You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Sarra Manning Another winner from Sarra Manning. I may have to go and read all her books. It follows much of the same pattern as Unsticky, but since the subject and characters are much different I didn't mind. This one deals with body image-- specifically that of a a woman who was once overweight who becomes thin. Mannings portrayal of this journey I think is absolutely spot on. I haven't struggled with my weight like Neve does in this book, but I feel that her struggle to except herself and her body are a universal theme for all women.

And I have to say, I adored Max. He was just too perfect-- well I mean he wasn't perfect, at all, he was completely real. The way that he dealt with Neve and ultimately how he loved her was just refreshingly genuine in a world of over zealous alpha-males.

I think that's what I love most about Manning's books-- the characters are just so real. Both Max and Neve bring so much baggage with them to the relationship. It takes the course of the whole book to peel back the layers to reveal the characters for who they truly are. Her book's are long out of necessity. It takes a lot of pages to delve so deeply into a character that the reader actually feels that that person could exist outside the pages of the book. There are a lot of talented author's that can do that for their characters, but for me what makes Manning special is that she is writing ROMANCE. It's straight up. We journey through Neve's romance with Max (and William) without it feeling light and fluffy like most romance books do. After finishing a Manning novel I feel like I've read something of substance, from a writer who knows that she is doing.

The many Britishisms don't hurt either. I do love reading books English or Australian books with all the original references and slang intact. It feels delightfully exotic.