From city lights to country love: Reviewing ‘Part of Your World’ by Abby Jimenez
TITLE: Part of Your World (Part of Your World Book 1 of 2)
AUTHOR: Abby Jimenez
GENRE: Contemporary romance
PUBLICATION DATE: April 19, 2022
TROPES: Opposites attract, older woman
TWs: domestic/emotional abuse, depression
NARRATORS: Zachary Webber, Julia Whelan
Part of Your World is the first book in the Part of Your World series, and it tells the heartwarming and touching story between two people who could not be more different. Using Jimenez’s classic triad of quirky animals, authentic characters, and irresistible chemistry, she pens a beautiful story that balances serious issues such as domestic abuse and depression with funny and adorable moments, proving once again why her books are always worth reading.
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?
Alexis comes from a world of privilege, while Daniel comes from a world of hard work and manual labor. He prefers plaid and denim, and she favors Dolce & Gabbana. He runs a local B&B that’s always in need of repairs, while she grew up in a mansion run by employees. But the one thing they have in common is their obligation to their family’s legacies. It was delightful to read about how they navigated each other’s differences to be together.
Their meet-cute was such a charming and funny introduction to their story, and it reminded me of a similar start in When in Rome by Sarah Adams. Their chemistry was undeniable, and I appreciated how their relationship progressed in such an organic and genuine way.
I absolutely loved Jacob in Yours Truly, and Jimenez has done it again with yet another sweet and endearing golden retriever hero. Daniel is thoughtful, charming, and refreshingly vulnerable. I adore male characters who challenge toxic masculinity and are open about their emotions, and Daniel does just that. You can feel Daniel’s honesty and emotions through the pages as the story progresses. From his desire to be good enough for Alexis to his desperation to keep her in his life, his efforts have earned him a spot at the top of my list of favorite book boyfriends.
She begins in a world of privilege, where she is groomed to continue her family’s legacy of pioneering medical advancements. However, as she spends time with Daniel and realizes that life is about more than just accomplishments that look good on a resume, her perspective shifts. I enjoyed following her on her journey as she discovered her voice and began to prioritize her own needs. By the end, I wanted to give her a big ol’ high 5!
I found a few moments a little hard to believe, such as her not knowing how to use a broom. However, these were quickly redeemed by Daniel’s character and how the author handled Alexis’ efforts to be self-sufficient. I had a soft spot for Alexis because I used to work in the ER, and listening to her describe the funny cases she encountered made me miss my time there.
From comedic best friends to quirky townsfolk, the side characters in Part of Your World are a delight to read about. They complimented the story in the sweetest of ways. BRIANNA, Alexis’ best friend, was hilarious and exactly the kind of friend that everyone needs. And Daniel’s best friend, DOUG, had me laughing so hard. There was a scene where he helped Daniel send a naked picture to Alexis that had me laughing so hard while I was driving that I had to slow down just to finish laughing.
A common thread in Jimenez’s books is trouble-making fun-loving DOGS. I found it particularly endearing how she humanizes them by giving each one a unique disability, from hearing impairment to missing limbs. Yet she shows how beautifully these disabilities don’t slow down life at all but instead add a layer of wonderment and humor.
Part of Your World portrays abusive relationships, including both physical and emotional abuse. Jimenez approached this sensitive topic with great care and accuracy, which made the book even more memorable and validating for those who have experienced such situations. She effectively highlighted the struggles from the victim’s perspective while also acknowledging the helplessness felt by those who love them enough to want them to get out of it.
Depression was briefly shown towards the end, after the third act conflict, and the heartbreak between the characters was palpable. It was frustrating to see how much they loved each other but could not make it work because of societal and class barriers.
Although the story had a bit of an insta-love feel initially, I couldn’t help but smile as Daniel and Alexis built on their physical attraction. The angst was paced well, and I found myself looking for excuses to keep listening to the audiobook, eagerly anticipating when they would finally give in (even though I had already read the story before).
The ending was such a satisfying conclusion after such an emotionally heavy read. By the time I reached the epilogue, I didn’t want the story to end. It left me wanting more of Wakan and its adorable townsfolk. As with Yours Truly, Jimenez does an amazing job balancing the serious issues of the book with sweet, tender moments that will surely capture your heart.
This audiobook is one that I’ve listened to more than once, thanks to Jimenez’s writing and her ability to create realistic, flawed characters. She writes the types of stories that you could read over and over again without losing their emotional impact.
Dual POVs are my favorite way to experience a romance book. Often, knowing only one side of the story gives a biased opinion and only provides part of the picture. Daniel’s POV added so much emotional impact with his vulnerability, and Alexis’ POV added an intimate look at emotional abuse that the story would have been missing something without either.
I enjoyed how the author took me through different settings in Part of Your World. The contrast between Alexis’ experiences in the city and the country was effectively conveyed through the tone of the writing. The witty and funny dialogues in the scenes set in Wakan were especially engaging and showed Jimenez’s skill in crafting entertaining conversations. At the same time, the tense discussions in the city scenes reflected the challenges Alexis faced in her urban life. The tonal shifts were evident and added more depth to the book.
I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again – Zachary Webber is one of my favorite audiobook narrators! I’m always excited to listen to a story when he’s reading it. His voice was perfect for Jacob in Yours Truly, and he was equally perfect for Daniel. I adore how he can make his characters come alive by infusing them with emotions. When I read the chapter where Daniel’s heart breaks, I almost cried along with him because of Webber’s convincing narration.
I was introduced to Julia Whelan in The Measure and instantly loved her. They couldn’t have chosen a better narrator for Alexis. The way she embodied the maturity of an older woman through her voice and seamlessly transitioned between accents for each character drew me into the story and made it an incredibly enjoyable listen.
Part of Your World will give you all the warm and fuzzy feelings reminiscent of a well-written contemporary romance. I have enjoyed this book multiple times and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for an emotionally rewarding, feel-good read.
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