Bianca Easton is the perfect senator’s daughter. Law school? Check. Camera-ready smile? Check. A dull and boring existence? Double check. But that was before. Before she lost her best and only friend in a tragic accident. Before she found that friend's unfinished bucket list. Definitely before she turned her life upside-down by deciding to stay in New York for six months to finish it. It's while she's checking off her first item on the list--buy coffee for a stranger--that she meets Ian Mathis. Between the tattoo sleeve curling up his right arm, his guitar-roughened fingertips, and the secrets shadowing his past, he's a complication Bianca doesn't need but desperately wants. With every item they cross off the list together, Bianca uncovers a piece of herself that she's buried under what's expected, all the while breaking her own rules by falling hard for Ian. But when her six months run out, Bianca has to decide if she's willing to risk her empty but picture-perfect life for a chance at real, messy love.
Thank you so much to St. Martin's Press - Swerve for the opportunity to read and review this book!
I can't tell you how excited I am for this new author! Well, maybe I can...I'll try, anyway. I've already read two books by Ms. Howard, and I really enjoyed them both, but "All the Ways You Saved Me" has really upped her game! The characters here were fantastically believable, and I ended up loving them both, even though I wasn't sure I would - Ian does something during their first date that I wasn't sure I could forgive, but once I learned more about him, I could understand where he was coming from.
I really liked the way that this book was written from both points of view, with Bianca's being the present timeline and Ian's being the past timeline. This really helped draw me into Ian's mystery, and I wanted nothing more than to find out what had happened to mess him up so badly. I probably wasn't quite as drawn into Bianca's storyline as much as Ian's, but I still enjoyed her character's gradual development from doormat to "babe-in-total-control-of-herself".
The pacing here was great, a little bit of a slow burn at first, but I appreciated how Bianca and Ian's relationship started off as more of a friendship before it moved into something romantic. I also appreciated the fact that Ian is not a "manwhore", for lack of a better word. I won't get into his romantic past here, but I will say that it's surprisingly refreshing!
So absolutely, if you're searching for a great new talent in contemporary romance writing, I would recommend picking up any of Jamie Howard's books, but especially this one - "All the Ways You Saved Me" is sweet, sexy, and memorable, and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!