All The Way by Kristen Proby (Romancing Manhattan #1)
Released: August 21, 2018
William Morrow Paperbacks
I’ve wanted to read Proby for a while as I’ve always heard good things. As this was a first book in a new series, I thought I’d get in at the beginning, rather than playing catch up with some of her older works. The first thing I do when I sit to write a review is to re-read what I’ve highlighted and any notes that I made while reading. Sometimes, I open that feature and not one thing is highlighted and there are no notes. That could mean the book was so great I didn’t take the time to highlight and just powered through, or it could mean things weren’t going so well and I wanted to remember what I was feeling. I made a lot of highlights and at just 10%, I make a note about a character–but more on that later.
London Watson is recuperating on Martha’s Vineyard after surviving a terrible house fire where both her parents perish. A successful Broadway actress, London is struggling with her recovery-worried that she may never be able to dance again. She does her physical therapy, and is improving but it’s slow going and the clock is ticking.
Finn Cavanaugh owns the home next to London’s. Finn is the attorney who handled London’s parent’s estate after their death. They meet briefly at the reading of the will, and then by chance (or not) they meet at Martha’s Vineyard when Finn brings his teenage niece out to his place for a few weeks. Finn just happens to own the home next to London’s.
I’m afraid this was not the best introduction to Ms. Proby’s work. I liked Finn, initially. The fact that he brought his niece out for a few weeks to give his widowed brother-in-law a break was sweet and I was moved. But as the story goes on, and his personality is revealed, I struggled with connecting to him. Finn comes off a controlling, and he doesn’t listen to London. The relationship is still so new when they take a shopping trip to New York and Finn wants to buy everything London looks at. London isn’t having it and she gets really angry with him. Though I felt she overreacted a bit, it does set the stage for Finn’s nature. At the same time, London seems to be okay with Finn’s controlling nature during sex,
“Look at me.” His voice is hard, and I immediately open my eyes to find his brown ones searing into me. “You’re mine, do you understand?” I blink and nod surprised by the intensity that’s coming off of him in waves.
“This.” He pushes into me, hard. “This is mine.” I nod again.
Secondary characters in Finn’s mom, his brothers and his niece, Gabby, bring some humor to the story. London’s bestie Sasha, was fun as well and I enjoyed their interactions. But Finn and London just didn’t grab me at all. I wasn’t pulling for them, I wasn’t excited for them. They just seemed to meet, argue or disagree and then hook up…a lot. And that note I made at 10%-turns out I was right and suspecting what I did through the whole book had me reading between the lines way too much.