Blair Spencer’s life is pretty fantastic. She’s extremely successful as a real estate agent and has been happily married to a handsome man for years. If only they could easily get pregnant, things would be perfect. As someone who was adopted, Blair wants to stop trying and adopt a child, but David won’t settle for anything but a baby that’s biologically related to them.
When they consult with a group of reproductive specialists, Blair meets Kylie MacKenzie, a surgeon who quickly becomes her best friend (and not her doctor). Blair gets pregnant thanks to a little intervention, and yet her marriage falls apart shortly after because David has doubts and Blair won’t settle for anything short of a co-parent who is fully invested in their baby. Thankfully Kylie is there to pick up the pieces and is Blair’s rock as she navigates the pregnancy without David.
Kylie is a lesbian and Blair is straight, but their friends and family wonder if something is going on between them because they definitely don’t behave like typical friends. Can two people with such different outlooks, priorities and sexualities make a relationship work?
I love Kylie and Blair so much. They really are one of my favourite couples in lesfic. Both women are brilliant, accomplished, hilarious, and yet also show their vulnerability at times, especially with each other. They also come from fundamentally different emotional places because Blair is independent and likes having a life separate from her partner, while Kylie loves being around people and craves the kind of connection that means entwining her life with someone else’s. Each woman has to think about who she is and what she truly wants out of a relationship, and that’s especially difficult for them because Blair only leaves David a few months before she gets together with Kylie and that Kylie’s been waiting for years to find the right woman.
All That Matters also has a rich cast of supporting characters including David and his mother, Sadie, Kylie and Blair’s families and friends, and eventually even sweet baby Mackenzie. They each add depth to the story and help us see the full picture of who Blair and Kylie are as they move from first meeting to friends to lovers.
The Writing Style
Just like Chef’s Special, All That Matters is just over 500 pages, so you get a lot of story for your money. One of its strengths is that it’s very much a character-driven story. There isn’t actually a lot to the plot, especially once Blair and Kylie get together, but there’s SO MUCH growth in the characters and their relationship. It’s similar to Jericho in that it shows us the first meeting between the women and walks us through their friendship before they ever get together, and I find that so satisfying. Susan X Meagher did a wonderful job of writing friendship in this book, and not just between Kylie and Blair, but also between them and Kylie’s friend/Blair’s OB, Monique.
I love the careful, deliberate walk through their relationship from beginning to the perfect happy end. These characters are wonderful and I was so happy to spend time with them again. Also, the dialogue is often very funny. This book is just a home run for me.
I want this book to be available in audio and it’s not. Also, the cover doesn’t do the story justice.
One other thing, and this isn’t a con for me. Some readers won’t like the fact that Blair starts out married to a man and is actually with him for a fifth of the book. And they actually are very happy apart from their issues conceiving a baby and they have a healthy, happy sex life too. However, I think it works well because it shows how much Blair’s priorities truly shift when she finds out she’s pregnant and that she needs her parenting partner to be 100% in it with her, no matter what their relationship was before. I also liked that, by all rights, their marriage should have worked. That made it feel very real, relatable, and poignant, even as I was cheering Blair and Kylie on when they got together.
I love this book so, so much. It’s one of my all-time favourites for a reason (okay, many reasons, and I fangirled about them all above). If you love a good, long romance that will leave you feeling good at the end, definitely pick up All That Matters. It’s lived on my re-read shelf for years and is going to for years to come.
Excerpt from All That Matters by Susan X Meagher
Blair took her hand and noticed it was trembling a little. “What is it? You can tell me.”
“I’m…I don’t mean to make this sound crass, but how do you know you’ll enjoy having sex with a woman? I mean, it’s a very different kinda thing.”
Blair blinked at her. “Have you ever had sex with a man?”
“How do you kinda have sex with a man?”
“It’s…not that difficult. I was in high school, and a guy named I.V. talked me into it.”
Blair giggled and put up a hand. “No, wait! You had sex with a guy named Ivy? Kylie, that was a girl!”
“He was not! His name was Chapin Danforth Hollingswood IV, and everyone called him I.V., like the Roman numerals.”
“Lake Forest,” Blair said, shaking her head. “Go on, tell me about I.V.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780977088560
- Publisher: Brisk Press