My piles of books to read generally fall into two categories - science fiction and cheesy romance. There are some strays sprinkled in there, like “American Prometheus,” which I’d like to finish before Oppenheimer comes out in July (and if we were ranking things, the “nonfiction” category is my third stack). But… I’ve got my favorites. I’ve got comfort food.
Like most romance novels, you know from the opening pages of “Yours Truly” that the two doctors at the center of the story are going to end up together; what sets my favorite romances apart is the journey. Brianna is days away from the finalization of the divorce from her cheating ex. She’s also in line for a promotion at her ER job, and all the while she’s juggling the care of her younger brother, who is desperately in need of a kidney transplant. Enter Jacob, another ER doc who has transferred away from the hospital where his ex-girlfriend - also his brother’s new fiance - works. Jacob’s serious social anxiety causes him to fumble the first few interactions he has with Brianna, and between that and miscommunications about the job they’re now both up for, Brianna completely detests him. Naturally they’re perfect for each other and are going to fall in love.
One of the aspects of this book I appreciated was the nuanced depiction of Jacob’s anxiety. Like many novels in the genre, the point of view switches back and forth between Brianna and Jacob so we can hear their internal monologues and see how they react to the same situation, slowly learning more about each other over time and tackling their communication issues in a way that’s realistic for each of their characters. Where Jacob’s ex Amy ignored Jacob’s anxiety, hoping it would just fix itself, Brianna empathetically learns to adapt situations to make Jacob more comfortable. And Brianna is struggling with trusting men after both her divorce but also abandonment by her father, and Jacob steps in to affirm his commitment to being trustworthy and honest. The two are each others’ greatest protector, and they promise early on in their relationship to “be harmless” to one another. Jacob and Brianna aren’t perfect characters, and their relationship is challenged early and often, but they realistically work together to move forward.
Also, they fall in love writing letters to each other. Which, just… swoon.