4.5⭐️ – The way my brain works, I rarely remember stories, and never in details. Sometimes I’ll remember characters, usually not their names. What I remember are emotions and feelings. When I saw Kate Gavin’s name, I knew I had read a book by her and the emotion her name evoked was something like “why not”. I’ll be honest, even after rereading the review I wrote of that book, Full of Promise, I don’t remember it (which really doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, my memory sucks). But the last sentence of the review (“There’s nothing groundbreaking about it but it’s heartwarming and totally worth reading”) plus that feeling in my head were enough for me to want to give Table for Two a try. I am so glad I did! Sure, it made me cry and I don’t like crying but if a book must make me cry, that’s the way to do it.
Jillian is an ice queen (a euphemism for what she really is) but she doesn’t want to be. She says it herself, she doesn’t know how to turn it off. Growing up with an excruciatingly demanding mother and a stepfather who didn’t notice her most of the time, Jill is as closed off as can be. She hides her social awkwardness behind an icy and at times downright rude facade. Meeting Reagan, who is kind and patient but won’t take shit from anyone, will change everything. Reagan is living one of the most difficult moments of her life, her father is dying of pancreatic cancer and she’s trying not to waste a second of the time he has left. One of her two best friends is also her business partner and picks up the slack when Reagan needs more time for her family. When her parents insist she goes back to work, Reagan is determined to be at her best, even when dealing with the oh-so-attractive yet oh-so-difficult Jillian.
I have to say, Reagan charmed me immediately but I have a soft spot for misunderstood characters who learn to show vulnerability. My heart broke for Jill more than once and when the dreaded breakup occurred, I could understand Reagan’s reaction but I was crushed on Jill’s behalf anyhow. Gavin pushed the angst to the max (for a mercifully short time) and I loved every second of it.
Besides Jill and Reagan, I loved Reagan’s parents, hated Jill’s family, and I wish everyone had friends (I include Ash, Jill’s non-binary assistant) like both have to support and love them.
If you couldn’t tell already, I enjoyed this book very much. I’m pretty sure the next time I come across Kate Gavin’s name, I won’t need to check my reviews to confirm that yes, I want to read her books.