted her to change to suit them.
“I was over changing who I was to try and make my parents happy; had been for years. But the fact that I’d stopped trying didn’t mean I ever stopped wishing things were different. My mom had always found fault with everything I did. With everything I was. The things I most valued in myself–my strength, my outspokenness, my self-possession–she demeaned. To her, I wasn’t strong, I was rude and thoughtless. I wasn’t outspoken, I was antagonistic and embarrassing. I wasn’t self-possessed, I was a misfit rebelling because she wished for acceptance.”
As always in a HEA, they work out their differences in the best way possible. Ginger realizes that she is worthy of Christopher’s love, and Christopher forgave her for things that she had said out of anger and fear. My favorite quote of the book was actually spoken by Christopher’s brother, Jude.
“It’s unfathomable how much we can hurt the people we care about the most,” Jude said. “And it’s miraculous how many time they can forgive us. Whether they should or not.”
There are a number of things I loved about this book, I loved how the author developed the character’s personalities. I love that the heroine is bisexual, and that there isn’t a big deal made about it, other than it’s just another personality quirk. I loved seeing the tattoo world through Ginger’s eyes…I learned a lot. I loved the social media campaign she starts, and how it empowered women across all lines having each other’s backs. I loved Christopher and Jude’s relationship and history. The secondary characters were just awesome, and I am waiting for Jude’s story. He really interests me, and I can’t wait to read what happens with him. I didn’t ‘not’ like the book, I was just not really into it….I was bored. I definitely feel this is an ‘it’s me, not you’ opinion of the book, and I know my opinion isn’t the prevailing one. I love Roan Parrish’s work, it just wasn’t the thing for me.