Well, let’s start with a confession. I can say that about a year or so ago, I truly was “ashamed” to like the romance/rom-com genre. I would call them my guilty pleasures. As a fantasy fan, which also gets a lot of heat for not being “literary” enough (gag), I would scoff at the romance genre. Here’s the thing, I always KNEW that people that turned their nose down at fantasy were small-minded. I’m not talking about people that can’t get into fantasy, sometimes you like things and sometimes you don’t. I’m talking about the people that immediately dismissed me when they asked what I liked to read, like I wasn’t a “real” reader. I have found myself in fantasy books. I have learned so much about empathy and human nature through them.

Over this last year, as I’ve been branching out to many genres besides fantasy, I realized that I had been small-minded about romance and romantic comedies. They aren’t a guilty pleasure. I think this points to the deeper issue that scoffing at romance is rooted in the fact that women used to almost exclusively write romance. These books were considered fluff and only FOR women because of the general disdain of a woman trying to do anything that only a man previously was able to do. Some things carry on through generations without a thought to why we feel that way. There’s some people who are generally uncomfortable with sex or dislike romance, and that’s okay. But don’t be ashamed if you do enjoy the romance genre. There’s nothing wrong with loving LOVE or being comfortable with sexuality in books. It doesn’t make you less of a reader. In fact, I’ve found that one of my favorite combos in general is fantasy AND romance. Take that, literary snobs.

Now that I got that thought off my chest, here’s my review for 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. This book takes place after Darcy’s grandmother passes, ultimately leaving her and her brother (Jamie) a house and other items, which is then being renovated by their best friend/honorary brother (Tom).

This is one of those books that I truly don’t know how to rate. I started off not really liking Darcy, which is entirely the author’s fault. I have just really come to dislike turning your nose down at others (as evidenced by the rant above). She has this elitist attitude towards bartenders, like a person should be much better than being a bartender. Like being a bartender is the lowest thing she can think of and all of the people at the bar are trash. Darcy wasn’t a very believable bartender anyway. The whole “I change my name tag every shift thing” is such a dramatic approach and also not very likely that an employer would allow that regardless.

Her brother Jamie was kind of a douche and her family not taking her on vacation because they didn’t want to worry about her heart condition?? What?? You don’t let your chronically ill child even come with you to your vacations? Very weird. The grandmother who was supposed to be this sentimental family member to them all kinda treated them like crap? Giving the ring she knows her granddaughter loved to the boy of the family? Leaving their “basically” adopted brother/her adopted grandson nothing? Letting Darcy believe she was a liability to their family? None of this screams the sweet old lady that they made her out to be.

BUT… Darcy gets better throughout the book. Jamie isn’t a huge part of the book. And… basically-adopted-best-friend Tom is the BEST. The romance between Darcy and Tom is super cute. He’s a good person and he cares about both of the twins. The steamy parts are STEAMY. And I did love that Darcy was unapologetic about who she is, about how she takes charge in her sexual life, about how she feels about Tom. I would give these parts a 5 star and the rest a 3. I can’t possibly figure out how to rate this, so I will just say, if you’re LOOKING for a steamy escape, this will do the trick. You just have to get past the elitist attitude that mars the first chapter or so.

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