Don't let the half-naked guy on the cover fool you. This is a deeply moving New Adult novel that goes beyond a steamy romance.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Show Me The Way by A.L. Jackson. Thanks so much to the author for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

The story follows dual perspectives of Rynna and Rex. Rynna is a woman who left town 11 years ago after her 'friends' caused her unspeakable harm. She was never planning on coming back but she finds out the grandmother that raised her has died, leaving Rynna the home she grew up in and her grandma's diner. Rex has given up on finding love. His high school girlfriend disappeared when they were teenagers and his wife just left him one day, leaving him to be a single father to their toddler daughter. The two never knew how their lives would intertwine, past and present.

Before I get too far into the review, I just to talk briefly about the relationship dynamic between Rynna and Rex. I've read enough of these types of books to know that at some point or another, the male character will display his "heroic" abilities and "assert" his dominance over the female character. It (unfortunately) usually happens every time. The testosterone filled man can't help but "protect what is his." I am very, very, very happy to say that Jackson is consciously aware of this trope and writes a romance that skirts the line but never becomes about ownership. Usually, we see the strong, female character who insists she doesn't need any help until she meets the hunky guy who swoops in and takes over. In this book, not only do we have a strong female character who can stand on her own two feet throughout the novel, but also a male who is aware of this trope. He backs off and gives her space because he treats her like a person. And that alone made this book one of the best romances I've read.

The storyline itself was also really well done. There were some flashbacks throughout to show what had happened to Rynna those years earlier. Undoubtedly, her 'friends' were horrific. Bullying is never ok and Jackson integrated this element of Rynna's past perfectly so it didn't seem like a plot point in her life. It shaped who she becomes and why. As the story progresses, some things get revealed. I won't spoil anything but I was completely blindsided by the major one. I did not see that coming at all. Looking back, there were signs, but Jackson did a great job pulling that one over on me.

While this book is still a romance and had some steamier scenes, I loved that it was more than that. There were some adorable moments between Rex and his daughter, Frankie. There was Rynna missing her grandmother and trying to make things work at the diner. This book was more than the average NA romance and I am so glad.

Overall, I loved this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series!