Book Review: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
“Mine, mine, mine. One thousand percent mine until the end of time.”
If you’ve been around me long enough, you’ve most likely heard me raving about The Hating Game, Sally Thorne’s debut novel. I just picked up her latest novel, 99 Percent Mine. I was a little nervous about if it would live up to all the hype of The Hating Game, but let me go ahead and say it completely did. Darcy Barrett has long been in love (and lust) with her childhood friend, Tom Valeska, but Tom has always been her twin brother Jamie’s best friend. So she has spent a long time keeping her feelings to herself (or so she thinks), traveling the world photographing weddings. But when her grandmother’s home needs to be renovated and sold per Loretta’s will, Tom shows up as the contractor. Now the next three months look a lot different than what Darcy was anticipating.
Darcy has spent the last eight years of her life traveling the world and spending time with her grandmother when she comes home. But once she and Jamie inherited Loretta’s house, they had a huge fight over what to do with the house, and they haven’t really spoken in two years. So in the meantime, Darcy has been bartending and figuring out her next move. But when Tom shows up to get the renovation started, all of Darcy’s plans come to a halt. Darcy has been in love with Tom for years, but she always keeps her feelings in check around him because of Tom’s girlfriend Megan. Even though her relationship with Tom is built upon flirting and total honesty that seems like she’s messing with him, she never wants to cross that line with Tom because of Megan. But as soon as she finds out that they broke up, she immediately lays it all out for Tom about how much she wants him. Needless to say after that confession, the sexual tension and chemistry is off the charts between Darcy and Tom.
I loved the chemistry between Darcy and Tom. At the beginning I was a bit concerned because of how much we are in Darcy’s mind, but once we saw more of them together, it was clear that Tom has always been just as much in love with Darcy as she has with him. I think part of Darcy never really believed Tom was in love with her because she never thought she was good enough for him. She was born with a heart condition, and growing up, she was always forced to stay inside and never could do the things that Jamie could. When Tom came along when they were all eight years old, Jamie finally had someone to do things with. But Tom always cared about Darcy and made sure to include her in things. I loved the little glimpses we got into Darcy and Tom as children and as teens. It made their relationship feel more real.
A lot of the reason that Tom is hesitant about starting a relationship with Darcy is Jamie’s reaction to them. Jamie and Darcy have a complicated relationship, yet are still each other’s best friends. Despite them being twins, Jamie flat out tells Darcy that Tom is too good for her, which just reinforces Darcy’s insecurities. Part of the great tension of the story is Tom’s relationship with Jamie and Darcy’s relationship with Jamie. I really enjoyed the storyline. I’ve read my fair share of sibling’s best friend tropes lately, but this has definitely been my favorite.
Another delightful part of romantic comedies is the cast of secondary characters. I adored Darcy’s best friend Truly and the guys on Tom’s construction crew. They added delightful insight into Darcy and Tom as main characters, which was nice to see since we only got Darcy’s point of view. I also loved the plot of renovating old houses; I’m a sucker for HGTV and fixer uppers, so I really appreciated seeing that as a plot of a romance novel. Please recommend me all the home renovation novels (hello, Beginner’s Luck).
Like I have repeatedly said about The Hating Game, Sally Thorne writes delightful heroines and super hunky heroes, but I appreciated how much of a hot mess Darcy was. It’s always refreshing to read about women who don’t have it all together, but are still loved and wanted. I cannot recommend 99 Percent Mine enough if you are looking for a fun contemporary romance. I adored it; 5 stars!
Seriously, let me know what other home renovation romance novels you recommend.
UPDATE (Feb. 8): The more I’ve thought about 99 Percent Mine after I posted this review, the more I feel like I made too much of a quick, gut reaction. The more I’ve thought about it this week, the more I realize I enjoyed this book and was invested in Darcy and Tom, but I don’t think it is quite up to my normal 5-star books. This is not to say I didn’t adore it, because I definitely did, but I think it is more of a 4-star book than one of my favorites. I don’t exactly know what it is that has made me knock it down a star, but I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and I think I wrote the review too quickly after I finished the book and didn’t give myself enough time to process it. So as much as I liked 99 Percent Mine, I’m going to give it 4 stars after the fact. I hope this doesn’t discourage anyone from picking it up, but I felt like I needed to update my review to reflect my new position.