Book Review

I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones – A Five-Star Stunner for the Keeper Shelf

Book - I'll Be YoursAbout the Book:
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Publisher: Sweet Pea Productions (Indie Published)
Source: Author
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Contemporary YA
Rating: 5 out of 5

REVIEW: With each new novel an author publishes, I’d imagine there are jitters. No matter how practiced one is, losing that agitation over the release of a novel likely stays with you. In the Indie world of publishing, I’d guess such emotions are magnified given that, while there are many people who assist you with the story, you are in control of releasing the book you’ve poured tears and smiles into. One of my most favorite authors (ever) is Jenny B. Jones. I discovered her particular brand of bookish happiness when she was signed with Thomas Nelson (Harper Collins) and now, after many years away from the author-ing gig, she returns with a select few novels published in the Indie world. I’ll Be Yours is her latest, and by Jove, it’s not one to be missed.  

Harper O’Malley has scars of the physical and emotional variety. Her adoptive family has been her rock – her center, since they brought her home, loved her and accepted her when she was a child of nine. Now, as a teenager, her safe place is about to shatter her into a million pieces. Her father, the man she admired so, becomes the center of a scandal when he’s found out to be having an affair. As the football coach for a prestigious college program, Coach O’Malley’s social life is cause for immediate dismissal and Harper’s withdrawal from her father and the rest of her family which includes, mom Cristy and brothers Michael and Cole.

Despite the emotional upheaval, Harper finds herself relying on high school football star Ridley Estes. Perceived as the local “bad boy,” Harper keeps her distance from him, only it turns out in order to obtain the scholarship he needs, Ridley needs a tutor and Harper needs lessons in how to snag her dream boy’s attention. Whether she likes it or not, Harper is about to discover so much more about Ridley… and in the end, his reputation just might prove her wrong.

Ah, contemporary bliss. Let me count the ways I love you, dear Story. There are so many, knowing where to begin isn’t so much the challenge as knowing where to end. Typical to a Jenny B. Jones novel, the book is sprinkled liberally with darling bouts of humor that make you laugh-out-loud because the particular brand of happy she consistently spreads is that one bright spot of sunshine a reader chases. Coupled with this is a deep, poignant story I didn’t expect because I went into this novel “blind.” I knew it had something to do with football, there’d be romance and its cover bore the name of Jenny B. Jones. That was all I needed.

I think God speaks to us all differently, and I heard him first in the music.” – Jenny B. Jones

The heroine Harper (who, by the way has a great name) isn’t the average contemporary YA leading lady. No, Harper has a messy past, a past that leaves her guarded and careful. She doesn’t welcome forms of physical affection, and is struggling with ways of connecting with the boy she is crushing on (a boy who needed three names just to “contain all the wonder” of him). This is where Ridley’s particular set of skills come in handily and with it, a series of events are set in motion that will rework Harper’s heart.

If you’re looking for something to compare this to, I was often reminded of the recent film adaptation of The DUFF. Not to slight this novel, while the surface is similar (a boy helping a girl capture the interest of her crush), this is where the similarities stop. I’ll Be Yours is about forgiveness… it’s about the healing that leads to forgiveness… and it’s about a boy and a girl discovering who they are as they step up and into a new phase of this crazy thing called life. Though the final chapter completes this story with grace, I admire that there is also an open-ended quality to it allowing the reader to assume what they will, but enjoy the warmth the conclusion wraps us up in.

Synopsis: The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late-bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.

Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team—but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose—her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love. –

Sincere thanks to the author Jenny, and Rel for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.


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