Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Published on: 27 October 2021
Type: HEA, series
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama
Author: Claire Wilder
Read: 25 October 2021
Shelved: 26 October 2021
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
He’s everything I shouldn’t want.
When my husband got sick, he made me promise to find someone else when he was gone. On my first attempt, I crashed and burned. So I swore never to try again, focusing only on my foodie blog and my girls. But when pictures of me on an accidental non-date with my friend’s brother—serious curmudgeon and yes, seriously hot single dad Will Archer—explode my blog hits, I have to rethink my strategy.
Getting sexy, surly Will to pose as my fake boyfriend could be the thing to course correct my struggling blog. But how can I ask him when our shaky friendship is clearly hiding something much deeper? Something neither one of us wants to admit is even there?
ALL YOUR FAULT is a steamy, emotional small-town romance with a guaranteed HEA, and is the final book in the Jewel Lakes Series.
Start the Jewel Lake Series Today!
His Build (Jewel Lakes Book 2) – Graydon & Lucy’s story
Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads | Book Review
His Hot Mess (Jewel Lakes Series Book 3) – Chris & Sadie’s story
Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads | Book Review
Disclosure: Do readers need to read the previous books to this series? Although this book mentioned the other characters in the previous book, it is not a requirement, and readers can start any book in the series. BUT I would highly recommend readers catch up with the previous books to understand better and connect the people accordingly and avoid spoilers for the other characters whose stories were already discussed.
Michelle Franco is a single mother with two daughters. William Archer (Hank’s eldest brother from Book 4) is a single parent with two older daughters. These main characters started their families early, but “things happened” that changed to turn it all upside down in a blink of an eye. Because of their traumatic pasts, both main characters decided not to enter any relationship/commitment to protect themselves and their children. This decision is the hurdle that Michelle and Will have to overcome and is the cause of all angst and misunderstandings in the book. Will they be strong enough to get over their past, or will they forever deny their feelings for each other?
Top 5 reasons to read All Your Fault
1.) Writing is relatable and easy to follow.
I have enjoyed reading the series because the author makes sure that each book is a standalone and any backstory is summarized clearly. This book is suitable for followers and non-followers of the series because it gives a brief background on some of the past characters’ stories.
2.) Character development is slower but poignant and honest.
It is impossible not to love Michelle and Will. Both have their flaws but also their strengths whenever they get together. It is as if one wouldn’t be as “good” alone versus together. They were terrific “springboards” of each other and helped guide the other on a “better path/option.”
I enjoyed Michelle’s growth after her husband’s passing. There are more underlying things happening than a simple work-related accident that gutted me upon my discovery. I appreciate the author mentioning this issue, which helped explain the helplessness of the situation. Although not detailedly discussed, it made me research and seek out further information about it. Michelle is one brave woman to have gone through what she did and raised wonderful kids – all at the same time.
Will’s growth and acceptance of the inevitable came at the end, but I thought it rounded out the story very well. With his admission, Michelle was able to accept what was going on between them. I think Will is brave in that way.
3.) Secondary supporting characters – mostly family, siblings, and own children were cute and lovely.
Everyone in the book surrounding Michelle and Will provided a good balance of seriousness and humor – from Michelle’s parents, witty kids’ antics to Will’s hilarious daughter Remy and later Will’s nagging sister, Stella. I love how things can go from one spectrum of emotions to another with these colorful supporting casts.
My favorite characters were Michelle’s mom and Michelle’s daughter, Emma. Both characters’ ages might be too far apart, but they gave either a very thought-provoking comment/advice or a hilarious retort in many scenes. I either laughed at the reply and stopped and pondered what these characters said. Who knew that wit and humor could skip a generation (hint hint – Michelle) and land to the next.
4.) The ending shows how important family bonds are. Family is everything!
I liked how the author made Michelle realize she was hindering her from “growing” and moving on. It had to take Will’s action and words to finally open her eyes to the possibility of a bright future with Will.
I wanted to hug Will when he did what he did at the bar/restaurant nearing the end. He finally opened himself up to Michelle and left it up to her instead of denying his true feelings.
Note: I would have loved it if the author had explored further William and his strained familial relationship. There was a brief moment in the book where I thought Will would get things resolved directly with the concerning party, but it didn’t happen. Instead, the ending breezed through the resolution. Since this is the series’ last book, I would have hoped for closure on this topic – there were hints in Book 4! The author only mentioned that both parties are “working on it” and inferred that all would be well at the end.
5.) Lastly, Do you know what a town manager is?
This book tells us and more! I never realized that such a job or position existed, and it is a critical one for a small town. I thought the mayor did it all but nope! Promotion and beautification of a town/county are the town manager’s job or initiate and provide options! Will is the perfect town manager (then later more in the book) since he grew up and loves the community. He is always ready to help, and everyone seems to trust him with his decisions about the town. Previous mayors mentored Will, so he knows what would work and improve the community.
– Second chances and romance focusing the main characters’ growth
– Angst, slow-burning emotions
– Family and love main themes
– Boo!!! I cannot believe that this is the last book in the Jewel Lake series. Really?!?! Other characters popped up that I am curious about now, like Reece, Michelle’s sister!
– There is some “blame game” going on, BUT that only builds up to the past characters, not meant-to-be. I did not like the emotional abuse that came into it because anyone would be traumatized in that situation.
Tropes: second chances, single parent, small country romance, fake relationship, friends-to-lovers
She nodded then went over and kissed Reese on the top of her head. “You take care of her,” Mom said as she came back and gave me a squeeze. “Tell her it’s just a stupid boy.” “Mom,” I said, trying not to laugh. “He’s a man.” “He’s a little boy if he’s hurting our Therese.” I laughed, softly. “I guess you’re right,” I agreed.— All Your Fault, Claire Wilder
About the Author
Hey! I’m Claire.
And there are two things you should know about me right off the bat:
(Would it be weird to get that on a t-shirt?)
Okay, I love a lot of other stuff (my husband, my kids, my creaky old house, man-candy, chocolate, wine….I could go on).
But those two are HUGE–they’re the reason I write the books I write!
I am a wee bit obsessed with lakes. I grew up on a lake in Ontario, Canada, and practically lived in or on the water all year round.
Swimming and dock-diving in the summer.
Ice skating ’til it hurt in the winter (literally. Chill blains are the WORST!).
I moved away from the lake when was ten and spent the rest of my childhood growing up in a major city.
But the lake is in my blood. There’s just something about being by the quiet stillness of a contained body of water that’s just…magic.
Just like the characters in my books, I’m a city girl now, yearning for a life closer to nature. For now, I’ll keep saving lake pictures and writing about them like I’m still there.
More Importantly, Love.
The other thing about me is I love…LOVE. All parts of it: the thrill, the warm-hearted comfort of it, the closeness, the connection. I believe in love wholeheartedly!
BUT. When it comes to romantic love, I’m a little picky. The kind of love I love (is this getting confusing yet?) is sweet AND sexy, cozy AND hot.
But above all, I believe true love must be formed on a basis of mutual respect. That’s why I write books about REAL women and the sexy AF men who love them. Jewel Lakes men are never manipulative. They never make you feel bad about yourself. They’re always sexy and they ALWAYS treat you right.
I love movies in extremes: I love it when they scare the pants off me (The Woman in Black); make me cry my face off (Steel Magnolias), OR make me laugh ’til my sides hurt (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates).
My favorite-ever food that I can’t cook is eggplant parmesan (though many dishes are close seconds–and I share lots of amazing recipes from foodies in my books in my newsletter). I also love a big ‘ol Costco hot dog (lol).
I’m married to an amazing guy (Mr. Wilder) who is a movie lover (seriously ask him anything) and have three kids who drive me nuts but I wouldn’t trade them for all the sun and stars.
When I’m not writing steamy lakeside romance novels (and the occasional sweet & sexy short story), I’m either reading, riding my e-bike (don’t knock it ’til you try it!) taking long walks by the ocean (which I consider a giant lake) or in the trees.
Thanks again for stopping by–be sure to check out my books page for all the latest info on my existing and upcoming work.