Show Me by Abigail Strom
Ever since Airin was diagnosed with a heart condition, her life has been managed and controlled by her mother. All her childhood dreams of traveling to space and living life to the fullest were put on hold; but now her heart is fixed and her health is as good as it’s ever been. But when her mother still won’t let go, Airin takes things into her own hands and sneaks out while they’re on a trip to Hawaii.
Meeting Hunter is unexpected, joyous, and sexy. He’s handsome, smart, and Airin has never been so attracted to someone before. Even better, he’ll be spending the next 8 months in a NASA biosphere running Mars simulations, meaning he’ll make the perfect one night stand to end her virginity. But when things don’t work out as planned, Airin has to take a stand against her mother and find out what she wants to do with her life. She never intended to spend more time with Hunter but now that they’re roommates she learning what it means to be on her own.
“His mystery woman had managed to get under his skin with one kiss, and spending time with her tonight was that last thing he should do.”
Watching Airin find her independence was really great and I loved all the growth and self-exploration she goes through in this book. In particular, I appreciate that Airin grows in all areas of her life and not just romantically. She makes new friends, re-finds her passion for space travel, and determines where she wants to go next academically. Hunter also grows in this story but really I feel that Airin is the main focus. I loved all their talks about space and travel to Mars and what it means to be an astronaut. These portions were beautifully written and really captured the essence and desire behind space travel.
I really enjoyed the unique circumstances of Airin and Hunter’s romance. When they first meet their interactions are so sexy but also really cute. Airin knows she’s a bit awkward because she’s spent most of her life alone or in hospitals but she’s so earnest about it. Airin and Hunter have amazing chemistry and they were on fire when things started out. Of course, circumstances (I won’t give too much away) stop things before they can get too far and Hunter pulls back after making a deal he quickly regrets. At this point, the pace slows down quite a bit but I still enjoyed it. This was a perfect example of how you write a believable romance between two people who are just trying to be friends. They might not have engaged in sexy times until well into the story but you can really see the development of their relationship as they come to understand each other and fall in love.
Another element I enjoyed was Airin’s mother who I thought would be like every other over protective controlling parent in romance books — cold, distant, and manipulative purely for their own purposes. But Dira is a bit different; she might want to keep Airin in a safe bubble and she might manipulate the situation but her love for her is completely genuine. She even says at one point that she would give up all her successes for her daughter. Her flaw is just that she loves Airin too much and doesn’t know how to let go.
When I started this I didn’t realize it was the second in a series but it can still be read as a standalone and I certainly intend to go back and read the first, Tell Me.
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
4 out of 5 stars
Heroine with a heart condition
“Houston, we have a major attraction.”
After years of dealing with a heart condition and an overprotective mother, Airin Delaney is finally having her first taste of freedom in Waikiki—and it’s intoxicating. But it’s nothing compared to the out-of-this-world attraction between her and astronaut Hunter Bryce. Airin is determined to shoot for the stars and experience her first real kiss.
All Hunter has ever wanted is to explore the universe. That is, until a certain black-haired, wide-eyed beauty shakes him to the core. Hunter knows almost nothing about Airin, not even her last name. All he knows is that she’s the kind of girl he could fall over-the-moon in love with. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse. While Airin is celebrating her first night of freedom, Hunter is celebrating his last—before embarking on an eight-month mission.
It was only supposed to be one night. But sometimes that’s all fate needs to change two lives forever.
Published by Montlake Romance on January 2, 2018
Click on a cover to see the review