When your best friend is the only one you want to kiss…
Kate Owens has kept her attraction to her best friend Mo Calloway a carefully guarded secret for years. But some secrets you can’t hide forever and she’s worried that Mo is beginning to suspect her feelings.
It’s harder than ever to pretend there’s nothing going on when a reservation mistake on a trip to Mexico leads to Kate sharing Mo’s bed for five long nights.
One fateful vacation could change everything. But are Kate and Mo ready to risk their friendship for a chance at love?
A Paradise Romance.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"Not long after college I took a trip to the Mayan Riviera as a fun break for someone with not a lot of pennies (or pesos) to pinch. The bit of Mexico that I landed in was both exciting and gorgeous. Several times I thought of going back to explore more. I especially wanted to snorkel the reef between the sunny island of Cozumel and the mainland. Years went by and there was never the right reason to go to that part of Mexico. Then I came up with the idea of writing a romance series set in different tropical locations. The first book was set in Hawaii and then of course...Mexico.
Who doesn’t want to kick back in a hammock on the beach and pretend they’re doing research for a book?
I booked a reservation at an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel—yep, just for one—and flew out a month later for my own private writer’s retreat. Since I’ve never been a planner, I thought it’d be fun to let each day of the trip be a surprise. One day I forgot my wallet and got lost riding a scooter with absolutely no money in my pockets. The next day I got separated from my tour group in Tulum cause I’m easily distracted and nearly missed my ride back to the resort. The last day I swam with a reef shark and was miraculously not his (or her) breakfast. Every night I ate delicious food and after dinner sat poolside dangling my feet in the swimming pool while I plotted out what would quickly become All the Reasons I Need. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed doing all the hard research!"
Lex Kent’s Reviews - One of the reasons I love Three Reasons so much is that Clevenger wrote such strong secondary characters in Kate and Mo. I fell for them almost as much as the main characters, so to have them get their own book I was excited. This is a story about two best friends since college that have a ton of chemistry but have never done anything about it. Is this finally their chance at a relationship of have they waited too long?
I have to admit I did not expect this book to be so angsty. It was emotional and caused me to grab a few tissues. This is the kind of angst I personally like. Angst that seems believable and angst that the characters try to work out together even if they don’t always do a good job at it.
For you romance fans out there, while this is emotional, have no fear this book is swimming in chemistry. There was not a second of doubt in my mind that these two characters loved each other, even without ever voicing it or acting on it. Now that is pretty impressive if you ask me. I like a good best friends to lovers story but the sparks have to be there and luckily there is no doubt with this book.
If you are looking for a well written, angsty romance, look no further. This is an easy romance for me to recommend. I think with this series, Clevenger is at the top of her writing game and I can’t wait to see what she puts out next.
Carrie K. - I could not wait for this follow-up to Three Reasons To Say Yes.
When you love a book so much, there is always the fear that your high expectations will not be met with future installments. No worries with this one.
Mo and Kate were tiptoeing around each other in book one. So it makes sense that this story would center around them and provide resolution to those outstanding questions we had. What are Kate's issues that she would not even voice to her best friends? And what is the long history between Mo and Kate that has kept them from dating?
The author continues with high quality writing, believable dialogue, and hurt-your-heart-so-good moments. There is just something about how Clevenger tells a story that sucks you in.
This made me laugh, kept my heart working overtime, and caused me to cry a few times. Mo and Kate are so cute together. You could really tell that they were so comfortable together after 16 years of friendship. So it was unique in that way of only being awkward because of potentially crossing over to something more. Anyhow, I loved it.
If there is a book three, I propose a Julia and Reed wedding in Lake Tahoe as the setting.
I recommend this to everyone who loved Three Reasons To Say Yes. And if you didn't read that, then I recommend you read it. Then read this. You won't be disappointed.
R. Swier - I usually don’t like a story where the characters can’t make up their mind about each other—whether or not to commit to a romantic relationship. And I especially never liked a story where this happens for most of the story. But there are always exceptions, and All the Reasons I Need was that exception.
Kate and Mo were best friends since college and each longed for something more but were afraid of destroying their friendship if they crossed that line. Both were reluctant and scared to take the next step and their hesitation seemed at times overbearingly so. I just wanted them to commit and move on. But the parts that made this story work so well were the reasons behind those hesitations. Kate was hiding a piece of herself that even her closest friends were not privy to. Mo didn’t want to jeopardize a 16-year friendship with Kate who previously only dated men. Several serious issues were also at the heart of the matter, and these scenes were emotional and dramatic. It was well written.
The author did a great job in allowing the characters’ conflicting thoughts take center stage with a dialogue that was quite witty and emotional. But this dialogue also extended to the secondary characters. When the tone turned serious, there were well placed antics of 5-year-old twins to lighten the mood. This was what made the story engaging even when some of the characters pushed that noncommittal level to the limit.
As for all the reasons you need to read this book…is actually just one…it’s very highly entertaining.
Katrina C. - I really enjoyed this book, an immense amount. So the basic premise is that two women Monique (Mo) and Katelyn (Kate), they have been best friends for sixteen years and each of them have been in love with each other since they met in college. There is another book that discusses how their third roommate Julia met her girlfriend Reed, but you honestly do not need to read that book to read this one.
This book had so many amazing things going on in it. I loved both characters, but especially loved that the author was able to write a person of color without fetishizing her for describing her skin color in relation to food. I thought Mo was really likable, she was funny and had such a good sense of humor. Best of all she was patient with Kate. She waited sixteen years and let Kate take the lead without having any hang-ups about it.
This book was excellent. I highly recommend it and now that I have read it I will definitely go back and read the first one. This was such a good romance and a really slow burn but all of the love scenes (of which there was only one I think) were nice.
Karen C. - I didn't realize this was a Part 2. I know that Three Reasons to Say Yes just won a Goldie for Contemporary Romance and I've read about how everyone loves it. I went into this one thinking it was a standalone, and it works perfectly well. But now that I know it's a sequel I'll definitely go back and pick up the first one.
What I enjoyed about this is that it's not a fluffy, lighthearted romance. There are lots of issues going on here, and they are all handled very skillfully. I can't remember rooting for a couple to get together as much as I did for Mo and Kate.
I'm hoping there will be a book 3, but in the meantime I'm headed off to buy Three Reasons to Say Yes.
Reviewer@Large - Clevenger’s Three Reasons to Say Yes had three college friends: Julie, Kate and Mo. That book was about Julie finding her perfect partner. But there was all this barely concealed attraction and simmering sexual tension between Kate and Mo which left us wanting a book about those two. This is that book.
Kate Owens and Monique (Mo) Calloway shared a dorm room in college with Julie. The two were instantly attracted to each other but could never work up the nerve to approach the other, instead becoming best friends. Sixteen years have passed and now their friendship seems to be in peril too. Julie (the third roomie and BF to both) has a family-and-friends vacation planned with her two BFs, partner Reed and twin daughters. So Kate and Mo go to Cozumel, Mexico for the vacation and end up sharing a room.
The chemistry between the leads pops. The attraction is palpable. All the banked fires, the angst, the tortured burning, the crackling electricity is almost tangible. When Kate and Mo kiss for the first time it is like we can finally exhale. The author does a great job with Kate’s personality, her insecurities and the relationship. We wish we knew what was going on with Mo too—but may have got too unwieldy for a single book. Maybe a Mo’s POV book at some later point in time?
We absolutely loved this book and wholeheartedly recommend it.
PS: Though this follows Three Reasons to Say Yes, it can be read standalone.
The Lesbian Review
This book is the second installment in Clevenger’s Paradise Romance series. It’s not necessary to read the first book, Three Reasons to Say Yes, to enjoy Kate and Mo’s story. The story is told in third person entirely from Kate’s point of view. I thought this was appropriate because this is Kate’s story. The tale takes place over a short period of time, but there’s so much backstory between Kate and Mo, it doesn’t feel like a case of insta-love. Clevenger is able to focus most of the book on Kate’s internal journey, and it pays off. By spending so much time inside her head, we’re able to experience the wide range of emotions that inform all of her actions.
All the Reasons I Need is a thoughtful summer romance full of emotion. It let me imagine myself on a tropical beach, napping in a hammock, and sipping an exotic drink with a little umbrella in it. There’s just something about beautiful sunsets and waves crashing on the beach that make falling in love seem easy.
There’s a lot more angst and baggage in this book and it’s definitely a more introspective story. There’s a number of issues being dealt with in this book (mostly by Kate) and they are not exploited or overwrought—Clevenger deftly weaves them in as part of the overall story and the impacts that they have had on the characters.
Clevenger does do a great job with the characters and it’s a strong follow-up, that isn’t a formulaic repeat, to Three Reasons to Say Yes.