Published August 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romantic Comedy
Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.
Check it out on Goodreads
One crazy dog—one awkward vet—one naked pool guy—and one life-changing month in California to make friends, fall in love, and twist fate.
Who gets paid to walk a dog and recline by the pool all day? Sydney Montgomery, aspiring museum curator and professional house-sitter, that’s who.
When her aunt and uncle need a house and dog sitter for thirty days in Palo Alto, Sydney can’t turn down the chance to be closer to her sister in L.A. Within twenty-four hours of her arrival, Sydney’s cleaning up runny dog poo, taking an uncooperative pooch to a handsome yet awkward vet, and being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a naked “pool guy.”
Lautner, “pool guy,” has a hot body and a cool persona. With eyes of iridescent blue oceans, he is mesmerizing, sexy, and addictive. What he is not—the pool guy.
Dr. Lautner Sullivan is a college wide receiver turned pediatric resident. He knows how to woo a woman with flowers, pastries, and sweet tea. Lautner is every girl’s dream, but Sydney is not every girl. She’s immune to rainbows, fairytales, pixy dust, and the “L” word.
The attraction is immediate, the friendship is earned, and the love is undeniable. Thirty days is their forever, but forever is not long enough.
Sydney Montgomery is set on achieving her goal of becoming a museum curator, but still has a couple of years of studies in front of her. And to be able to afford those studies, she travels around the world and does house sitting.
Her latest “job” involves a 1-month house- and dog-sitting for her aunt and uncle in Palo Alto. Not even a week into her stay, she meets Dane Abbott (a sexy vet) as well as a sassy (and even sexier) pretend pool-boy and actual pediatrician Lautner Sullivan. But Sydney can’t allow herself to be distracted, and especially not by men, because they could sidetrack her from her goal… and, after all, she knows quite well that fairytales do not exist!
So when one of them still managed to capture her attention, she (tries) to chalk it up to fling with an expiration date – as her next job is already waiting for her 3 weeks down the line.
What I loved about this book:
- The very realistic feelings the characters had
- The unexpected twists in the story
- How hooked I was throughout the second half
What I felt needed improvement:
- What happened to the side-character?
Silly, but what attracted me the most about this book was the funny cover. Sassy, playful and featuring a Weimeraner, one of my favorite dog breeds! And it turns out that the story itself was just as great as the cover.
The first half of the story was nice. Nice, as in light, fun, sweet and hot. There was some major insta-love going on, specially on Lautner’s end, since I found it hard to believe that he would confess his love for someone after just 2-3 weeks. But hey, I am a professional Abbi Glines reader so I am used to this, and it didn’t phase me (that much). Yet, I was willing to bet that Undeniably You would get boring past the 60% mark. But then, everything changed. And the last half of the book got me completely hooked. The kind of don’t-you-dare-interrupt-my-reading-as-I-am dying-to-find-out-what’s-happening-next frenzy. Literally.
The writing style (which was great) includes a few switches between “now” and “then”, and some switches added such a huge twist to the story that it had me totally sidetracked. You think you know how the story will go – yeah, you actually think it’s going to be a regular sappy lovestory – but then, a flashback or something else (completely crazy) happens and sweeps you off you feet.
In her author bio, Jewel E. Ann mentions that she is a How I Met Your Mother fan. Well, let me tell you, Undeniably You is undeniably a unique HIMYM-style story, which keeps you on your toes, wanting to find out if your favorite character will get their happy ending – and with whom! And while this book was sweet and extremely funny, it also held a lot of wisdom!
“Open your heart to endless possibilities, and risk it all for a moment, when the moment is right.”
As far as the characters are concerned, I loved them. And I didn’t love them because they were perfect: because they were actually far from perfect, and that is what made them real. There were times in the book where I would have loved to smack some sense into Sydney because she just assumed so many things which played crazy with her mind – and which inevitably caused drama – and just wouldn’t be able to take the hint. And then, I wanted to slap Dane for being stupid and Lautner for… Oh well, I couldn’t be mad at him for too long – and despite some flaws he was just so perfect…
“I just need you to know so I don’t spend the rest of my life wondering what if.”
And when I take a step back, I realized that Undeniably You story is mostly a story about fate, which sometimes has really, really bad timing. In the end, I guess anyone would have reacted like the characters in this book did – even though sometimes it felt like they overreacted or had bad judgement. And thankfully, the characters mature a lot throughout the story and the years (since this book spans over 4 years).
View Spoiler »Some will probably say that Sidney was insane to withhold his daughter from Lautner. But given the circumstances and how sharing those news could affect both her and him, I understood why she didn’t fully man up and spit it out. « Hide Spoiler
“Life may not always seem fair, but that’s how you’ll know you’re living it.”
“They’re just three simple words, but they’re food to my soul.”
I reached a point in this book when I didn’t really know which team to root for! So many things were happening and I was seriously thinking through every scenario of “what ifs” and still didn’t know how I wanted things to turn out for Sidney. Was I rooting for Team Dane or Team Lautner? I never thought the book would come to that point because I thought Dane was ruled out pretty quickly but well… that was actually one of the parts where I got majorly annoyed with Sidney.View Spoiler »I very much disliked the fact that she used Dane as a consolation prize once she noticed that Lautner was unavailable. Dane was completely head over heels in love with Sydney, attentive, loving and biding his time – and she only threw herself into his arms out of desperation (and even though she was still holding out hope on a happy ending with Lautner. Worst of all is that she even agreed to marry him, when they hadn’t been together in “that way” for so long and she never let herself tell him she loved him. I just found that very unfair to Dane. I really would have appreciated a better ending for him… « Hide Spoiler
The ending was absolutely mind-blowing. It was a modern fairytale ending, much needed after all the angst and mixed feelings the last half of the book brought along. It came complete with a first male-POV epilogue (the rest of the book is from Sydney’s POV only) and then one last Sydney-POV epilogue, and it was smashing. I realize some will say this ending (or even the whole book) was a tad unrealistic, but I loved it. It did to me what I expect a great romance read to do: take a real-life situation with realistic ups and downs, and turn it into a fairytale that inspires hope.
“Lautner has given me nothing I thought I wanted and everything I can’t live without.”
Looking back, a lot of characters in this book fall short of a happy ending, or just have un-achieved stories, such as Sydney sister Avery, Braden, Dane, Emma… It’s not something that will impact my general rating of the book but come to think of it, it would have been nice to tie those loose ends up. But who knows, maybe there will be a sequel?
Anyway – Undeniably You is definitely something else, and I definitely recommend you check it out!
|All the feels|