Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Work for It

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Work for It (2019) Talia Hibbert (Just for Him)

Work for ItThe world is making me feel out-of-sorts, so I decided to re-read a book I very much enjoyed.

The first time around I read this book before the rest of the series (this is essentially the last book) so re-reading it after having read about the events that lead to this made it better–and I enjoyed it the first time through.

Olu is struggling not to let his sister or friends know how unhappy he is. She’s pregnant, after all, and since she’s still relatively new at dealing with her diabetes he worries very much about her. As a way to keep hiding, he decides to travel, something he has done in the past to escape from himself–as well as to be himself in a world that believed him to be straight.

Olu I can’t remember what it’s like to be happy.

It’s not as though I didn’t see this coming. I have been slightly… distant all my life, so these recent changes are a natural escalation. I don’t feel the things I used to, can’t catch the cold echoes of emotion I was raised on or the flashes of intensity I used to hunt down and leech like a vampire. Which means it’s finally happened; after thirty-eight years of fighting it, I have become an alien species.

Griffin Everett is the village outcast.

Griffin. Even that part of me is wrong, in a place like this. My mother— my tragic, scandalous, blah-blah-fucking-blah mother— gave me a weirdo name, as far as Fernley’s concerned. People round here are called John or Beth or James. People round here aren’t born out of wedlock, people round here aren’t unnaturally massive and unnervingly quiet, people round here aren’t openly into men and completely fine with it.

But he has a best friend and more importantly is very good at his job: production manager at Fernley Farm. Even better, he enjoys his job, which makes life easier.

Until Keynes shows up, and then everything goes to hell.

“He’s staring a hole into you, Griff. No, don’t look, you donkey. Trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong?”

I finally take my shot and fluff it. “Year 2, you told me to pick up that stinging nettle—”

“I thought it was a flower,” Rebecca interrupts. “Don’t be petty.”

“Year 3, you convinced me to nab you a jam tart off your nana’s counter, and we both got—”

So, the first time I read this I initially thought Olu is a bit of an asshole. Yeah, he was depressed, but he was acting like a jerk. Then, I read this and decided he was ok after all.

“Olu,” she sighs, but then she humours me and launches into a medical update that I mostly memorise. My recall is the only thing that got me through law school. I’ll write it all down in my pregnancy journal later, and yes, I have a pregnancy journal, and no, I don’t think I’m overdoing it. My sister is diabetic. I am keeping an eye on this.

Olu truly adores Lizzy and will quite clearly do anything for her. So I decided his being a jerk may well just be a result of his depression.

And then he apologizes to Griff, and I loved him.

Griff I adored from the start.

I tell him, “I am who I am. I want who I want. It doesn’t matter what you call it. That’s what my mum taught me.”

There are parts of this story that are hard. Olu is depressed, and he’s buried his feelings so deep inside himself so he can protect others.

That’s hard.

But the story is so very good! And it’s a romance, so you know there’s a HEA! And Rebecca is a delight. Seriously, she’s wonderful.

“And when I said I’d pay for the ivy maintenance as a compromise, he said that wasn’t a compromise. So I Googled the definition of compromise, and he said I was being petty! Can you believe that?”

It’s a very very good story and I very much recommend it.

Publisher: Nixon House
Rating: 8.5/10


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