Book 5 in this series, Matters to You, was released in January and I was lucky enough to win a copy in an author give away. I’d read Book 1, and I had most of the rest on my ereader, but hadn’t read them yet. So since I like to try and get reviews up when people are nice enough to gift me books, it was time to binge the series.
I found the first three books in the series to be deep, emotional, cathartic reads. I read them back-to-back and then had to take a break. They each tackle an difficult subject (cheating and unresolved relationships, childhood illness, rape) and drag the protagonists through a lot of personal growth before they reach their HEA. By contrast, Books 4 and 5 seemed to be a little lighter. Matters to Me features a heroine, Lauren, who suffers from anxiety. However, I found this aspect of her personality to be a bit too much something that she tells us about-a lot-but we don’t just see in her thoughts and actions. It dragged me out of the story every time and makes it my least favourite of the series.
Matters to You is the story of Paul and Kiersten and the trope is single parenthood. I don’t have kids, so I can’t reliably comment on the challenges of raising them-either alone or with a partner. But for me, this book lacked the angst of the earlier ones for several reasons. First, and probably biggest, single parenthood has become much more normalized; it’s no longer the scandal that it used to be. On top of that, while no one would call Kiersten’s life easy, she does have an eager support network, so that “one pay cheque away from disaster” terror isn’t there. This was still a fun story to read, and watching the back and forth between Paul and Kiersten was entertaining. But I’d say that this book turns the series from a deep, heart-rending experience to more of a sweet one.