Review of ‘All the reasons I need’ by Jaime Clevenger
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, the reader will catch up with the story of Julia and Reed from book one, so I recommend to read them in chronological order to enjoy it fully.
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?
‘All the reasons I need’ is 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. It’s written in third person from the exclusive point of view of Kate, so the reader has direct access to her insecurities and low-self esteem. Some readers might have preferred the story written in first person point of view to keep the narrative distance to a minimum but I think that the author pulls it through without problems.
Despite what the title and cover might suggest, this is not a light summer read. Both women have some serious baggage and a shared story of repressed feelings. There is a short flashback scene of sexual abuse that might upset some readers though it’s only a few paragraphs long. 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 their actions despite their long-running attraction which sometimes defies common sense and came close to annoy me. Despite this, 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.
Overall, a good friends to lovers lesbian romance book with quite a bit of drama and angst. 4 stars.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.