Unfortunately for Kadan Davenport, she also seems to be a magnet for him – even after a disastrous first impression that leaves him – literally – black and blue.
Jaclyn is busy trying to find some sort of balance, and Kadan is just trying not to get swept up in the chaos.
In a small city like Blakewood, it’s hard to avoid each other… especially when each additional encounter makes them wonder if they really want to.
Let’s start out on a personal and a positive note! This will be the last belated review – no more late TBR Challenge reviews from Limecello in 2021 after this! … >.> Which also I think this is supposed to be my last scheduled one for the year? Never mind that though. 🙃 Now! This book! I’m so glad I read it! I’ve already recommended it on social media. I own the ebook – but I actually just listened to the audiobook, and it’s fabulous! (The story is too of course – the narration is great too and there’s … one scene that I think really made it for me – but we’ll get there.) I fudged a little bit because Christina C Jones isn’t entirely new to me. I discovered her last year and have blown through a lot of her backlist. And listened to some of her books over and over [and over and over and over and over] already.
Jaclyn Love contains multitudes. She’s a mess but she’s not. She’s a boss. (Literally!) She’s a new (reluctant) cat mom … and she’s a fighter. Also literally. We first meet Jaclyn as she’s a bit tipsy – she’s moved out of her place because she found out her boyfriend already had a whole ass wife and family. Thinking she’ll crash at her sister’s apartment she encounters Kaden (her sister’s tenant) – and in their “introduction” she gives him a black eye and knees him in the junk, thinking he’s an intruder. I liked how honest Jaclyn was with herself. (But also in total denial about some issues – burying them deep.) And her bullshit[ing] with the police and her family. Her mouth gets her in trouble sometimes, but she’s entirely herself. Jaclyn is trying to focus on running her ice cream shop, and finally graduating from college after getting her life together. She’s 24, and it seems has had a little bit of trouble emerging from her super accomplished older sisters’ shadows. Jaclyn has a bit of a gruff exterior, but it’s only skin deep. I liked that she is so close with her family, and that they’re entirely loving and supportive. Which she appreciates and doesn’t take for granted.
Kadan Davenport is 35, and a vet. In multiple ways. He’s an army veteran, and is currently a veterinarian. I loved that he made a house call for Miss Thing (Jaclyn’s stray she rescues) – and that he stands up to his aunt. What’s low key interesting (not so different from many romance heroes in some ways, and yet totally different in others … ) about Kadan is he’s a former “fuckboy.” He knows it, he admits it. He enjoyed it. But realizes that while it was fun while it lasted, he needs to move on from that life. His dad was part of it – the good/bad influence he was. I like that Kadan knows exactly who he is too – and he’s not worried about putting his shit out there to protect his loved ones. Kadan doesn’t seem to take himself or life too seriously, which I appreciated. He knows what’s important, and what isn’t. And while he’s a jokester, he knows when things have gone too far and is grown enough to apologize for it. (Not everyone reaches that level of maturity – regardless of age.)
The attraction between Jaclyn and Kadan is instant. The interaction between them … not conducive to it. Not the first time. Or the second time. (Or … the third, really.) I normally don’t like spoilers or summaries in reviews, but … I think it’s important here. We know the first time they meet Jaclyn low key breaks into his home (is it a break in when she has a key? Unauthorized entry?) and assaults him. The second time, she brings in a cat to his clinic, and he accuses her of possibly planning to eat it. (She’s got it in a bowl with chicken – it’s a whole thing.) The third time … she’s back at the clinic to see if she can do her community service there. He calls her a criminal. They definitely don’t have the best start(s).
[Quick note: the book doesn’t detail it – but Jaclyn mentions her options were community service or jail. But also that her ex dropped the charges of her vandalizing his car – so … it seems like she’s not facing charges. She says it’s “purely punitive” and the tone is that she’s only being punished because she has the bad luck of going before the judge who knew her as a juvenile delinquent. Which … yes of course prosecutors can pursue charges even if the victim doesn’t want to – although they rarely do. So … a bit of a plot hole (that’s major) – because why else would she have to do community service then? Even if a judge hates you they can’t make you do community service for no reason … Who the judge is also comes into play.]
There’s a lot of humor in this book – and one scene where Kadan (playfully) traps Jaclyn – I don’t want to explain it because spoilers – it’s not normally my sort of humor but I was wheezing. The ribbing and back and forth between the characters is great too. Jaclyn calling Kadan “dick on demand” – because it’s supposed to be just a … booty call hook up arrangement – she tells him not to catch feelings. (They both do though, of course.) When Kadan wonders if he really should send the cat home with Jaclyn after what she considers a weapon. You really just have to read it.
And it’s not all just laughs. There’s a moment of conflict and misunderstanding. Jaclyn thinks Kadan leaves her hanging, but really he was trying to act in her best interest, and he goes all in on defending her and it’s such a great scene. And the aftermath – their difficult decisions, what Jaclyn does and her worries… the ending. <3 Jaclyn trying to get past her past.
Seriously. If you like contemporary romances, I highly recommend Christina C. Jones. She’s got a pretty good backlist so I imagine you’ll find something to catch your interest. I haven’t read all her books (yet) – but I imagine I’ll be working my way through them all! And yes, I definitely recommend I Think I Might Love You. It’s a quick, fun, sexy romance – with depth and dynamic characters. Give it a try.
You can buy a copy here.