Two (among many) reasons I enjoy reading a CM Foss book: 1. I know what I’m going to get. 2. I don’t know what I’m going to get. Yes, I realize this doesn’t make much sense; but it’s this contradiction that always gets me excited when I hear she has a new book releasing. I know that I will get a heartwarming story, swoonworthy romance, moments of unexpected poignancy, one liners that have me laughing out loud and realistic tension for the main characters. What I don’t know is how the story will be presented within the parameters of those hallmarks of her stories and that makes diving in to one of her books all the more enjoyable.
With Jock, CM gives us the story of Tessa and Jace (Tessa’s brother’s best friend since childhood). The beginning of the novel is set up in flashbacks from Jace’s point of view, laying the foundation for their eventual relationship. As the action moves to the present, narration is handed over to Tessa. Through her, we see the journey from friends to lovers unfold; however, it’s not a slow blossoming as one might expect from characters who have known each other almost their entire lives. Rather, the transition comes on hard, fast, and with little warning. Romance strikes like a lightning bolt or an exploding firework, leaving Tessa and Jace to figure out how to regain their footing amid outside constraints (namely Tessa’s demanding career as a jockey) that threaten to implode the coupling as quickly as it had formed.
CM’s storytelling never fails to draw me in and hold my interest from the first page. Her books always feel fresh to me and I think this is due, in part, to the fact that she deals in settings that aren’t common backdrops for romances. As much as I enjoy them, it’s a great change of pace to ditch the college campus and the boardroom for the novelty of the horse track. She did a fantastic job laying out the struggle for balance and identity faced by Tessa and Jace as they navigated the changing dynamics of their relationship. Stories that rely on natural conflict always resonate more with me than those with far-reaching plot twists and the growth experienced by the characters as they strive to reach a happy medium with independence and protection is extremely relatable. Substantive and satisfying, Jock is definitely one to add to your friends to lovers TBR!
On a side note, I had mentioned in my Swoon review that I would have loved to have seen a flashback scene with Lawrence and Shane and I want to say how happy I was to find that in Jock. I know CM did not include it expressly for me, but I’m going to pretend that she did. 😉
“Maybe the best romance comes from the person who already knows your deepest and darkest.”
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