One Good Reason
One Good Reason has Ms. Mayberry’s excellent writing, but a few plot details had a negative impact on my grade and ultimately my ability to believe in the happily ever after. This book is the second book in a series loosely connected by the fact the hero is the brother of the hero from The Last Goodbye, however, it can easily be read as a standalone.
Tyler Adamson and Gabby Wade were a couple for over three years. Gabby loved Tyler, but their relationship failed after he was unable to lower his guard and share his emotions. Luckily they have been able to maintain their friendship, especially since Gabby works for Tyler at T.A. Furniture Designs and is an integral part of his success. Four years later, Gabby believes that she has handled the transition well, and even becomes good friends with Tyler’s new wife. However, Gabby doesn’t realize how extensively she has suppressed her emotions and femininity since the breakup. Gabby’s equilibrium is disturbed when she finds Tyler’s brother Jon in her office using her computer. She is struck by his similarities to his brother, but also the differences. And he seems like an ass.
After their father died, Jon took on the task of remodeling his old childhood home so it can be put on the market. Just being there sends him spiraling out of control, bringing back all the old memories of abuse. But Tyler intervenes, giving them both a chance to bond after years spent apart. Since Jon doesn’t have a reason to go back to Canada, he accepts his brother’s offer of employment. He doesn’t need the money as his bank account is flush after selling his construction company, but he knows that there is potential for him to revert back to using the bottle, drinking himself into oblivion to drown out the memory of his father’s voice calling him worthless.
Two days after their first tense meeting, Gabby and Jon are still rubbing each other the wrong way. He thinks she is humorless, uptight, and prissy. She thinks Jon is taking advantage of his brother with his tardiness and inappropriate behavior of flirting with clients. Jon hopes that trying to chat her up will eliminate some of the friction, so he asks about her plans for the night. After receiving a reply that she is going out with a girlfriend, he reaches the wrong conclusion about her sexuality. Thrown together again at her birthday dinner at Tyler’s, Jon asks about her partner. Taken aback by his assumption that she not interested in men, Gabby realizes that she does look like a boy.
Appalled that she wasted four years mourning over the end of her relationship with Tyler, hiding behind the veil of asexuality, Gabby is determined to snap out of it but first she has to show Jon how little his opinion means to her. Gabby is surprised that Jon gets her message, but Tyler who should know her best doesn’t have a clue. The animosity albeit simmering sexual attraction explodes out of control one night when they are both working late giving them the impetus to reevaluate their relationship. Up to this point, the author had me in the palm of her hand. The strong writing, the sexual tension, and the heroine’s way of dealing with her heartbreak all overcame my slight repugnance about the heroine having slept with both brothers. However, once the author introduces the conflict between the hero and heroine my disbelief kicked in.
Many authors like to use the scenario where meeting the right person solves unresolved long term psychological issues. I can somewhat suspend my doubts on recent traumas, but not deep-seated ones, especially from childhood. So Ms. Mayberry’s use of this plot device is disappointing as is the sense that the heroine is repeating old mistakes. And finally the hero’s disturbing act of out of control violence illustrates that his problem is larger than just finding love. After that, though, the author is back on track exploring the bothers’ relationship.
With a very impressive beginning to a melodramatic middle to a sweet ending, I wavered back and forth on the grade, finally deciding on B-. While this book is not one of my favorites, I plan to continue to watch for Ms. Mayberry’s new releases.