Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romantic Suspense, Humor
“Life is a beautiful, broken mess. Closer to a Shakespearean tragedy than a Hollywood happy ending.”
Well, life is indeed a Shakespearean tragedy when it dawns on you that Luca Buchanan, Boston's most badass MMA fighter and Alpha Male Extraordinaire, is not real. I'm going to numb my pain by watching Stephen Amell working out in those deliciously entertaining salmon ladders that make Lila (and me, and you, and every creature with ovaries) drool.
Delilah 'Lila' Sinclair is a bitch. A fiery redhead that cares too much.
A cool girl. A girl afraid of love.
An aloof heiress. A daughter and sister who would do anything for her family.
The untouchable queen bee. The queen dethroned and now searching for a way to keep her life together.
She was polished and unattainable, with her designer clothes and bluntness and habit of wrecking her short-term boyfriends, until things happened. Until Luca Buchanan happened. She knew he would be her undoing, and she kept him at arm's length until the day came when he was the only one who could help her, and thus a complicated relationship shuly started to bloom, filled with fights and stubborness and some really mean dudes. And Lila was forced to face her fears once and for all, and decide whether her past would prevent her from living her future. With or without him.
“Careful, Delilah. You play with fire, you're gonna get burned.”
What is the greatest gift a rom-com could ever give you?
- Funny and snarky characters that brighten your days and make your belly shake with laughter
- Stories that combine action, suspense and romance that keep you glued to your seat until you finish one more chapter, even if it means forgetting to get off the bus in time and face the consequences of your actions (e.g. end up in a dystopian city with brain-eating zombies or something)
- Harry Potter references (aren't you frustrated when no one gets them?)
There is a certain pattern when you read a Boston Love story. A sacred ritual, if you may. You meet a relatable girl trying to figure things out. Then you meet a guy who has some issues of his own, but decides that there is something special about this girl worth pursuing, despite everything that keeps them apart. There is sizzling tension. There is tenderness that envelops you in a bubble of warmth and gets you drunk with elation. There are some bad guys who'll complicate things, featuring guns and kidnapping. But in the end, when you finish it, heart racing and eyes puffy with tears and nose leaking and rugged breathing, you are content. Even if your life is a trainwreck, even if you spend your nights muffling your sobs or jump from one meaningless relationship to another, searching for the right person to call home, Julie Johnson always gives you the greatest gift. Hope. In its purest and most genuine form. A gift she never fails to deliver.
In Take your Time, she doesn't actually let you take the time to process what is happening. In a space of a few days, she manages to turn the lives of Lila and Luca upside down, and she drags you in their hot mess without giving you the chance to say no. Her words weave a web of affection and heat around your soul, erase everything from your brain except the overpowering need to get lost in her tornado and never come out again. You need her to survive. To believe. To dream. To forget your struggles and your sorrow, your commitments and your anxiety. To put back together all those pieces of you that keep chipping away. Take Your Time is not only about the cosmic love between a lonely boy and a fallen heiress. It's also about a self-sufficient girl who lets her heartbreak and her loss dictate her life. You find a kindred spirit in Lila. There are so many masks a person can put to hide their true self. You can choose the distant bitch persona, or the always smiling honey-tongued girl-next door, but the truth is still the same. You hurt. You search for something, even when you're not sure what's that. And you don't want the world to see this weakness. But in Lila's case, Luca did. He called bullsh!t on her act, and saw the golden heart in her, the heart that cared for two adorable twins and a slobbery dog, and decided he wanted her. Scars and all. Lila didn't need time. She had all the time in the world to hide and run away. She just needed a push. A leap of faith, and someone to hold her when she did.
“If I ever decide to let someone break my heart, I want it to be you, Luca Buchanan.”
Setting the self-discovery parts aside, Take Your Time is also a hilarious, scorching, feel-good story that plasters a huge grin on your face, with its adorable characters and its fast pace. Even after nine books, Julie Johnson has always more to offer; her words are a shelter and a sanctuary, whenever I need my fix of escape. And for that, I am always grateful!
P.S. I'm still waiting for Connor's story, Julie.
*ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*