Skip to main content

Review of "I'll Be There" by Samantha Chase

I'll Be ThereI did it again.  I read another Samantha Chase and hoped for a different outcome.  I know.  I know.  A lot of people say doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity (just fyi, insanity is a legal term, which is determined based off of a person's ability to tell right from wrong when they've committed a crime).  This time, I actually got more than 80% through the book thinking that maybe she changed her formula up before realizing that this was just another Montgomery Series book where everyone lives happily ever after without anything being resolved.


Gabriella Martine has worked for The Montgomery Family for five years, putting up with all kinds of abuse at the hands of her boss, Zach Montgomery, and it only gets worse after Zach falls off of a mountain in Alaska and nearly dies.  When William Montgomery approaches her about working with Zach from home, she's leery, but decides to give it a shot.  What could she lose?

Zach Montgomery hasn't had the best year.  After nearly dying in Alaska, his body hasn't been the same and he's afraid he's going to be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.  When Gabriella showed up at his door, he was not happy to see her.  Sure, she's the best assistant he's ever had, but she's also the most attractive assistant he's ever had.    For five years they've worked together and for five years he's hid his attraction to her.  He definitely does not want her to see him like that.

I enjoyed most of this book.  Gabriella and Zach were both sympathetic and likable characters.  They're complex and have dealt with a lot of ridiculous things in the past, but like Return to You there's almost no character growth, especially on Zach's part.  He starts out the book in a deep funk because he's spent the last year pitying himself and sabotaging his recovery.  Spending a little time with Gabriella helps, but it doesn't bring him completely out of it, which is fine because life doesn't work that way, so fiction shouldn't either.  The thing is that as we near the end of the book he lets something that hadn't been a problem for them since the start of the book color his thoughts and screw up his relationship with Gabriella.  At this point, I was rooting for her to get out and go far away from him because she deserved more than what he threw at her.

Of course, being a romance novel, that wasn't going to happen.  I just wish that they actually talked about what happened and why he said what he did to her before she took him back.  I was seriously looking forward to that scene and for a quick minute I thought I was going to get it.  Gabriella planned on making it hard for him.  She knew she loved him (I don't know why at this point, but she did) and she wanted to get him back.  However, she wanted him to work to get it.  While he did some begging, it wasn't enough to warrant her taking him back so quickly.  Apparently, instead of communication, hot sex solves all problems.  Who knew?

The biggest issue I had with this book is that the title is I'll Be There, implying that the characters are going to actually be there for each other, but in reality, it only works one way.  Gabriella bends over backwards for Zach, doing everything she can to save his job and keep him happy, but when she needed him, he was out the door as fast as he could be. He let his self-doubt get the best of him and tossed her away when he should have pulled her into his arms and never let her go.

There was also a bit of a technical issue that I hope was fixed before final publication (this was an ARC from Sourcebooks and Netgalley).  The issue was with chronology.  At one point, it is mentioned that it has been a month since Zach and Gabriella got together, but not long later we find out that it has only been a week.  I don't know if the original plan was to skip the early part of their relationship or if it was just an odd typo that wasn't caught before the ARC went out, but it led to a bit of confusion on my part.

In the end, I liked the beginning and the interactions between Gabriella and Zach up until he just threw her away.  I think the problem is that Ms. Chase didn't know how to end the book.  Her characters were happy and on the way to staying that way.  It is almost as if someone told her she needed one more conflict to wrap everything up.  Unfortunately, this wasn't the case.  Without that bit of ridiculousness, I was willing to give this a full five star rating, but now I can't do that.  Between Zach's reversion to being a complete asshole and Gabriella becoming a doormat, I just can't give it anywhere near that high a rating.

3.5 Stars


Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.

The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Review of "Bay of Sighs" by Nora Roberts

A couple of months ago, I volunteered to read Stars of Fortune, the first book in Nora Roberts's Guardian Trilogy for the Smart Bitches RITA Reader Challenge because ParaNoras are my crack.  If they were illegal, I'd be serving a life sentence for possession/intent to sell a controlled substance.  Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of book 1, but I'd already requested Bay of Sighs, so I felt the need to read it too.  Plus, I liked the idea of a mermaid heroine -- one whose name was not Ariel.  I really wish I resisted reading this.  It was awful.  It took everything I hated about SoF and magnified it to the level that I wasn't able to finish it.

Annika is a mermaid, sent to "the shore up above" to stop an evil goddess from getting the Stars of Fortune.  Together with the five other guardians, she must search for the stars and protect them.  Afterwards, she must return to the sea, which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for Sawyer King...

Sawyer has be…

Review of "Sleepless in Manhattan" by Sarah Morgan

I bought this book with the intention of reading it on a plane from San Francisco to New York City last weekend.  Of course I read about 30% before even stepping foot onto the plane and once I was actually on it, I read maybe 5%, listening to the most recent Smart Bitches podcast and watching a few episodes of Charmed on Netflix because I had an awful night sleep the evening prior and was too tired to read.  I finally sat down to read it Sunday and Monday night.

Paige Walker has lived a sheltered life, brought low by a heart condition that had her in and out of the hospital until her late teens, but now in her late 20's she's finally healthy and happy.  She loves her life in Manhattan.  She'd felt stifled in her hometown of Puffin Island and as soon as she was able she moved to New York with her best friends, Eva and Frankie, as well as her older brother, Matt.  On the verge of a promotion at work, she figures she's got it all, but then the rug is pulled out from unde…

Review of "Magnate" by Joanna Shupe

The first thing that intrigued me about Joanna Shupe's Knickerbocker Series (other than the fact that Knickerbocker is the full name of the New York basketball team) was that it took place in Gilded Age New York.  I remember reading about that time period in both my high school and college American History classes and through the 21st century liberal gaze, I saw that period as rivaling our current economic situation (which is true in some respects and utterly false in others).  This alone was reason enough for me to check out this series, but seeing as the hero of Magnate is one of those figments of the GOP's collective imagination -- the self-made man, who struggled out of the slums of Five Points and made his way into the boardrooms and ballrooms of Manhattan (of course, this description is the true difference between the late 19th Century and today, the fact that a boy from the slums actually can become a millionaire) -- my finger deftly pressed the "Buy with One Clic…

Review of "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Pretty Face is pretty fucking awesome.  There, I said it.  I first picked it up based on all the squeeing about Ms. Parker's first book, Act Like It, which I am sad to say, I still have not read, despite said squeeing.  I don't usually read books by authors I know are British and I'm sure this comes from all those stuffy classics I had to read in high school.  Granted, many of those classics were written by American authors (I still have nightmares about reading Moby Dick--Mr Sullivan, if you are out there and have stumbled on my blog, I'm sorry, but Melville was an awful writer, who used the English language as a torture device), but still, there seems to be some type of block in my brain that stops me from wanting to read something by a British author.  I'm glad I made an exception for Ms. Parker.

Luc Savage is in the middle of a crisis: he can't find anyone to play Elizabeth I in the new play that he is producing.  While he's used to dealing with actors…