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Hello Hello! How are you?
Today I’m bringing you a review for 99% Mine by Sally Thorne that I read in June and absolutely fell in love with. A few blogging buddies that I read with picked this book out for out Romance Reads a few months ago and I didn’t get to it straight away, but I’m so glad I picked it up last month because it gave me a boost and really helped my mood and my reading mojo.
Keep on reading to find out my full thoughts on this tension-filled, spicy, cute, emotional and quick read!
Title: 99% Mine
Author: Sally Thorne
Published: 29th of January 2019 — Piatkus
Format: Paperback — 339 pages
Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…
Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.
When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.
Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.
Trigger warnings: alcoholism, loss of a loved one, chronic heart condition, some short episodes of assault/abuse.
“Every evil overlord needs a fluffy cat to stroke.”
99% Mine by Sally Thorne is a contemporary romance that took me by surprise and that I absolutely loved from start to finish. Romance is not usually one of my go-to genres, but I will pick up the odd romance when I’m in a reading slump or in need of a comfort read. This ticked all the boxes and has put me one step closer to really enjoying this genre more often. It also includes some disability representation through the main character who has a rare chronic heart condition, so I liked seeing that element added, especially since it’s something I actively search for in books. This book takes place in Darcy’s grandmother’s house and on her land. Her and her twin brother’s grandmother has passed away and she gave her grandchildren the ultimatum of renovating the house and selling it on, or else! I like that this story happens on a building plot, and it’s nice to have this kind of setting and these kinds of characters in romances, as it’s a change from the generic “people working in an office” plot that I come across a lot.
The main trope in this book is that it is friends to lovers, which is not one I usually go for — I prefer enemies to lovers — but I felt like it was done really well here and made the book that bit more special. Our two main characters, Darcy and Tom are absolutely made for one another but keep missing out on their chance together, and you can feel a) the sexual tension and attraction radiating off the page between them, but b) also the heartbreak, loneliness and uncertainty. Darcy is the typical bad girl getting into trouble, acting tough and brushing people off, making out she isn’t fazed by anything in life. On the other hand, Tom is the typical good boy, always looking out for people and putting them first, being protective over Darcy because of her heart condition and trying to do best by Darcy’s grandmother’s house (that Tom’s business is renovating, ready to sell it). I liked that both of these characters are multifaceted and aren’t just “the bad girl and the good boy,” because it’s so much more than that. Darcy might seem confident and determined, but deep down she feels left out, she feels lonely and she wants Tom more than she admits. And Tom is also going through a breakup, he’s struggling with feelings of inadequacy and just wants to make sure to do a good job on this house, without his feelings getting in the way. This doesn’t happen to me often but my heart physically ached for them from the start until the end. Usually it’s only when something bad happens that my throat gets tight, but here, the author managed to put all the characters’ hurt and sadness into her words and I felt every emotion vividly. It’s really very well done on that front.
I also really enjoyed Darcy’s dark humour. This goes hand in hand with her personality, but I feel like she might also use her humour and sarcasm as a way of hiding her true feelings. It says a lot about her, but I loved her snide remarks and her sarcastic quips. Sometimes dialogues between characters can feel a bit stunted when humour is involved, but it was written really well and I felt it all flowed seamlessly. If anything, I think her humour and sarcasm showed her as a complex, sad and lonely character, but also as someone with a strong temperament, who was determined and also did care for her family and loved ones immensely — especially for her grandmother, her brother and her best friend.
As I mentioned at the start of my review, Darcy has suffered from a young age from a chronic heart condition which causes her heart to beat irratically and dangerously out of rhythm in times of stress, sadness, anger or fatigue. I like that we got this narrative in this story because it shows that it’s not just your basic contemporary romance, but also with that added touch of disability rep, it made all the characters so much more palpable, and I always love disability rep in contemporary literature. I don’t know much about heart conditions, but I feel like this representation was done well, and it wasn’t used as a plot point to make Darcy seem weak or unworthy of Tom’s love, but it really did just place her as a human being with a slight difference and as someone who has to take more care in life and just manage their fatigue and emotions more than someone else for instance. I also like seeing disability rep in romances because it proves that the chronically ill or disabled character can have their happily ever after.
I only have a tiny negative element to mention: a couple of moments, especially at the start of the book, I was slightly confused in the dialogues. I thought it was going to be a dual POV at one point in the book because of who I thought was speaking, and just a few of those instances made the book feel clunky. That’s the only bad thing I have to say about it, and I only noticed it once or twice, so nothing major that could turn anyone off, it just gave me the impression of a bit of a mix up between the characters or feeling like they were telling an inside joke that the reader wasn’t ever privy to.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, I absolutely loved this book and felt completely captivated and hooked from the very first page. I love how romances can completely whip you up in the moment and how fast you can rush through them. This one was no exception and I honestly could have read it in a single sitting if I had that kind of time to spend with it when I started it.
This was a really well-written love story between two friends who had had feelings for one another for nearly 10 years and who never acted upon it. I think that made it feel even more satisfying and enjoyable! I really enjoyed the pace, the chapters were short and just kept me reading and it was honestly unputdownable and well-written.
I gave 99% Mine by Sally Thorne 5 stars and I completely loved it and was caught up in the story and in these characters’ relationship. Darcy and Tom had such a great tension-filled relationship and I really loved to see it develop and turn into something really cute. I was also surprised by the range of emotions this book made me feel, so kudos to the author!
If you love cute but complex contemporary romances with multifaceted characters, disability representation, the friends to lovers trope and a story set on a building site with some sexual tension and lots of emotions, then this is the story for you. I highly recommend it!
“That’s because pizza is a precious natural resource. It can heal tiredness, bad mood, falling morale, and a fading will to live. Pizza realigns the heart chakras.”
Atmosphere – 7
Start – 9
Pacing – 8.5
Ending – 10
Characters – 8
Theme – 8
Style – 9
Total = 59.5
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post.
See you soon, stay safe,