2 out of 4 stars
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The Both of Us by Jayne C. and Doug Sedwick is a steamy romance novel about two people who meet by chance at a train station. Cass is too busy yelling at Doug to notice how attractive he is during their first meeting, but repeated chance encounters give her the opportunity to explore how she feels about him. Meanwhile, Cass is the only thing on Doug’s mind, but he’s afraid of moving too fast for her. Between this and his complicated roommate situation, he doesn’t know how forward he should be.
This romance had a fairly original plot for the genre. The story is told by alternating viewpoints between the two main characters. Cass is a more developed character than Doug, who doesn’t get nearly as much backstory. I felt like even Doug’s roommate had more personality and depth than he did. Although it employs very typical romance tropes, I wasn’t bored reading the book because the writing was good and (mostly) avoided clichés.
Of course, the middle of the book is largely made up of erotic scenes with little plot development. I expected this to be the case, but I didn’t think it would just be one sex scene after another without much development of the characters or storyline. It felt like the overall plot was paused for the middle 60 pages (out of 90). When the plot finally came back, it was an obvious attempt to wrap up the book quickly with an unnecessarily dramatic situation that hits the reader in the face. I don’t want to give spoilers, so I’ll just say it was incredibly jarring and felt like a forced attempt to push the two lovers closer together so they could make a commitment.
Overall, I would give this book 2 out of 4 stars. I appreciated that it avoided clichés, and I enjoyed getting to know Cass’s character better; however, Doug was simply a stereotypical male love interest, so I didn’t get invested in his side of the story. In addition, the book really lacked a plot, and the ending didn’t feel like it fit with the rest of the story. I also found many grammatical mistakes, which weren’t very distracting but did indicate that the book isn’t professionally edited.
I would recommend this book for people who like romance with a heavy dose of erotica and aren’t looking for a complicated plot. Of course, the sexual scenes in the book make it inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18.
The Both of Us
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