Airin is an interesting heroine. She’s super smart, but has lead a sheltered life, due to a life-threatening childhood health condition. She’s just getting her first taste of real freedom when she meets Hunter, an astronaut. (Astronauts are kind of rare in romance land, so I appreciated the fact that Hunter wasn’t a billionaire, rockstar, mafia member, or part of a biker gang. But I digress...) A joke is made early on that Airin is an alien intent on observing humans on Earth, and that’s a pretty accurate assessment of her personality. She truly has no experience interacting with anyone who isn’t her mother, or an employee of her mother. Watching her grow and thrive as a character throughout the story was kind of delightful.
Hunter is just a genuinely good guy. There’s nothing really alpha about him, which is a nice change of pace from the stuff I’ve been reading lately. It’s a good reminder for authors everywhere that romance heroes don’t have to be possessive alpha jerkoffs to be sexy.
I even liked Airin’s overprotective mother, Dira. I’m sure some readers will cringe at her actions, but as a mother, I totally understood where she was coming from. She did what she felt she had to do to protect her baby, and I admired her for it. (The fact that she’s an intimidating, genius-level scientist added quite a bit to her awesome factor, too, in my opinion.)
So, why not a 5-star rating? Well, it’s a relatively minor thing, but all the space travel talk got in the way of the romance a little (in my opinion), and Hunter did something fairly early on in the story that I felt was out of character and made me want to throat-chop him a little. (I won’t give anything away, but there’s a mild betrayal of Airin’s trust, and I just felt like Hunter was too principled to do something like that, even when he didn’t know Airin all that well. I think he would’ve stood up to Dira.)
I’ll also warn y’all: Despite some early sexual chemistry between Airin and Hunter, this is a very slow burning romance. Anyone looking for romantic erotica should look elsewhere. The pace of the romance didn’t bother me at all, but readers who like reading lots of hot sex scenes in their contemporary romances might not like this one as much as I did.
But, minor quibbles notwithstanding, Show Me is a light, low-angst, easy read featuring likeable characters and a well thought-out backstory/plot. While I didn’t think it was quite as compelling as Tell Me, it was still highy 1-clickable and is definitely worth a read.
Disclaimer: We received an ARC from NetGalley at no charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
No rehab needed. This one is clean and sober.
Other reading suggestions
Get to the author’s backlist immediately! And for more comfort reading favorites, check out Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins.