Review: “The Trouble With Wanting” by Jillian Liota

Book Title: The Trouble With Wanting

Author: Jillian Liota

Series: Cedar Point

Rating: 5⭐

Release Date: July 21st, 2020

Goodreads |

Synopsis: Boyd and Ruby meet on a flight to California. They connect through that flight and then discover that they’re in the same small town of Cedar Point. They fall into a friendship, into a fling and into so much more, but it’s just a two week holiday, right? But they both know that in two weeks, they go back to their old lives and they’re not sure if it’s going to work if they keep it going. Or will it?

Review: This is my first Jillian Liota book and I am in love. To start with, I love the way she writes and the style she follows. She creates such an amazing world of characters and important relationships that makes you keep coming back for more.

When workaholic Boyd Mitchell meets nervous Ruby Roberts on a flight from Boston to California, it is the most adorable meet-cute. Ruby is chatty and Boyd is distant and somehow, she manages to get under his skin and makes him sit up and pay attention. On that seven hour flight, they forge a bond that you can’t ignore. I love how Ruby slowly pulls Boyd out of his peace and quiet, and she does it without being a pain in the ass. Her nervousness and rambling is so endearing that it’s clear Boyd can’t help himself.

“Do I want her to get a really good sense of the way her smile seems to wrap itself around my ribs and squeeze tight until I can barely breathe?”

Boyd’s in Cedar Point to spend his annual two week holiday with his family – his parents and his four hilarious and amazing siblings – and Ruby’s visiting her estranged father. At first they don’t even realise they’re in the same place till Boyd and Ruby have their first phone conversation and he realises that she’s practically his neighbour. And thus begins a really beautiful relationship.

“Ruby Rae Roberts and her ridiculous laugh and silly ramblings and smile that makes me unable to do anything but smile back.”

Ruby is so captivated by Boyd and vice versa that they end up spending time together. She meets his family and gets very involved in all their lives, but in a really good way. And it’s clear that it’s hard for everyone to resist Ruby, because she’s just so good in every way and even Boyd sees it. The Mitchell family welcomes her into their fold and Ruby soaks it all up, because under Boyd’s gaze, she feels more like herself than she’s ever felt before.

“Boyd Mitchell, the endlessly sweet, family-focused, friend-helping, secret softy and yoga convert who makes me laugh and smile and sizzle in my boots in equal measure.”

As you’d expect in a small town romance, there’s an ex-girlfriend and there’s a whole slew of old friends. And of course the ex-girlfriend wants to take back what’s hers, not caring about anybody or anything else. But you know what was really beautiful about this? Neither Ruby or Boyd treat Corinne like a bad person. They explain things to her and make her understand why what she’s doing is terrible. Yes, it hurts her feelings, but they don’t do it for that purpose, they do it to make her aware that neither of them are going to sit back and take her mean girl attitude.

This was a whole new level of slow burn and I gotta say that even though Ruby and Boyd tackle everything the first time in a really bad way, the slow process of them learning how to give each other what they want and need is truly beautiful. Yes, the physical part of their relationship is great and it’s important, but it’s clear that they would do just fine even without the sex and that’s because of these crazy wild feelings neither of them ignore.

I would be lying to myself if I didn’t acknowledge the way he makes me feel, like I’m a bonfire in my own right, my fires stoked and fueled and steadily building, like just the right moment with Boyd might set everything ablaze. 

I have to be careful, though, because even the headiest of bonfires have a tipping point where things can go one of two ways. There’s a moment when there’s a risk of the fire burning too hot or being extinguished completely.”

For all of Boyd’s family being absolutely perfect, Ruby’s personal life isn’t as simple. All the things she thought about her father seems to be a lie and she’s coming to terms with just how much she needs to deal with. But in a situation where Ruby can behave badly and say things that she will regret, she handles it with so much strength. And reading that shows you just how strong she is and you feel so damn proud of her.

Ruby and Boyd’s relationship is beautiful. I love the way it builds up and, even though it hurts, I do love the way things fall into place together. The fact that Boyd understands what Ruby is going through and the trust issues and the struggles she’s facing is what brings them together, apart and back together. Ruby’s got her fears and Boyd isn’t helping, but it’s clear they want the same thing. They just need to get on the same page. And Boyd loves Ruby so fiercely and they both know it, but that doesn’t make it easy.

“What you need is a man who loves you enough to never let you go, a man who will continue to show up, time after time, who will continue to fight for you, who will prove to you over and over again that love is absolutely worth the trouble.”

I absolutely loved everything about this book and I can’t wait to read the next in the series!

Thanks to Jillian Liota and InkSlingerPR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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