Review: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

4:16 PM

Three romance books in a row? WHO AM I?


Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that's inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

MY RATING: ★★★☆☆

“I have to prove myself. Every time I call someone out of the blue, they’ve got this tremor in their voice. Hello? Like they’re imagining me making an emergency call with my blue half-dead hand.”

Honestly, I'm surprised at how many "this just wasn't The Hating Game tweets and such I've seen about 99 Percent Mine. Uh. Well, yeah. Of course it wasn't? It's an entirely unrelated standalone novel that is merely a follow-up release by the same author. Like? If you go into this novel expecting it to be anything like The Hating Game, you're going to be disappointed.

Personally, the second half of this novel was better than the first half. I had issues with the pacing and the way that the main romance was developed. It wasn't wholly my cup of tea, but it was still a charming and fun romance. 99 Percent Mine also happens to feature a character I relate to immensely: Darcy Barrett. I feel extremely warm and fuzzy over the fact that two of the romances that I've read back-to-back have characters that I feel super connected to, because it gives the story an extra layer of emotion for me.

If this wasn't obvious enough by the title or synopsis: the romance between the two lead characters is... interesting. Darcy is an incredibly flawed and complex character, exactly how I love my fiction and the women at the center of them, and you can't help but do two things. (A) Shake her a bit to get her to see sense and her self-worth. (B) Hope for the best for her because she deserves a happy ending. Or, at least, a happy beginning.

I found the chemistry between her and Tom to be somewhere between minimally passionate (at the start, it seemed almost fully coming from Darcy's end, only) to downright steamy. The buildup is a blink-and-you'll miss it motion, but not in an insufferable way. Instead, it's like every choice they had made since childhood was leading them to the exact moment where things just explode for the two. I rather liked them a good chunk of the time, but at the beginning, I found myself asking: "Oh, they're going to get together? That's the end game? They've known each other almost their whole lives?"

It's not that the relationship wasn't there or that the connection was lackluster, there was just something about the first half of the novel that I was just like, "Oh? Okay?" about.

That being said, I did enjoy my experience reading 99 Percent Mine it was witty and had me laughing in that quick way that only Sally Thorne can manage. The romance itself reached a pretty swoon-worthy, heart thudding, pace once it really got into its groove. I really enjoyed the general premise of the novel and in the end, I was grinning stupidly and had this giddy feeling--the conclusion made me feel like two good friends had finally, finally come home.

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