Former RWA Board Member Expands Horizons. Jamie Beck is so well known as a romance author that she actually served as a member of the Romance Writers of America – the major romance writer organization in the US, at least – Board of Directors for a bit. She has since left those duties and has now expanded her writing to boot. Her romances have always been solid, if solidly within RWA rules. Here, she leaves romance for the realm of women’s fiction, focusing primarily on two sisters who could not be more opposite as they find themselves needing to learn to lean on the other. And she does her usual excellent work, despite the new genre. At times feeling like she might be trying to break into the mystery world, ultimately this has more of a feel of The Other Woman, the 2014 hit starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Mrs. Justin Verlander’s pre-baby boobs. (Ok, so that last is a bit of a joke – I *am* a guy, and I largely went into the movie for the one seen with Ms. Upton on the beach. It turned out to be an awesome movie, and this book is very reminiscent of its best parts.) I can’t really say that this is a “bold” departure for Ms. Beck, as long time fans will feel very comfortable here even in the new genre, but it is absolutely a refreshing departure and a strong showing that Beck is Beck, no matter the genre. Very much recommended.
This review of If You Must Know by Jamie Beck was originally written on May 2, 2020.