All the Way is an almost-too-fast romance with plenty of heat


Kristen Proby’s new series, Romancing Manhattan, kicks off with an almost-too-fast love story in All the Way, but there are some positives, too.

Earlier this year, Kristen Proby’s Savor You introduced this reviewer to her work as an author, so when William Morrow sent along another new title this year, All the Way, I was willing to give it a shot.

Unlike Savor You, All the Way actually starts a new series: Romancing Manhattan. It’s hard not to see how the two main characters here, Finn Cavanaugh and London Watson, have perhaps the most Manhattan jobs possible — he’s a corporate lawyer; she’s a Broadway actress who has a Tony. Although some of the same problems that Savor You had also appear here, this seems like a better novel overall.

First, though, the book is strangely paced. Because it’s such a short novel, things heat up really quickly; fans of a slow burn won’t find much to like here. Moreover, it jumps forward in time more than once, and there’s a strange almost thriller-like subplot that shows up and provides bursts of random action. Everything’s so compressed down that it’s hard to let the book and its characters really breathe.

On the plus side, though, age isn’t just a number. London is 32, and Finn turns 40 over the course of the book. However, these things aren’t mentioned once and then never again; the age difference isn’t a huge problem, but it’s something that other characters comment on and have to adjust to. These characters have well-established lives, although London’s losing her parents and suffering a leg injury kicks the entire book off. In fact, Proby even works in some commentary on the ageism in entertainment, particularly how it differs between men and women. That’s worth praising and noting, even though there’s still an age difference here, too.

As with Savor You, the two share some particularly toasty moments — nothing too risqué for those who have read pretty much any fanfiction ever. It is, however, decent enough, since there’s even a “Partition“-style moment.

Ultimately, where the book does stand out is in its communication issues. Both London and Finn have them, and they actually talk them out more than once. Neither is presented as exclusively right or wrong, and both come with valid points.

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If you’ve got a little — not a lot — of time to kill, and you need some romance, All the Way‘s a good choice.