Syd Murphy’s marriage has fallen apart, so she’s headed to the small town of Jericho, Virginia to set up their local library while she figures out what she wants the rest of her life to look like. Not too long after arriving, she’s pleasantly surprised to learn that the beautiful, personable stranger who helped with her car trouble on the way into town is none other than Maddie Stevenson, Jericho’s local doctor.
Maddie hasn’t been back in Jericho for long, having taken up her father’s practice after he passed away. She and Syd quickly become close friends, but she soon finds that her feelings aren’t strictly friendly when it comes to her stunning, straight new friend.
Maddie and Syd are a joy to read from the first page to the last, which is a good thing because they and their relationship drive Jericho, rather than any plot. They each have their own arc that eventually intersects, as Syd grapples with learning she’s a lesbian and Maddie finds her “I don’t do relationships” stance challenged by everything she feels for Syd.
The majority of the side characters are also a treat. David and Michael, Maddie’s best friends, are my personal favourites, showing that sometimes the true signs of friendship can be as wildly different as excellent advice or being signed up for the Babeland mailing list.
The Writing Style
So often, romances sprint from meet cute to “I love you,” and Jericho isn’t that book. Even in friends-to-lovers romances, we usually start with two people who have been friends for a long time and join them as they make their way to the declaration of love that happens just before we read “The end.”
With Jericho, we see Maddie and Syd meet, develop a deep friendship, fall in love, and establish their relationship. When we leave them at the end of the story, there’s no question about their stability as a couple, and that is what will land it a permanent place on my list of comfort reads. With the audio book topping 20 hours, Jericho is one of the longer lesbian romances you’ll come across, but it’s rich and satisfying.
I adored the narration. Can Christine Williams please narrate all of the books I want to read?
The slow build to the relationship. The first kiss to convince someone else, followed by the first kiss on purpose. High quality banter. Family that’s always there for you, and family that relearns how to be there for you.
I wish I’d read this book before Hoosier Daddy and Backcast. Obviously this isn’t actually a con, but those are the two best books I’ve read this year, and frankly, they’re two of the best books I’ve read in years, period. Jericho is wonderful, but for me, it’ll never stand up to either of those two, even if I know I’ll be listening to this one again and again and again.
If you haven’t read anything by Ann McMan, start here. Jericho is warm, funny, and well worth the read.
“Holy hell,” Maddie cursed and lunged forward to try and grab the handle of the runaway cart. She was too late. It made short work of the display, and a tsunami of cookie boxes fell into its basket, and spread out across the aisle. “Oh, shit.” Maddie dropped her arms to her sides as she viewed the carnage.
Syd stood facing her, ankle deep in Vanilla Wafers. “Personally, I was leaning toward the Oreos, but it seems like you feel pretty strongly about these.” She picked one of the boxes up out of her cart. A small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth.
Inwardly cursing herself for being so clumsy, Maddie dramatically shrugged. “So much for professional decorum.” She looked up to meet Syd’s amused green eyes.
“Hello, Dr. Stevenson.”
“Hi there. And please, call me Maddie.” She paused. “It’s a privilege I extend to everyone I rear-end.” Syd snorted, and Maddie groaned when she realized what she had just said. “Oh, god. I’m sorry. This just keeps getting worse. Believe me. I’m not normally this accomplished a klutz.”
“Really?” Syd crossed her arms. “So you’re more of a garden-variety klutz?”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number:9781612941295
- Publisher: Bywater Books
- Audio book publisher: Audible Studios
Ann McMan Online