Author: Abby Jimenez
Audiobook Length: 10 hours 5 minutes
The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.
After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle 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?
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Part of Your World is the latest novel by Abby Jimenez. While this one is not directly marketed as part of the Friend Zone series, there are some connections between the characters in this story and the main series. These little Easter eggs are fun for those that read the other novels but are not necessary to understand anything that happens in this story. As the title suggests, this is very loosely based on The Little Mermaid as two characters come from two different worlds yet are connected to each other. While I love Abby’s work, I do admit it took me a few tries to read this one. It had nothing to do with the writing itself, but with myself as a reader as the love interest is too perfect (body, ability to please the woman either in the bedroom or just being around them, the choices/activities involved, etc.) and I need to be in the mood to read it.
Alexis Montgomery is a 38-year-old ER doctor in Minneapolis who has done her best to follow what her parents wished for her. When she gets stuck in a ditch, she meets and is rescued by, 28-year-old Daniel, a carpenter who lives on his B&B farm in the small town of Wakan. While the 10-year age difference is brought up a few times, I did not find it necessary to the story. There was enough between them to work through as they live in different places, and have different lifestyles, and Alexis has a complex past that comes with a lot of insecurity for the age to not add anything to the story. Instead, it just seemed to be added as a side fact and I would not place this novel in the age-gap category if I had to classify it.
Alexis is part of a legacy of doctors at her hospital where her father has high expectations of her and manipulates her to follow his wishes. She also is semi-fresh out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a surgeon, Neil, who her father would approve of with the match. While Alexis finds herself attracted to Daniel after their initial one-night stand, she struggles with the idea that it could be more. Not only is Daniel not the type of person that her family would approve of, but Daniel also acts as the mayor of Wakan and will remain there to uphold his own family’s legacy. Daniel is the opposite of Neil who he loves Alexis for who she is and does not want her to change. I loved Daniel and Alexis spending time together, but there was something missing as Daniel is the technical rebound and I feel that Alexis never second-guessed any of Daniel’s words or actions. As someone who in the past has been in Alexis’s situation with relationships, it just seemed like the reader entirely misses her “recovery” type period between the two relationships. This is just my interpretation, so I did not hold it against Jimenez’s writing as each real person does deal with things differently.
Overall, I am clearly in the minority when it comes to my issues with this story. I still love Jimenez as an author and would read any of her stories, however, there was no denying that I found flaws in my reading experience. Alexis does not always treat Daniel well (not in an abusive sense, but just selfish) yet Daniel just brushes it off. While Alexis does grow a lot as a character and I loved her growth, I did not see how she would not sort of steamroll the relationship in the future. There is a lot of telling in how these two characters are perfect for each other, but not a lot of depth to illustrate evidence. The writing itself was amazing and I love how Jimenez can integrate heavy topics into each of her stories. She has a true talent for this type of storytelling! I may have my doubts about Daniel and Alexis as a couple, but this did not negate the fact that I loved a lot of various elements that make up this story!