One winter night, Ethan heads out for a run. He does this when he needs to clear his head, de-stress, and because it’s habit. What isn’t habit is coming upon a young woman about to jump to her death from a Manhattan bridge.
Ethan channels his mother – be a good person, do good works – and talks the girl down from the edge. When it’s clear she has nowhere to go, he brings her back to his apartment. He makes no move on her, other than to get her a hot bath, some food, and some warm, dry clothes. He takes care of her, all of which shocks her. Rachel, you see, is used to being used. She expects to be mistreated, so when Jason treats her with kindness, she doesn’t quite know how to react.
The two quickly settle into a routine. Jason allows Rachel to stay – where else can she go? – despite his friends and family back in Oregon warning him off. Especially his fiancée back home. She is none too pleased about Jason shacking up with a weirdo.
But Jason and Rachel are drawn to each other. Each gives the other something missing from their lives. They settle into a relationship, a sort of utopia on the other side of the country from Jason’s hometown. Of course, reality will set in, and when it does, Jason and Rachel need to be prepared.
Jane Lark tells her story from both Jason’s and Rachel’s points of view, alternating between them. This is good because they think so differently. It’s interesting to see how each of them views the same situation, and it’s easy for us to understand why they are drawn to each other.
The soap opera problems that befall them are occasionally eye-rollingly histrionic. There is one plot twist that you might see coming; it’s one of those “I really hope this isn’t where this is headed – oh, look, it is” things. It’s as if Jane Lark wants you to know that the happy couple can overcome anything.
My other complaint is the ending. It is way too neat and tidy, almost frustratingly so. After the grittiness of how these two meet, you know that their relationship will struggle more than it does. I felt cheated in a way.
Still, it’s a good book. There is occasional hot headboard rockin’, so beware of the “new adult” label. It’s for real, and this is not a YA novel.