Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay


“Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal…from her ex-husband. When she’s offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design firm in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over. Once she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he’s close to her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home. Despite her promise to herself to not get involved, Annabelle finds she is irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might be able to help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.”

-Synopsis from back of the book


Cover image from StoryGraph

*light spoilers below*

Wait For It is the companion to Paris Is Always A Good Idea which came out last year. In the previous book, Annabelle is a minor character. This time around, she has gotten her own story and the reader gets to learn more about her and see her on her own adventure.

This book started off so strong for me. Here are a few things that I loved right off the bat…

  • I am partial to books set in Arizona, especially when I have been to the area, in this case, the Biltmore area of Phoenix
  • The first chapter started off with a bang, with the humorous dialogue and comedic moments that McKinlay is known for
  • Annabelle is a well-rounded character with plenty of backstory that allows the reader to feel like they know her from the first few chapters alone

About halfway through the book I noticed some things that had me scratching my head. Annabelle and Nick go from being mere acquaintances and disliking one another to suddenly being an exclusive couple in almost the span of half a chapter. I just couldn’t see how based on their past experiences with one another, that either of them could be in love so quickly. The “love at first sight” concept didn’t seem to fit for me.

A good part of the book is spent getting to know them separately as individuals that by the time they are together it just didn’t seem like the best match to me. I also struggled to like Nick because he didn’t seem to be in a place where he would be ready to fully commit to a relationship in the way that he attempts to with Annabelle. I liked them wanting to be together, it just seemed surprising that they went from neighbors to engaged in the blink of an eye.

Finally, I was surprised by how dark certain parts of this book were, and I wished more than once that a list of content warnings had been posted somewhere, anywhere, so that I would have known up front some of the topics that would be discussed. Some of the things I would have put on a trigger warning or content warning list are: death of a parent, drug abuse, emotional abuse, lots of medical content, bullying, parental abuse. I’ll be honest, there was a lot of upsetting things mentioned, ever briefly, as if only to provide backstory, when really I kept questioning why it was thrown around so casually. It didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story.

I’m glad that I read this book and on the whole I did enjoy McKinlay’s writing and attention to detail, but some of the plot was distracting to me. I know there are many readers out there who are loving this book, which is so great to see. I think those that read contemporary romances will like this one.

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