Side Squeeze (Jasper Falls, Book 6)

Lydia Michaels
Narrator: Amber Battaglia

CONTEMPORARY: It’s been ten years since Harrison Montgomery ran off to escape his abusive father, taking Mariella Mosconi’s heart with him. He’s built a new life for himself in New York and rarely allows himself to think of all he left behind in Jasper Falls. The first of two regrets, though, is standing in front of him and their chemistry is still electric. But despite their chemistry, one thing is clear: Harrison is still running from his past. Mariella’s life and family are firmly entrenched in Jasper Falls, and Harrison has no plans to stick around being reminded at every corner of the abuse he suffered and the reasons he fled. 

Harrison and Mariella’s story teaches readers that no matter how much time passes, love always finds a way. Readers will enjoy the opening scenes of the story, feeling Mariella’s embarrassment and understanding her inner thoughts. Who hasn’t felt ‘less than’ when showing up to a job interview? One of the strengths of this story is the characters’ relatability. Readers will enjoy the tentative banter between Harrison and his sister, Erin, as they clear out the hardware store and take many trips down memory lane. It is Harrison’s need for Mariella and Erin that sets him on the path toward healing. When Harrison remembers Erin trying to make the coffee cake and then makes it himself as an apology, readers should make sure they have tissues nearby. 

With the narration, readers might be taken out of the story when moments that require emotion or emphasis aren’t given. One might also have an issue with the male voice attempts by the narrator, whose gruff voices could take them out of the story momentarily. The pace of the narration was easy to follow and readers won’t have any issue understanding the words spoken.

Heather McCoubrey