Anybody But Justin
by Shelli Stevens, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-524-5
Once upon a time Gabby and Justin were room mates and best buddies. When Anybody But Justin opens, it has been about six months since she moved out without a word and he's left wondering why. She avoids his calls and goes out of her way to avoid meeting him, and he knows this because he keeps calling and trying to see her, heh. The reason for Gabby's decampment is due to a close call involving alcohol and such, fueled by her attraction to him. Gabby doesn't think that Justin is the right guy for her, however, because she wants a nice guy to settle down with while Justin is a player. Naturally, Justin has since then realized that she means a lot to him and he wants her back in his life.
Anybody But Justin is in a way a tired and boring story as its overused plot line would suggest. It's a readable story, though, with pretty good pacing. Also, the author exhibits a pretty good sense of awareness that her heroine is being a silly cow, although she unfortunately demonstrates this by having several secondary character lecture the heroine one after the other in a very heavy handed manner that doesn't ring real. Then there is the fact that this is a story where I have to wait and try to remain patient as the heroine takes her own sweet time to get over herself and realize the obvious for about two thirds of this story.
No matter how I look at it, this is a readable but not very memorable story. I've read way too many stories similar to this one to care.
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