by Georgina Penney
Published by Penguin Destiny
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Unforgettable You is the prequel to Irrepressible You, which deals with Amy’s romance with Ben. In Unforgettable You we go back a couple of years to Amy’s sister, Jo Blaine.
Jo couldn’t be more Amy’s opposite. Tall, strong, not especially femme, a fly-in-fly-out mud engineer living in Perth and working on an oil rig off the Mauritanian coast. This character is a little reminiscent of Loretta Hill’s engineer books, which can only be a plus for me!
Stephen is Jo’s accidental housemate and Maine Coon cat-minder. But Stephen’s also a person from the gruelling past that Jo has tried to put behind her. As they find out how to share space, this past becomes their present, as Jo and Amy try to rescue their mother from their violent father in George Creek.
I liked the way that family violence and its fallout is dealt with in Unforgettable You. Authentic messiness is everywhere, with people freaking out and screwing up and apologising and having trouble dealing with it all. I like that there’s nothing simple or straightforward about it, that their mother isn’t simply a stereotypical ‘victim’ but also an abuser, and that there were repercussions through the community of the past abuse. All of this rang very true. I did have issues with some too-easy (in my opinion) forgiveness of someone freaking out about the family violence history and screaming at a victim, and felt there should have been greater consequences for this re-victimisation.
The non-cookie-cutter sex scenes were delightful. A woman taking the initiative, instead of a standard male-initiated rapacious kiss followed by a few fumbles and missionary sex simultaneous orgasm blah blah blah? Awesome. I didn’t like the fat hate in the book. And I loved that Boomba the cat was a character in himself. I’m back and forth with the likes/dislikes – but overall, this was a big improvement on the last book for me, which means the next one should be really amazing, right? Will it be about Scott Watanabe? I hope so!
An interview with real mud engineer who inspired this character can be found here at Lily Malone’s blog
I received a galley of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.