Book Review: What I Need by J. Daniels

Alabama Summer, #5
From New York Times bestselling author, J. Daniels, comes a sexy new STANDALONE novel.

Riley Tennyson has made a huge mistake.

At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.

Showing up to her brother’s wedding pissed off and newly single, Riley seeks comfort in solitude and an open bar, until the gorgeous and irresistibly charming CJ Tully makes her a better offer―a wild night with the master of smooth-talking where nothing is off limits.

Riley does what any single woman would do, and a connection is made. One neither one of them can ignore. But when she comes home to the boyfriend she no longer thought she had, Riley buries her secret and begs CJ to do the same.

Forget about each other. It was a mistake. That’s all it was… right?

Desires are hidden. Distance is kept. Until one night CJ makes the ultimate sacrifice, and Riley can no longer avoid the man she can’t stop thinking about.

Not with him sleeping down the hall…


At this point, I don't really know how to write a J.Daniels review anymore. All I ever want to say is...


However, something tells me that won't fly as a substantial enough review for some of you, so allow me to try to put into words just how much of a good time this author's books always turn out to be. Let's begin with the fact that it's called the Alabama Summer series. The title alone tells you exactly what to expect: Southern charm and plenty of heat. These are fun, quick, and always-entertaining reads that I can't help but to speed through in a matter of hours. And with every new book, the men of Ruxton, Alabama not only live up to that reputation...they just get better and better!

We're lovers who became friends who became...everything.

In What I Need, it's Officer CJ Tully's turn to take the spotlight, and OH DOES HE SHINE. Perhaps you remember the *4 AM* reaction videos that I just HAD to share on Instagram?? It was basically 90 seconds of me repeating one crucial fact: I ABSOLUTELY ADORED CJ. *becomes an actual heart eye emoji* *annoys you with 10 million dreamy sighs* He was such a fun hero to read about. On one hand, he's incredibly caring, attentive, and supportive. He's the kind of guy that just wants to take care of his girl, to appreciate her. But while he's a good man at heart...he also comes with that ultra-manly cop side (*cheesy grin*)  and bedroom talk that could light the sheets on fire. You know those memes that say "Get you a man who can do both..."?? CJ CAN DO BOTH. He can be sweet and flirty, tender and rough, funny and sexy. You get it all.

I know how much this means to CJ. I can see it in his eyes and feel it in the way he strokes my cheek. And when he rasps, "Darlin", I know that's mine. Only mine.

Riley was also fun, sweet, and relatable. She's a nursing student and just a laid-back young girl. There's actually a significant age gap between Riley and CJ, and it definitely shows in certain situations. (I'll admit there were a couple of times when I literally shook my Kindle, as if to say RILEY, GET YO SHIT TOGETHER GIRL.) He gives her the kind of things that she's never had in a relationship before. And he also opens her eyes to the fact that just because she's young doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to be treated like woman and that she shouldn't have to settle for less simply because "lesser" is all she's known so far in her relatively small dating experience. That's what I loved the most about this couple.

"It'll never be less than this, darlin'. Never." CJ leans back to look into my eyes. His are brighter now. A soft smile tugs at his mouth. "I'm gonna make you so fucking happy," he says. He promises...

The romance was an irresistible kind of sweet heat, the kind that makes you blush over and over again. Whether your cheeks are turning red from the scorching hot chemistry or the moments that make you laugh out loud. This book is J. Daniels' signature blend of strong hero + sassy heroine, an energy always present in her writing that makes her characters come alive. I was downright giddy over CJ and he is absolutely the best 'Bama boy so far...*Emphasis on the "so far" ;)...If you're already a fan of the Alabama Summer series, there is no question that you need to pick up CJ's book and dive right in. And if you've never read anything by this author before...well, CJ's not a bad starting point. :D



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J. Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.