Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss

Title:  The "What If" Guy
Author: Brooke Moss
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Autumn & Henry
Release Date: July 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back together.
Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn't thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn's got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that's been decades in the making.
Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love-and herself-with her "what if" guy teach Autumn to forgive before it's too late?

My Review:
I really liked this book, but it's not one of those books that I can necessarily pinpoint the "why" for that. This is a contemporary novel with a lot going on with the heroine, Autumn. 

The story starts with a prologue that takes place 13 years prior to when the book actually takes place. She is breaking up with the love of her life, Henry, whom she has only been dating for two months, but it has been a magical two months. They are in love, but she has just discovered that she's pregnant by the guy that she hooked up with before meeting Henry. The break-up breaks both of their hearts, but to her mind, there is no alternative. She's pregnant with someone else's baby so she needs to make a go at that relationship.

Now it's 13 years later, and she has come home eight month's after losing her job running an art gallery after the economic downturn. She is coming home with her 12 yo son who is not happy about moving. The relationship with his father never worked out so she has always been a single mother. Her father, whom she has only seen once in the last 10 years, is an alcoholic and very sick so she is home to take care of him and to get back on her feet. When Autumn dated Henry, they were living in Seattle, so you can imagine her surprise when she walks into her sons new classroom and discovers that his teacher (in this town of 500 people) is Henry, her true love that she destroyed.

There is so much going on with Autumn, but it's a great story. There is a lot of depth to it and a lot of aspects of the story which I really loved. I adored Henry although his signal were so confusing that it became a bit frustrating. My one issue with this story was that the characters, even at the very end, did not know how to communicate which had already kept them apart for 13 years. I just felt like there should have been more growth in that aspect of their relationship over the years. I loved Elliott, Autumn's son. I can just imagine how hard it would be for an artistic pre-teen to settle into a small town. I thought that Brooke Moss wrote his character really incredibly well. I also really loved the arc of the relationship between Autumn, Elliott, and her father. That relationship has a TON of reasons for it not to work, but it was really beautiful in the way that she wrote them working out their differences. 

This is a great book about small town life, about second chances, and about love and romance. Overall, I really, really liked the story. One of my favorite things about how Brooke wrote the story was such a small detail, but it was great for impact. The entire story is written from Autumn's point of view, but the epilogue is written from Henry's. It was such a cool detail that I really LOVED!

This is one of those books that I can see myself reading over and over and coming to love it more and more with each reading. It was just one of those books. Definitely going on my keeper shelf!


Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOOOOOO, this one sounds fabulous! I'm placing it on my TBR list right now. :-D Great review Christi! It's fate, moving to a small town 13 years later, with a 12 year old son and his teach is the love of your life that you left...yeah, that sounds great!

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I may have to pick this one up! I only hesitated because I am picky about "small town" books considering I grew up in one :) OK adding it to my bday wishlist!