Review of ‘All the reasons I need’ by Jaime Clevenger,
Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
This is book two of the ‘Paradise romance’ series by this author. I absolutely loved book one, ‘Three reasons to say yes‘ which was one of my favourites of 2018. Even though these are standalone romances, you will be able to catch up with the story of Julia and Reed from book one, so I recommend to listen to them in chronological order to enjoy it fully. Abby Craden narrates both and she keeps all the characters’ voices the same so you can listen to one after the other.
Kate Owens and Mo Calloway have been friends since college and, with time, it’s been harder for Kate to hide her feelings from Mo. When a reservation mistake on a trip to Mexico leads them to share the same bed, she realises that maybe the attraction is mutual but, will they risk their friendship for a chance at love?
Despite what the title and cover might suggest, ‘All the reasons I need’ is not a light summer listen. It’s a slow burn romance with a good amount of self-introspection and angst. Compared to book one, there is more drama, the characters are more conflicted and have a lot of baggage. Both women have some serious baggage and a shared story of repressed feelings that Ms. Craden performs exceptionally.
I’ve read this book some months before listening to the audiobook. Kate is a very conflicted character with low self-esteem and a past that haunts her and, despite Mo has a good upbringing and a supporting family, her apparent confident exterior is just a screen that hides insecurities of her own. There is a good amount of mutual second-guessing in both leads’ actions despite their long-running attraction which came close to annoy me. But, I have to admit that, for me, the audiobook was more palatable than the book. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because I’m a fan of the narrator and she makes every story more realistic and absorbing. Despite this slight annoyance, it was good to catch up with the leads of book one and their children and to meet a new character who hopefully will star in a future installment of the series.
Trigger warning alert. There is a flashback scene of sexual abuse that might upset some readers though it’s very short.
Included for free with your Scribd subscription. Duration: 8 hours.
Overall, a good friends-to-lovers lesbian romance audiobook with quite a bit of drama and angst. 4 stars for the story, 5 stars for the narration. 4.5 stars.