Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: One Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry

Dear Ms. Mayberry:

I confess.  This book made me teary at the end.   I think it was because I became so attached to Gabby Wade and felt like she really deserved a happy ending.

One Good Reason Sarah MayberryGabby Wade fell in love with her boss, Ty Adamson.   They actually dated for three years but Ty could never commit to her.  And then he falls in love, get married and has a kid on the way.  Of course Gabby goes through a period of “why not me”.  It wasn’t so much that she loved Ty and mourned his loss, but she wondered what it was that allowed Ty to reach through the commitment barrier with someone else, but not her.  (I wondered that myself as I didn’t really love the heroine that Ty was paired with Ally in The Last Goodbye).

Gabby doesn’t quit her position at Ty’s furniture manufacturing plant. She loves her job, plus she has ownership in the firm itself.   She’s not really pleased about Ty bringing his brother, Jon, on on board without even giving her a heads up.  (As an aside, I felt like Ty treated Gabby poorly throughout the book.  He doesn’t consult with her about much of anything.  He doesn’t know how overworked she is and how much of HIS business she actually runs. He expects Gabby to be BFF with him still, even after he has married some other woman.  He’s myopic and insensitive at best and just selfish at worst. All I could think of during this book was thank god I’ve already read his book).

When Jon Adamson returns home to Australia to put his dead father’s affairs in order, he’s unsure of himself.  He’s always felt like an utter coward having left home as soon as he was able and leaving  Ty to deal with their father’s alcoholic rages.  Because of this, he is unsettled by Ty’s friendly overtures and snaps at Gabby at nearly every turn. Jon also begins to recognize he has a real drinking problem.  Not drinking, ashamed of himself, Jon seems to take it out on Gabby.  Yet, Jon is the only one in the story that really sees Gabby.  He sees the hurt that she tries to disguise seeing Ty and Ally together. He sees that she is overworked.  He sees that she’s entering a dark place.  Maybe he sees all these things because he’s in a dark place himself.

Jon isn’t very nice to Gabby in the beginning but I thought you did a good job of showing us that Jon wasn’t ready to be with anyone in the beginning of the book. He didn’t like himself much.  And this becomes a great source of conflict between Gabby and Jon (and the point that I really became emotionally engaged at a deeper level).  Gabby and Jon fall for each other but Jon holds himself back.  He can’t let go because he doesn’t believe he deserves it and because he doesn’t think Gabby could truly love him if she knew about this past.  He wants her to love him for who he is now. He wants that to be enough.  But it isn’t enough for Gabby because she’s already been with someone (Ty) who couldn’t make that deep commitment to her.  I loved Gabby for really sticking to her guns and saying that she deserved more.  And yes, I did buy into the fact that Jon grew into the man that Gabby deserved because he put her first.

I did feel like the transformation happened a bit too quickly; that the emotional problems Jon had to work through required more than just talking it out with Ty and Gabby.  Jon and Ty both could have used a little therapy.  (Ty because he’s just a myopic jerk at times).  B

Best regards,

Jane

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo | Harlequin

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

12 Comments

  1. Sarah
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 12:20:23

    Ty’s quick transformation made the ending really not work for me – when he loses it at the parent who he assumes is abusing his child, all I could think was “Gabby, RUN.” I really did like Gabby though – felt like she deserved better men in her life.

  2. SHZ
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 12:21:12

    I loved this book, and also loved the one before it. Tyler was a fantastic hero in his own book, so poor Gabby really got the short end of the stick!

    I liked that neither hero nor heroine is particularly likeable at the beginning of the book, and I loved seeing them transform. I actually think my most emotional moment reading was when Jon misunderstood about Gabby’s relationship status, and then she went home and took a long, hard look at herself in the mirror. I felt so awful for her, and it was something I could really see happening.

    Sarah Mayberry’s best quality in her writing is that she uses characters who are capable of doing crappy things, but we love them anyway. I always feel as though I’ve read about real people, not romance novel characters.

  3. SHZ
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 12:29:11

    I must say I loved Ally and Tyler (the couple from the last book) together in THIS book. Tyler wasn’t so great to Gabby, but boy I wouldn’t mind having him as a husband!

  4. Gretchen Galway
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 13:10:06

    I’m not going to read your review until after I read the book, but I just wanted to say Sarah Mayberry has become an autobuy for me. I think she’s fantastic.

    And thanks to Dear Author for introducing me to her.

  5. August Recommended Reads - Dear Author
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 20:03:55

    [...] REVIEW: One Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry [...]

  6. Liz Talley
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 08:28:48

    I haven’t read the book yet either, but I wanted to say I like how many times you said the characters weren’t very nice at some point, Jane. ‘Cause that’s real life and it’s something Sarah does so very well. Her character always feel so real because they screw up, act childish, and then redeem themselves. You know, kind of like all of us. As long as characters grow, I never mind a little bad behavior, even something like Jon’s losing his temper, because that feels realistic to me. (Y’all should have seen my husband lose it over the broken lawnmower a couple of days ago. I’m hiding the hammers around the house. LOL) I’d much rather have my characters messy than wrapped up with pretty bows.

    Thanks for the review.

  7. Sharon
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 00:34:42

    This review makes me want to read this. I’m going to put it on my tbr list. Thanks!

  8. Gretchen Galway
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 12:16:32

    So, I just bought it and read it over the weekend! I couldn’t put it down. Really good.

    I’m trying to figure out why I enjoyed it so much when I usually avoid alcoholism-abuse plotlines. I think it’s because Sarah Mayberry has such a gift with creating realistic characters that are both serious and funny. They’re kind of pitiful (lots of comic relief), but honorable and feisty.

    I agree that I wouldn’t want to read Tyler’s story from how he’s presented here, but he didn’t infuriate me. There can only be one really lovable hero per book, and in this one it was Jon. He still had his demons at the end, but he had them under control, and I bought the HEA.

    Loved that first sex scene, btw. Loved how she just went for it.

  9. Jane
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 12:24:52

    I’m so glad it worked for you. I am not a huge fan of the alchoholism trope, mostly because I feel like troo love can’t solve those problems and that’s so often how it is treated in romancelandia.

    I also agree that the humor balances out the dark in the story. Overall, just a good read.

  10. Jane
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 12:26:40

    I did like the way that both of them were troubled and both struck out at each other in a very real and flawed way.

  11. Jennie
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 14:05:12

    I’d never heard of Sarah Mayberry until I read your review. Now she’s on my list of auto-buy authors and I’m currently reading through her back-list. Thank you so much for introducing me to her work!

  12. Jen X
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:41:41

    I credit DA for introducing me to Mayberry, too. Will have to pick this one up pronto!

%d bloggers like this: