I first discovered Wendy S. Marcus when I read her The V Spot, one of Cosmo’s Red Hot Reads. It stood out for me as it embraced its plus-sized heroine and since then I’ve had her pretty much on auto-buy. (Plus, anyone who bases their hero on pro-wrestler John Cena has got their priorities right!!)
All I Need Is You is the second in a duo of romances that follow two friends who start writing letters to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The first, Loving You Is Easy, follows politician’s daughter, Brooke, but the second stars adagio dancer Neve.
Now, I like my heroines flawed – there’s nothing worse than a female character who has every virtue under the sun, and next to no personality, and that’s far from Neve.
She’s loud and brash and yet unwaveringly fragile at moments. I love the fact that Marcus doesn’t shy away from the fact that she’s had a number of sexual partners before she meets Rory, and that there’s no judgment of her. she is who she is, and she’s had the experiences that she’s had. They don’t change who she is, or make her any less moral.
She also doesn’t shy away from the fact that that isn’t always the easiest thing for Rory to deal with, but Neve’s sexual history is so far from the central conflict, that it’s incredibly refreshing.
Instead, it’s the truth of Neve’s parentage, and Rory’s PTSD that take centre stage. Both of these are difficult things to discuss, let alone explore in novelisation, and Marcus does a fantastic job. The characterisation of these issues is thought-provoking and moving, without shying away from the issues that they can cause.
Not that it’s all dark, by any means. There are deliciously steamy sex scenes that are tender and unbelievably hot simultaneously. And they’re both funny. As characters they bond well together and its well worth a read.