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The Pick Up (Up Red Creek Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 301 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Okay, I like this book...a LOT. So much, that I am really shocked at all the mediocre reviews of it (at the time I wrote this review which is still a few weeks before release so maybe they will go up). But for me, this book was awesome! There is a ton of heart and emotion built into it.
Kyle and Adam are an interesting pairing. Kyle is the 'hot mess' single father. His partner, Olivia, died seven months ago, so he and his daughter, Emily, are still trying to find a new normal. He's had to move back home to live with his father just to survive, something that he hates just because it's humiliating. He spends his days as a virtual personal assistant and constantly on the phone. But it's his dialogue with his first grade daughter early in the book that stole my heart. I loved how amazing he was with her, even when he was in the middle of breaking inside. And he definitely wasn't the perfect dad...he makes mistakes, but gah...I loved him so much. The fact that he's still going through the stages of mourning is really moving, too. Everything about his character worked for me...most especially that he is a bit of a hot mess, especially compared to the very contained Adam.
Adam is Emily's teacher. Two years ago he had to leave another teaching job he loved because he got involved with the wrong man. As a result, he really fights hard against his attraction to Kyle, who as a parent is definitely off-limits. Adam is more reserved and conservative. On the other hand, Kyle visibly flails when he gets nervous...and rambles a lot. It's really kind of funny.
But at first, despite the attraction on both their sides, these guys are really developing a friendship, not a romance. In fact, neither of them realize that a relationship might be on the table. Adam isn't out, and Kyle's partner was female. They both just assume the other is straight.
This is a very slow burn build up, but I think that's needed with the details of what Kyle is going through. It really worked for me and made it so that the two are friends first...which I loved.
There are some truly sweet moments throughout the book, too, especially when Emily is involved in the story. I thought she added a lot, and I loved how Kyle's emotions would seesaw when dealing with her...which is very apropos.
Overall, I just thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was a great start to the series...and I think it was a first novel for Allison Temple. That predicts good things to come in this series. I'm definitely looking forward to more!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
There is nothing I love more than discovering a new author that I adore. The Pick Up is Allison Temple's debut novel and it was everything I hoped it would be. It's funny and sweet, with awesome characterizations and one of the absolute best kid portrayals I've read in a novel.
Kyle and Adam both come to Red Creek looking for a place that will let them get back on their feet after life beats them down. Kyle brings his daughter back to his hometown after the death of his partner and Caroline's mom, Olivia. He needs his dad's support while he tries to figure out where they're going next. Adam comes to Red Creek after a relationship ends and he loses his job, looking for support from his sister as he starts a new life. Romance aside, this book is about family, support systems, small towns, finding your way again after life treats you like dirt and coming to realize that where you are might just be exactly where you need to be.
The familial relationships, and the exploration of them, were some of my absolute favorite parts of this story, especially Kyle's with his dad and daughter. Kyle's back in the house he grew up in, he and Caroline living with his father. Kyle's struggling, feeling inadequate and like so much of his life has been a failure, including coming back to his small hometown after escaping to the big city. On top of that, he's, well, not exactly unhappy, but unfulfilled in his job. Nothing has gone to plan for him, and he feels like everything's falling in on him. I loved Kyle from the first time we see him, through Adam's eyes, and he tugged at my heartstrings throughout the book.
Poor communication is something I generally detest in books. Like, it grinds all my gears in all the wrong ways. So color me super surprised when all the communication woes Kyle and Adam have (and boy, are they bad at communicating) made me fall more in love with these characters. Kyle talks a mile a minute about everything under the sun except for what he's feeling. He thinks he needs to be the strong one for his daughter and needs to handle the tough stuff himself. Adam's quiet; he just doesn't have much to say. He struggles with all the words, not just the ones that matter the most. The fact that they don't communicate well wasn't tropey. It wasn't there just to create angst. It was true to their characters, and the evolution of their communication built with the growth of their relationship in an honest and realistic way.
I really could go on and on about the things I loved about this story, so I'll digress. To sum it up, this book made me laugh and cry and smile and I didn't want to put it down a single time (even though I had to - stupid work and sleep). I can NOT wait for more books from Allison Temple, and more books about Red Creek. I hope we get some cameos of Kyle, Adam and Caroline because I can't wait to see them again.
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