The Best Books You’re Not Reading is a new-ish feature at Novels Thoughts. Long ago, TV Guide had The Best Shows You’re Not Watching, where they would highlight great shows that weren’t high in the ratings. We wanted to do something similar. We’ll be spotlighting books that we love but haven’t seen a lot of buzz about in Romance Land.
Today’s spotlight is on Fix You (Second Chances, Book 1) by Mari Carr.
Zoey and Rob have been best friends for more than 20 years, roommates for over a decade. They’ve been each others rock, sounding board, support system, and comic relief for years. Now they’ve both reached the point of accepting the love they feel for each other is more than friendship but before either can act on it, Zoey gets devastating news. She has breast cancer. More than anything Zoey wants her best friend but he’s on tour, finally realizing his dream of being a rock star and she won’t pull him away from that.
When Zoey calls Rob a few minutes before a gig “just to check in” he knows something is wrong. He finishes his current gig then immediately catches a flight home. Whatever the problem is, he’ll be there for her. He never expected what he would find when he got home but once he knows, he’ll do anything he can for the most important person in his life. And he won’t waste any more of their precious time denying the passion they both feel.
I can’t remember the last time every aspect of a book worked so perfectly for me. The strength of their bond came through immediately and I loved the flashback scenes that showed the building blocks of this amazing love. Their first meeting, the first kiss, when Zoey missed a period at age 17 and Rob was there to hold her hand and offer to drive her to another town to buy a pregnancy test, the fights, and the teasing. Then seeing where they are now. Rob sitting in the room, helpless, as the woman who means the world to him has poison pumped into her veins in an attempt to save her life. The fear, anger, and love come across so clearly as well as his determination that everything will be okay because there is no other option in his mind.
There is a head shaving scene that had me giggling through tears that pretty much sums up everything I loved about this book. It’s not all sadness and angst. They have fun together and there is plenty of heat in this story.
Another thing that I loved about Fix You was the strong friendship Zoey has with her girlfriends. I don’t see nearly enough of this in romance and that support system for Zoey took this from being a good romance to being a great book that will stick with me. This is one of my favorite scenes involving “the wine girls.”
When she told the “wine girls”, as Robbie called them, about her breast cancer, they’d found a way to make her laugh, and then surrounded her with more love and support than a single person could hold. They’d promised to throw a going away party for her tumor at this Thursday’s happy hour. Josie texted her this morning to say she’d composed a poem for the event entitled Good Riddance: Fuck You Cancer. Zoey was looking forward to hearing it.
Fix You was a perfect blend of spice, angst, and sweet and was so much more than I was expecting. It was one I finished in one sitting, not because it’s short but because I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see the other “wine girls” get their well-deserved HEA.