Book Review: Until It's Right by Jamie Howard

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Haley Mitchell is tired of moping. With her broken heart repaired with a thick layer of duct tape, she’s ready to put her ex behind her and move on. After a chance encounter in a club, she’s convinced she’s met Mr. Perfect. But when he accidentally gives her the wrong number, the stranger on the other end of her texts becomes her confidant.

Kyle Lawson has always had more luck with computers than women. So when the new temp, Haley, arrives, he has the misfortune of falling for her, only to land firmly in the friend zone. But when he learns the mysterious woman he’s been texting is actually Haley, he keeps the entire thing a secret.

As things move straight from platonic to decidedly hot, Kyle must come clean about his secret texting identity and risk losing the woman he’s fallen in love with.
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3.5 STARS

I'm always excited to read new-to-me authors, and I'm happy to say that Jamie Howard has earned a spot in my Like column! I liked her writing. I liked her characters. Until It's Right was a fun, casual read, with just enough tension to keep things interesting!

When we meet heroine Haley Mitchell, she's in a post-breakup funk, but she's also finally ready to move on and get back into the dating game. From the beginning, it was easy to sympathize and to relate to her. She also had a great best friend/roomie supporting her along the way, and I enjoyed their candid relationship. I was definitely interested in seeing Haley rebuild!

Kyle, on the other hand, I loved. I was crushing on him from the start! :D After reading plenty of alpha males, bad boys, and good ol' heartthrobs, it was refreshing to read about this genuinely nice, funny, adorably awkward, and at times, self-conscious hero. (SO refreshing to read about a hero who wears glasses and can't see a DAMN thing without them! I feel your pain, Kyle! *raises hand*) Together, Haley and Kyle were sweet, and I loved their rapport. They begin as co-workers, then become friends, and their chemistry and attraction builds naturally, with some fun banter and cute moments.

BUT...that tension I mentioned earlier? The thing that keeps things interesting? Well, well, well, about that...*devilish grin* Thanks to a phone number mixup after meeting someone at a bar, Haley ends up texting a complete stranger. That stranger becomes a penpal of sorts, a mysterious/anonymous confidant that she can open up to because she'll never see him in real life anyway. But in a fun twist of fate, and unbeknownst to Haley, Kyle turns out to be that stranger. (EEEP!) Kyle figures out this predicament eventually and struggles with how to tell Hayley. How does he tell her the truth? How does he break it to her that she's been telling him some very secret, intimate things?? And how does he deal with the fact that he's been falling for her??? (EEEP x 2!) I kept bracing myself for the moment when all would be revealed! It brought a little bit of angst to the table!

Haley and Kyle have both experienced heartbreak in the past, so they're both hesitant to fully trust...which leads to a lot of assuming/non-communicating. The kind where want to throw your hands up in the air a little bit and just shout, 'SAY WHAT YOU REALLY MEAN!' :P Luckily, that part of the story never reached an over-the-top drama level, and they never drove me crazy for too long. ;) You just have to be a patient reader (sometimes necessary when it comes to New Adult!) and just stick with Hayley and Kyle!

This story is about finding someone who you can be yourself with and how important trust is in a relationship. It's also about overcoming heartbreak from the past and not letting it drag you down or keep you from the happy future right in front of you. I did wish that there had been a teensy bit more at the end...one more chapter or at least an epilogue...but I still finished with a grin on my face, definitely rooting for Kyle and Haley to be happy together.

The only other part of the novel that I struggled with was Haley's backstory. Until It's Right is technically a standalone. However, a part of me kept wondering if some of the subplots regarding Haley's ex and her family would've made more sense...if I had just read the first book. Her relationship with Kyle felt independent enough, that I could follow that part of the story just fine, but the connection to certain secondary characters was never really there for me.

Still, I really liked my first read from Jamie Howard and hope to read more from her in the future! If you're looking for that quick, lighthearted read, then meet Kyle and Haley! These characters were fun to get to know, and I'm actually hoping Kyle's brother, Brian, gets his own book soon! ;)

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MORE FROM JAMIE HOWARD

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 | +Goodreads |
When Sloane Avery stops to help a stranded driver, she finds more than a broken down car on the side of the road. Luke Evans is faster and sexier than her Maserati, but with her heart still on the mend, she’s not interested in taking him for a test drive. Despite their initial disdain for each other, emotion and passion simmer, complicating their fragile friendship. But when a tragic loss and devastating betrayal send them spiraling, their growing love isn’t enough to save them.

That was five years ago, practically a different lifetime and definitely a different Sloane. Before she’s been hardened by booze, sex, and as much distance as she could get from the past. Now, called home on a family emergency, she’s determined to hold onto her heart the next time she sees Luke.

Except Sloane’s not the only one who’s changed. Luke’s turned his life around. Only the reappearance of Sloane and the reminder of his biggest mistake can put a dent in his plans. Luke is set on fixing what he’s broken. But with her emotions boiling to the surface, Sloane needs to decide if falling in love is life’s greatest gift or its cruelest joke.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Jamie Howard is a legal and compliance specialist by day, author by night, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard or capturing the world through her trusty Canon, you can find her binge-watching TV shows, devouring books, and perfecting her gaming skills. She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs in New Jersey, and is almost always awake early enough to see the sun rise, even on the weekends.

Jamie is the author of Until We Break and Until It’s Right with St. Martin’s Press and is represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

*** ARC provided in exchange for honest review ***