Review by Veronica

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Series Name: The Friend Zone, #4

“It was amazing that someone so wrong for me has this ability. Despite the incompatibility of our lives, he had this effect on me. I wondered distantly if we’d known each other in a former life and we’d found each other again. If that’s why he was so familiar…”

Get ready to fall in love with Abby Jimenez’s latest book Part of Your World. 

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddles with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his? 

All I have to say is that Abby did it again. Part of Your World is just so freaking amazing, and I ended up re-reading again right away. This book is the fourth installment in The Friends Zone series, and it can be read as a stand-alone. Fans of the series will be happy to know that there are some cameos or mentions of characters from previous books. I love that Abby includes these cameos; it adds extra excitement for me because I get to see the characters that I love so much again.

I cannot think of one thing that I did not enjoy about this book. Abby has this magical talent of always giving her readers everything they could want in a rom-com novel. Part of Your World has laughter, witty banter, spice, quirky characters, and heart. One of the other things that I love about this series is that each book is fresh and exciting, and as a reader, I don’t feel like the series is dragging on. Even though this is a rom-com series, Abby’s books often center around a more serious issue. For example, book one focused on women’s health, two on grief, and three on addiction issues. Part of Your World deals with abuse, both physical and emotional. Abby really shows her readers how abuse can take many different forms and that leaving an abusive relationship is not easy. In this book, Alexis comes out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a guy who doesn’t want their relationship to end. Throughout this book, readers get to see as Alexis realizes how her ex’s actions have warped how she thinks and views herself. Alexis also realizes that her relationship with her father is emotionally abusive, and her mom is his enabler. Coming to terms with this is not easy for Alexis. I really like how Abby showed that emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse to a person.  

Even though the topic of abuse was woven throughout the story, there is still plenty of romance and light and fluffy moments in this book. I just adore Alexis and Daniel as a couple. Their romance is all about the opposites attract, insta-love tropes. On the surface, these two could not be more different. Alexis is a well-educated ER doctor who lives in the big city, and Daniel runs a B&B in a small town and does carpentry on the side. Alexis is rich, and Daniel is not. Alexis is also ten years older than Daniel. Even though they have so many differences, they are the same when it comes to the stuff that matters. Both are kind-hearted, giving, and only want to help the people around them. Their souls really do call out to each other. I really believe that they are soul-mates (if you believe in such a thing, which I do).

Once again, Abby has created a book boyfriend that I can’t help but fall head over heels for. Daniel is just so damn amazing, and I love how he treats Alexis. He puts so much thought and love into the time that he spends with her, and the fact that he went out to find a heart-shaped pebble to give to her (like penguins do for their mates) just melted my heart. I thought I would have a harder time getting on board with the age difference between these two. I hate to admit this, but I’m not a huge fan of the women being older than the guy in a relationship. I don’t know why. It’s just a major turn-off for me. But Daniel is such a fantastic guy, and the chemistry between these two was apparent that I really stopped thinking about the age difference as I read.

There was one message from this book that stood out for me and is still in my mind, and that is, “grace costs you nothing.” It had me thinking about how everyone in our world is so short-tempered with people and stressed because of  COVID. I know I am guilty of getting huffy in a store or being short with family. Since reading this book, I have been using the “grace, costs you nothing” mantra in my head when I wake up in the morning, go out to the shop, or when I deal with someone who is being difficult. So I just want to thank you, Abby, for reminding me that kindness and grace are free and something I should be sharing with those around me.

Part of Your World is a rom-com that is tender, sexy, and oh so much fun!

Thank you, Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.