Length: 50,000 words
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
“It’s a good fear, Sam. I’d miss it if it wasn’t there...”
Musical prodigy Eddie Dean gets everything she wants. The best violin, the best boyfriend, and a place at the best music school in London are hers until her father goes bankrupt. Once the financial facade comes tumbling down, Eddie’s broke and her boyfriend couldn’t care less.
The doorstep of Jimmy’s Café is the last place she expects to wash up.
Scrubbing dishes and serving fried breakfasts to pay her rent is as hellish as she imagined, and her new life is made worse by the distain of her boss’s sneering grandson. Sam Novak is arrogant, rude, and gorgeous, and if Eddie never sees him again, it will be too soon. Shame she can’t stop thinking about him. Dreaming about him. Craving him.
And then there’s his best friend Dylan.
Dylan is as light as Sam is dark, and Eddie wants him too. She can have him too—according to Sam—but when Sam reveals a vulnerability that could cost him his life, it’s time for Eddie to face the music. Does she still need to get everything she wants, or should she choose what matters?
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“He’s an enigma, but I kind of like that, when he’s not being a total dick about it.”
Now, how to start this review? Wait, I have it.
There is having a chip on your shoulder and then there is Eddie.
There’s having a chip on your shoulder and then there is Sam.
In a world where opposites often attract, these two might as well be mirror images of each other when it comes to attitude and a smart mouth, even if their backgrounds couldn’t be more different. From the very first moment Eddie and Sam meet they exchange insults as if they’re going out of fashion. And yet, there’s no denying the attraction between them.
Of course, giving in to that attraction doesn’t mean they suddenly undergo a personality transplant and as good as they are together, not to mention incredibly sexy, they can’t get away from misinterpreting each other and constantly saying and assuming the worst. Every time I thought that now, at last, they’d figured out that maybe they ought to talk to each other, and maybe take the time to think before opening their mouths they’d be at it again and thus lengthen their game of push and pull.
To be honest, there were one or two things in this book that would have made me unhappy in the hands of a lesser author. I don’t usually have a lot of time for stories in which the source of all problems is the protagonists’ refusal to actually talk to each other. And I have even less time (both in real life and in my stories) for people who ignore others when they try to connect.
Sam and Eddie, being who they are, did both those things as a matter of course but much to my surprise it didn’t annoy me. The main reason for that is the quality of the story telling. In this book, with these characters, it just made sense that they would bounce off each other in the way they did. And I can’t deny that their verbal fights made me laugh more often than frown. And of course, Eddie is young, and her life has just been turned on its head, so it was easy to forgive her for not always reacting in a level-headed way.
I’m delighted that Eddie didn’t turn into a whimpering fool as soon as she was robbed of all the creature comforts she’d been accustomed to. Just as I admired the realistic way in which Sam’s health issue was dealt with. And of course there was Dylan…sighs…Dylan. If he doesn’t get a story of his own I may have to have harsh words with the author.
Overall What Matters was a captivating, very well written, sexy, and ultimately endearing story. I really hope this won’t be the last we hear from Gracie Leigh.
Gracie Leigh is a pseudonym of Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.
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