Review of Show Me by Abigail Strom

Show Me by Abigail Strom is a romance written to make you swoon.

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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.

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Genre: General Fiction (Adult) , Romance

Pub Date: 02 Jan 2018

Airin put aside her childhood dream of going into space the day she was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition.  She also ended up putting aside all chances of living a normal life.  But now she’s been declared fit and healthy by her doctors and sets out to live the life she was shielded from.  Hunter’s less than perfect childhood shaped him to be a determined, self-sufficient, adventurous man.  He dreams of exploring the unknown.  Little did he know, the unknown he would be navigating would be love.

I adored this latest Abigail Strom novel.  I’ve read several other novels by her and when I saw this title on NetGalley I knew I had to try it.  I was not disappointed.

A major part of this novel is the journey to Mars.  That might seem a bit odd for a romance novel.  However, it’s clear Abigail Strom did a lot of research into the life of astronauts and the preparations for Mars exploration.  I’m no scientist and can’t dispute the technology she presents.  I liked it though.  I found the technical descriptions were interesting.  The jargon and explanations used were creatively woven into the story.  Dialogue where more technical issues were discussed flowed well. I found the conversations to be believable and well-scripted.

The characterization is well-done for the most part.  I enjoyed watching Airin struggle and fight for independence.  Because of her sheltered upbringing she is inexperienced but not naïve.  She has a good understanding of people’s motivations and is refreshingly, quite self-reliant.  She’s extremely intelligent and unafraid to show it.  It was an entertaining juxtaposition to have a character who can discuss the merits of compressing hydrogen to conduct electricity, yet has never had to make her own coffee.

Dira, Airin’s mother, is another key player in this story and she is also quite well drawn.  I wanted to dislike her for the way she tries to control Airin, yet I still felt for her.  She’s a complex character and her impetuses are mixed.  Beneath it all, however, is simply a mother terrified for her child.

The Hawaii setting is vividly described.  I could almost smell the flowers and if I closed my eyes I could see the double rainbow that enthralled both Airin and Hunter.  I was just about to pack my things and head to Hawaii when the giant cockroaches showed up.

Fun fact learnt (and verified) from reading this book: Slack-key style is a genre of guitar music that originated in Hawaii. The ‘slack-key’ is achieved by starting with a regularly tuned guitar and detuning or “slacking” one or more of the strings until the six strings form a single chord.

Some things I liked:

  • The science element as a major part of the story.
  • The technical details were seamlessly worked into the story.
  • Airin’s battle for independence is well described and shown.
  • The Hawaii setting.
  • Hunter is a former fighter pilot turned astronaut. How sexy is that?!

Something I didn’t like:

  • I felt Hunter maybe needed a little more fleshing out. He’s an extremely likeable character but somewhere along the way his motivations and actions seemed not to mesh.

Beautiful characters, drama, spicy romance, science and a gorgeous tropical setting all combine in this well-paced, delightful novel.  Try it!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and Montlake Romance.  This did not affect my opinion in any way.

 

I give Show Me 4.5/5 espresso shots.

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