Love Notes by Christina C. Jones
Contemporary Romance released by Christina C. Jones on February 2, 2018
Love that says something, instead of just looking like it. Love you can always trust to feel like home. For both of them, it’s something that has always been just outside of their peripheral, something to be observed rather than experienced. A depth of feeling reserved for people who were “into” that, those with a different outlook, those more… deserving. Until their paths cross. Lines are crossed. And maybe the stars are crossed too, because the connection and chemistry are so off the charts that they can’t stay away from each other, can’t avoid it… even if they think they should.
I haven’t read blue collar romances in a long time, partly because I realized that a lot of them were about secret rich people and I find that premise less interesting. If you’re going to write about rich people, then write about rich people, don’t try and disguise them. Anyway, I struggled a bit when trying to meet the prompt for this month’s TBR because it was for a blue collar romance and I had been reading entirely outrageous (in the best way) paranormal romances for the last few months. I got this book because Limecello recommended it when it was on sale a few weeks ago. And here we are. This was a fun book, and its warmth and feeling of community balanced out the darker elements. The book talks about child sexual abuse, and it is an important part of one of the love interests’ backstory. Jules is moving back to her old neighborhood and opening up a photography studio when she meets Troy, who manages a barber shop across the street from where her studio will be. Both Troy and Jules go through some character development during the book. Honestly, this is a lovely book to read. And Limecello really likes the audiobook version.
Jules has a pretty bad childhood experience that colors her interactions with her family. Despite this, she is close to her cousin, with whom she shares an apartment, and her aunt and uncle, who raised her after the terrible childhood experience was at its worst. A lot of her growth in the book has to do with emotional intimacy, which she struggles with. I loved all the scenes between Jules and her cousin, which were full of banter and warmth. I also like how Jones incorporated Jules’s knowledge of photography into the story, so that it didn’t fade into the background. For one, Troy shows that he is interested in photography—not because he wants to be a photographer himself, but because it is something Jules is good at and he respects her. And because there are cute cats that need to have their pictures taken.
Troy is trying to act more like what he thinks an adult should act like, and for the first little bit of the book, he thinks Jules is not part of that. By the end, he of course thinks otherwise. His opinion about Jules changes as he gets to know her more and as she gets to know him. They respond to each other’s flaws with warmth and compassion, not by trying to tear each other apart. We don’t get to know Troy’s background until further along in the book, and part of that background is related to how the story ends so I won’t spoil it here. Suffice it to say that it has to do with family. Troy has several friends that tease him relentlessly and a mentor figure that offers him advice when he needs it. He manages a barber shop, and genuinely likes working with hair. He sees it more like a kind of craft.
Troy and Jules have a big argument, and it’s due to genuine communication issues and accidentally stepping on each other’s feelings. I don’t know where I learned this, but the best way I can explain this argument is that it is an illustration of impact versus intent. You may not have meant to hurt someone, but you did. This argument is that, and Troy and Jules figure out how to recover from that fairly quickly, after cooling off and figuring out why things shook out the way they did.
I love reading books where people are competent and enjoy their jobs, and I think that, plus the warmth and feeling of community made this an enjoyable book for me.
You can buy a copy here.
*The kindle ebook is still on sale for $0.99 right now!
YAY I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT!!! LOL and yes – I did really like the audiobook. Wesleigh Siobhan is one of my favorite audiobook narrators, and Emmanuel Ingram is quickly joining her in that status.
And also – YES! Yes! The last part! There’s the argument and disagreement – but not manufactured drama and angst [and stupidity] just to draw shit out. Life is complicated and messy enough as is!
This is something I really appreciate about CJC’s books. <3
You guys got me to read the sample, which of course got me to buy the book.
Ah well, TBR Challenge working as it usually does.
LOL you’ll have to let us know what you think of the book please!
This sounds like a wonderful review. I loved how you explained what led to the black moment.