Romance with Substance

Jasmine Haynes has done it again: she has crafted a beautiful novel focused on two mature characters with a history and managed to break and heal her readers’ hearts in turn. With her trademark grace and her smooth prose style, Haynes has given us a story filled with romance, heat, and substance. Haynes always presents her characters as fully fleshed people with flaws, insecurities, and weaknesses, coupled with strength, hope, and (as we always seek in her novels) a deep love of each other that must be coaxed and gently fanned until reaching a satisfying climax. As is her usual style, she alternates viewpoints from chapter to chapter—this is something romance novels do better than any other genre writing out there—giving us a complete (though sometimes frustrating in all the best suspenseful ways!) picture inside the intimate hearts and minds of her two main characters. The setting is atmospheric and believable—a must for a contemporary romance. From the beaches of Hawaii to the glamorous offices of their company, David and Tricia navigate a shared history that has haunted each of them in very different ways—but both have always secretly sought to complete what felt like unfinished business after a brief youthful dalliance. Breaking through to each other’s hearts (Tricia is very reliably more open and ready, as many women are) proves a consuming challenge for both of them and the reader. Seeing a woman taking lead in a relationship is nothing new to Haynes’ writing, however, as her novels universally feature strong women who know what they want and are unafraid to ask for it, whether it be matters of the heart or the bedroom. The delicate dance of getting to know someone again and slowly falling for each other, with all the consequent doubts and fear and hopes and triumphs is written beautifully here. For a satisfying read, look no further that Jasmine Haynes and Any Way she Wants It. (An honest review was provided in exchange for an ARC)