Reviews

Just Physical, by Jae

elvang's review

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3.0

You know a book will be well written, well researched and edited to perfection when Jae is listed as the author. She breathes life into her characters. Her scenes and settings are easy to visualize.

Just Physical is all this plus an educational read on the challenges faced by those with MS. The physical side effects and current treatment processes are a given. What I had not considered before was the stigma that comes with an MS diagnosis. Careers are affected as are relationships. Jae brings this home with Jill's treatment on the set of a film she almost didn't get a role in because the director felt she would be unable to keep up with the rest of the cast. Jill prickles at what she perceives as coddling by Crash after she becomes aware of Jill's MS.

As heroic as Jill is made out to be I found Crash the easier character to admire. She had her own demons to contend with and an attraction to Jill she wanted to explore. She also pursued Jill with a gentle kindness which many times I didn't feel Jill deserved. Jill had her reasons to not want to form a romantic relationship, to not have to see a lover become her caregiver. Her arguments and repeated rejection of Crash made the book feel much longer than its 288 pages. Her fears and her pride made her seem obstinate rather than noble. It's rare that I pick a favourite in a romance novel but in Just Physical I was cheering for Crash and frustrated with Jill.

amcheri's review against another edition

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3.0

I think I may be in the minority but I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the previous two in the series. I thought the stuff about Jill learning to cope with her MS and Crash learning about the disease and how she would deal with possible future situations was good but the back and forth and mixed messages from Jill made me want to shake her. I also had a tough time moving past a character being named "Crash."

There were definitely parts of the book that I enjoyed. I liked the stuff about the movie - particularly Lucy Sharp. And now I can hardly wait to read the upcoming historical novel from Jae.

I did enjoy the book and recommend it for romance lovers.

mjsam's review against another edition

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4.0

This is 4th story in the Hollywood series, although I don't really count Dress Tease (#3), since I'd call that a snippet, not a story.

Anyway, this is a follow on from Damage Control, and here Jill gets her own story. In all honesty though, Crash is the real star here. The story centres around Jill and her struggles with MS, which I give Jae extra kudos for, as she doesn't shy away from any aspect of living with MS, and there are several thought provoking scenes.

The problem lies in two areas, 1) the two women spend a lot of time together, but they rarely discuss anything of substance, it's usually push pull stuff about Jill's MS and some superficial discussions about family, so I struggled to believe they'd built the kind of foundation that would last them through Jill's illness.

2) Both women have demons to overcome and big decisions to make, but Jill's constant retreating from Crash wore thin well before the halfway mark, and by the end Jill wasn't the only one suffering. Crash's steadfastness and the way she went about learning about MS kept me hanging in there but it was a struggle to like Jill's character at many points.

We do get to spend more time with Grace and Lauren from book 2, but the other secondary characters aren't particularly fleshed out. There's also a reference to the characters from the first book that was so quick you'd miss it, and honestly wasn't necessary, as neither character had appeared in the book.

This gets four stars regardless, as it handles a difficult topic (and well-researched at that) and though the love story was frustrating at times, I was still rooting for them to have a HEA.

theamandashelby's review against another edition

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4.0

I have read the entire series and this one was just as good as the others. Jae is one of my favorite authors. I loved Jill and she was my favorite character, I'm glad she got her own book. I really shouldn't have to say much, read the book you will enjoy it.

chronically_ill_dec's review

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emotional hopeful
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

5.0

capellan's review against another edition

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3.0

This is a decent lesbian romance novel but it's perhaps a bit one-note at times. The only thing that is at all a challenge to the central couple is that one of them has MS. And yes, that's a huge thing, and well handled as a topic by the author, but it does make the narrative a little repetitive when there's only one topic they ever have any difficulties with.

farefatal21's review

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challenging emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

amiablespecter's review against another edition

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emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

brennooth's review against another edition

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5.0

What an emotional rollercoaster... I knew Jill and Crash from their brief appearances in Just For Show and always wondered what their story was. And what can I say, my heart hurts in all the right ways. This was amazing with its ups and downs, not knowing which side I could understand more because they were both amazingly portrayed and equally heartbreaking... wow.

rikerandom's review against another edition

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5.0

Nice story, though it's a bit on the angsty side and the end came rather abruptly. Hopefully, the next book will release sooner so I don't forget everything all over again XD