I love one line in particular from the movie THELMA AND LOUISE.
You get what you settle for.
Avery and Bennett aren’t settling anymore.
Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He’s irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.
Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.
When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.
Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.
So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.
I love that Bennett is a good man but not a perfect one. He’s a virgin for a reason. It’s not a preachy or judgmental reason, either. It’s really lovely, actually. (I’ll let him tell you about it, though.)
I love that Avery KNOWS she’s sorta screwed up, but doesn’t apologize for it. She’s been through so much disappointment, mostly at the hands of people who claim to love her, but it hasn’t defeated her. She knows there’s something more, even though she can’t quite figure out what IT is just yet. She’s on the lookout.
Incidentally, I’ve never read a book that made me want to get a tattoo more than ALL OF YOU. Bennett’s approach to tattoos is almost poetic and his whole demeanor flies in the face of the usual tattoo artist stereotypes.
The supporting characters aren’t just window dressing. Avery’s girlfriends offer plenty of insight and levity, along with Mrs. Jackson, Avery’s oracle disguised as a nursing home patient. Both Bennett and Avery’s mothers are looking for love in the wrong places, leaving one emotional mess after another for their children to clean up. Avery and Bennett also both have siblings they feel compelled to both support and rescue.
Avery and Bennett’s story is a relationship evolution, and a delicious one at that. I knew where the story was going and was happy to be along for the ride. Everything about this story is warm and it drew me in. The best stories often fit into a conventional space but distinguish themselves by approaching said convention from a new angle. Christina Lee takes this simple love story and wraps it up into something unique. I rooted for Avery and Bennett throughout ALL OF YOU. I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
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