Published by Nixon House on March 14, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Everyone has secrets. He wants all of hers.
Meet the man next door...
After years of military service, Evan Miller wants a quiet life. The small town of Ravenswood seems perfect—until he stumbles upon a vicious web of lies with his new neighbour at its centre.
Ruth Kabbah is rude, awkward, and, according to everyone in town, bad news. Thing is, no-one will tell Evan why. Does she perform ritual sacrifices? Howl at the moon? Pour the milk before the tea? He has no clue.
But he desperately wants to find out. Because Ruth doesn’t seem evil to him; she seems lonely. And funny, and clumsy, and secretly quite sweet, and really f*%king beautiful…
The more Evan’s isolated, eccentric neighbour pushes him away, the more he wants her. Her—and all her secrets. Because there’s no way a girl like Ruth truly deserves the town’s scorn.
… Is there?
Please note: this book contains mentions of intimate partner violence that could potentially trigger certain audiences.
Guys. I don’t know where Talia Hibbert has been for my entire romance reading life, but I’m so happy that she’s finally here.
Ruth Kabbah is the town pariah. In a town this small, it doesn’t really take much, and she and her sister have managed to find themselves completely ostracized, managing to make enemies of one of the town’s most powerful families.
When we first meet Ruthie, she’s in the middle of a total we-have-all-been-there meltdown because she’s started her period and doesn’t have any tampons. She has to figure out how to get to the store to get tampons without ruining her clothes, and seriously. Who among us hasn’t had to deal with this at least once?
Ruthie wasn’t an easy heroine to love, but love her I did. She’s autistic, and her specific brand of autism makes her blunt, literal, and unable to accept any bullshit from anyone. She’s also nearly a shut-in, but I got the impression that was less her autism, more just her being tired of being a social pariah. She doesn’t have an agoraphobic inability to go outside her apartment, she just really, really doesn’t like it.
Evan Miller is new to town, and he doesn’t understand why everyone is warning him to stay away from Ruthie and her family. He’s intrigued by Ruthie from the moment he meets her and the attitude of the rest of the town don’t make any sense. His new boss, the son of the aforementioned powerful family, seems particularly offended by Ruthie’s very existence, but no one will tell Evan why.
If I had any quibble with this book, it would be that. The reason for the entire town turning against the Kabbahs was drawn out a little too long. But it’s a really minor quibble. This book had all of my catnip. Main character who were so well drawn I felt like I could actually call them up and go out for a glass of wine with them. A hero that was all about sexy consent, allowing the heroine to be exactly who she was, and honoring her for it, and a heroine who was prickly, set in her own ways, not looking for anyone else to add to her life, but willing to go for it and get hers when she wants it.
I finished this book and immediately downloaded the rest of Talia Hibbert’s backlist, and I suspect you will, too. Then I signed up for her newsletter so I don’t miss anything she writes in the future. Fortunately for me, Hibbert seems to do nothing but write, so I won’t have to wait too long before her next one comes out.