Book Review: Always You

Updated: Mar 11


Bea’s put her party-girl, self-destructive life behind her. She’s gotten the help she needs and is now willing to go after the one that got away, Ash. It’s a good thing Ash is in Israel where her brother needs to go for his next story. She’ll just tag along… and maybe she’ll be able to mend her relationship with Ash. After all, he’s always been the one for her.

So…

Yeah…

While I am all for characters who turn their lives around via therapy (legit therapy), I had a lot of problems with this story. First off it starts out in the wrong place. From the backstory we get there’s really no reason for the two leads to have a history. That they loved each other, looked out for each other. We’re told they do, but based on how they treat each other I don’t buy it. I don’t even buy that they were ever friends. Right now, I can’t even comprehend that they ever cared for each other. I don’t buy it.

Second the characters themselves are unlikable. Bea is a flake and Ash is controlling. Not a good combo.

Bea is alternatively hot and cold. Willing to do what’s necessary to salvage her relationship and then going “nope, I will make no compromises.” However, compared to Ash, Bea was positively a pushover.

It was Ash’s controlling nature that really got to me. Demanding his ex who he’s reconnected with to give up her life in London, her support system, her family, and her job to follow him and support him in Israel just about had me DNF this. But I was 80% in and yeah…

Bea then called her mentor/counselor and that person told her to follow him, that Ash was a great guy. Um… No… Life tip, anyone who demands you isolate yourself from all of your support systems, especially one that helped you become clean and sober, is not someone you want to spend your life with. That person is selfish, controlling, and manipulative. And any good mentor should know that.

Which brings me to the mentor/therapy portion of this. So the mentor, a friend from long ago who was apparently “dumpy and fat,” finds Bea literally in the gutter. She gives Bea a card and tells her that this group called LifeWorks changed her life and made her the woman she is now (which is hot). Apparently it’s not actually therapy but a conference and discussion group where you reflect on your life. I about screamed at this point. Because, that’s not how addiction works. What the author describes is very cult-like. Not a vetted therapy and recovery program.

That’s not all of the problematic things in this. There’s slut-shaming, body shaming, on top of the controlling Christian Grey wannabe. The lone sex scene was boring and the author forgot to put on the condom that was later removed which broke the 4th wall for me.

Condom Hammerspace?

So… Yeah…

The biggest problem with this is that all of this could have been solved with a good editor. I was so angry at the end of this, that I ranted about this to pretty much everyone. The reason why? Joanne Dannon is a good author and a good person. I didn’t expect this from her. But I have to treat all stories with the same measuring stick. Which means because of all of the problems I can only give this: One Star

If you want to read this,you can get it HERE.


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