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Yours Truly

Recap, Summary & Spoilers

The Full Book Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez are below.

Quick(-ish) Recap

Three-paragraph version: Briana and Jacob are ER doctors who get off on the wrong foot due to a misunderstanding. Jacob writes Briana a letter to clear the air, and Briana soon writes back and the two become friends. Briana is recently divorced and taking care of her brother who needs a kidney donor. Jacob decides to get tested, is a perfect match, agrees to donate and the surgery is scheduled. Meanwhile, Jacob's ex-girlfriend is about to marry his younger brother. He asks Briana to pretend to be his girlfriend to attend pre-wedding events and the wedding itself so his family will think he's okay.

The two fall for each other as they pretend to be in a relationship and move in together. They both want more but Briana thinks Jacob isn't over his ex, and Jacob thinks Briana is interested in someone else. They eventually work things out and admit their feelings for each other, but Briana gets pregnant and freaks out. Briana's ex cheated on her while she was pregnant (though she miscarried), and her father left her mother when her mother was pregnant. Briana tells Jacob she can't be in a relationship. Jacob's mom tells him that it's a trauma response and advises him to be reassuring, patient and consistent with her and to just keep showing up for her. Meanwhile, Briana's best friend Alexis and mother encourage her to have faith in Jacob and to be brave.

Before Jacob's surgery, he gives Briana his diary to read so she can understand his feelings for her. Afterwards, Briana agrees to move back in with him and to give them a shot. Two years later, they have a daughter, Ava, and get married.

Briana, an ER doctor, is recently divorced and taking care of her brother Benny who needs a kidney transplant. When a new doctor, Jacob, joins their team, there's immediate friction between then, but Jacob quickly clears things up by writing Briana a thoughtful, handwritten letter. Soon, the two are exchanging letters back and forth and having lunch together in the supply closet.

Jacob's ex-girlfriend Amy who broke up with him eight months ago is marrying his brother Jeremiah soon, and in order to mollify his family's concerns, he tells them that he has a girlfriend. When his sister comes to visit, he sees Jacob and Briana together, and his family soon thinks they're together.

Jacob decides to get tested to see if he's a match for Benny, and when he is, he decides to donate his kidney. It's supposed to by anonymous, but the chief of their department, Gibson, lets slip that Jacob is the donor to Briana, who is immeasurably grateful. Benny has been struggling with depression since his diagnosis, and it completely turns things around for him.

Jacob asks Briana to pretend to be his girlfriend to the wedding and other family events leading up to the wedding, and Briana readily agrees. Briana is pretty jaded about men because of her ex-husband cheating on her and from her childhood when her dad left their family. However, they're attending family events together and they're both realizing they want something more. Jacob has a lot of social anxiety but he finds that Briana is good at helping him feel comfortable.

At Amy and Jeremiah's engagement party, Briana and Jacob attend together and manage to have a good time. However, Briana overhears a conversation between Amy and Jacob, and she takes it to mean that Jacob is not over Amy. Meanwhile, Jacob has realized he's over Amy and wants to be with Briana in a real way. Jacob asks Briana on a real date, but she says no, assuming he's just trying to get over Amy.

They continue their charade, and end up moving in together for the time being. Briana gets a visit at the hospital from an old friend, Levi, who has moved back to town because he's seeing a mutual friend of theirs. When Briana starts hanging out with Levi, Jacob thinks that it's potentially romantic in nature and gets jealous. When Briana and Levi start texting a lot, it drives Jacob crazy and he has a panic attack. It happens to be while Amy and Jeremiah announce that they're having a baby. Briana goes to comfort him and they have sex, but Briana gets upset afterwards thinking that she shouldn't have had sex with him while he's in love with someone else.

When they get home, they finally talk and each admit that they're in love with each other and clear up any misunderstandings. Things go great until they run into Briana's ex-husband Nick and his affair partner, Kelly, who is pregnant.

Briana has also realized that she's pregnant. Seeing them and knowing that she's pregnant, Briana pulls away from Jacob. She's reminded of how the two men in her life, Nick and her father, both left during pregnancies. She tells Jacob that she doesn't know how to be in a relationship with him and that she's just going to push him away. Jacob's mom, a relationship expert, explains to him that this is a trauma response, and she tells him that he just needs to be showing up and being consistent and reminding her that he loves her.

When the day of the surgery arrives, Briana's best friend Alexis talks to Briana and tells her to try to be brave. Briana goes to see Jacob beforehand and he offers her his diary. When she reads it, she sees all his thoughts about her as he fell in love with her. Afterwards, Briana realizes she should try to have some courage and tells him that she wants to move in together, and she apologizes for getting scared.

In the Epilogue, Briana and Jacob now have a child, Ava. They have a wedding and are married.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Chapter 1

Briana Ortiz and Jocelyn talk about “Dr. Death”, a doctor whose six patients have all died on his first day at Royaume Northwestern Hospital. Briana defends him, saying his patients were all in poor condition when they arrived. Hector comes in to let them know patient seven has died as well.

Briana’s best friend Alexis calls to ask how she’s doing given that her divorce with Nick is finalized soon. She had found out he had been cheating and had flipped out completely. Now she’s been dating, but the options have been terrible.
Gibson, Chief of Emergency Medicine, asks to talk to Briana. She hopes it’s about him handing off his job to her since she’s the only candidate, but he tells her instead that he’s delaying retirement for three months. He also tells her that the new doctor, Dr. Jacob Maddox, is also up for the position, and it’ll give people a chance to get to know him.

Afterwards, Briana is upset, but Alexis reminds her it’s not unreasonable and that her brother Benny needs her right now due to his medical issues anyway so it’s better that she’s not as busy in the next three months.

Chapter 2

In the parking lot of Bad Axe Grill, Jacob dreads going in, knowing he’s about to receive upsetting news from Amy, his ex of many years, and Jeremiah, his brother. Jacob and Amy broke up eight months ago, and she started dating Jeremiah less than three months afterwards. Amy works at Memorial West, the hospital Jacob just left where he was Head of Emergency Medicine. They tell Jacob that they’re getting married.

Afterwards Jacob hides in the supply closet talks to his family on the phone about the engagement. His older sister Jewel and her wife Gwen are all angry on his behalf. His other older sister Jill says she’s not going, and his sister Jane agrees. His parents tell him it’s ok to not be ok.

However, Jacob says it’s fine and he wants his family to support them. To get his family off his back, Jacob lies and says he’s seeing someone at Royaume.

A doctor rudely runs into Jacob without apologizing, causing his screen to crack, so he follows her to confront her. He sees her, Briana, go into the room a patient, Benny, and chastise him, saying that he should have told her he has an infection. Jacob awkwardly interrupts to tell her that she ran into him. Both Briana and the nurse she’s with glare at Jacob who finally leaves.

Chapters 3 – 4

Briana is crying in the supply closet when Jacob walks in. He brings her a washcloth and asks if she’s okay. They make introductions and she explains that the patient is her younger brother who had an autoimmune disorder that came up out of nowhere. Jacob tries to comfort her by saving he can live a long time on dialysis, but Briana gets upset, saying that it’s a terrible way for a 27-year-old to live.

She then stalks out, mentioning that she thinks it’s unethical that he and Gibson are conspiring to get Jacob the job.

Jacob doesn’t know what she’s referring to, and doesn’t respond. He soon runs into Dr. Zander Reese was a nephrologist (kidney specialist) who is also Jacob’s best friend and roommate during med school and residency. Zander invites Jacob to grab a drink with him and Gibson at Mafi’s across the street.

Gibson tells Jacob about giving the staff some time to get to know him before they vote on the new Chief of Emergency Surgery. Jacob says he’s actually not interested. Gibson says it wouldn’t matter, she was always going to win since her team loves her. He just didn’t want her to run unchallenged so that there wouldn’t be rumors that she got the job by default. Still, Jacob says he’d prefer to opt out.

Jacob thinks about how some people wear him out, but these people do not. Amy was very high energy and took a lot of the pressure off of him, but he was lonely with her. Zander asks how he’s doing, and Jacob gives him an update. They talk about Lieutenant Dan, Jacob and Amy’s dog which he got custody of during the breakup.

They also talk about Benny and how he needs a kidney transplant but he has the rarest blood type, so it would likely take over seven years to find a donor, if ever. Jacob has type O blood and recalls how his mom’s life was saved when her best friend donated a kidney. He agrees to do the test to see if he’s a match.

Chapters 5 – 6

At home, Briana breaks down. Benny is eight years younger than her, so she practically helped to raise him while her mom went to nursing school. Benny’s been suffering from depression for a while since his diagnosis, but it’s now become debilitating. He’s being evicted from his apartment, and it’s a mess.

The next morning, Briana has coffee with Jessica, one of the OB-GYNs who is close friends with Alexis too. Briana used to find Jessica to be too bitter, but now kind of gets it. As they chat about how terrible men are, Briana brings up Jacob, but Jessica defends him and says he’s wonderful and that she’s known his whole family for years.

At the ER, they are all talking about how a little girl came in with a dog bite and Jacob is sewing up her doll. When Zander comes by, he talks about how long he’s known Jacob and how great of a person he is. He also mentions that he’s releasing Benny today.

Briana feels bad about being mean to Jacob after so many people she trusts have vouched for him. Finally, she tells him that the nurses have been cold to him, but he should bring them some desserts to win them over. She tells him what types of cupcakes they like. He asks her what she likes, and she tells him Red Velvet, but she says she doesn’t want one.

After work, Jacob’s family continues to bug him about his fake girlfriend. Jacob is feeling unsettled so he uses one of the tools he learned in therapy to transfer his emotions to paper and writes a letter to Brianna.

Chapter 7

When Briana leaves with Benny from the hospital, she tells him he needs to move in with her for a while so she can take care of him. She tries to comfort him, saying that he’ll be able to do the dialysis from home for two hours a day as long as she’s around to help. Benny looks a little more positive when she tells him that.

After Benny is settled, Briana thinks about how she’s done with relationships. The Nick fiasco taught her that men simply can’t be trusted. She remembers how her own dad walked out on their mom when she was pregnant with Benny and Briana was eight, leaving them homeless and destitute.

In the next few days, Briana packs up Benny’s apartment with the help of his friends, Justin and Brad, and she gets a home dialysis machine delivered.

Briana lives in her mom’s previous house right now. Even after her mom married her current husband Gil, she still refused to sell it, saying you always need a failsafe when it comes to men. Briana thinks about how her mom was right, since she ended up moving in after everything with Nick.

The next day, Briana receives a red velvet cupcake and a letter from Jacob. He writes to thank her for the advice, but also to clarify that he wasn’t interested in that position and didn’t conspire with Gibson to increase his chances. He also talks about how his mom had kidney failure and tries to explain why he said what he said about her brother.

After reading the letter, Briana feels terrible. To assuage her guilt, she decides to write him back.

Chapters 8 – 9

Jacob finds Briana’s letter taped to his locker, and he takes it home to read it. She thanks him for his letter and says she feels awful for how she treated him. She is understanding of him being an introvert and she offers to continue inviting him to Mafi’s and to keep the extroverts away from him if so.

The letter makes him smile, and he decides to write her another letter.

Briana finds Jacob’s letter taped onto the supply closet door. She leaves him a post-it note in response, asking about his dog, and he quickly responds.

After work, Briana goes to Target to pick up some stationary.

Chapters 10 – 11

The next morning, Jacob finds a longer letter on nicer stationary. Briana writes about her cat, Cooter. Jacob then responds in kind, penning a letter about his siblings. He talks about Jewel, who is a tattoo artist and the bet he lost to her.

Back at home, Briana tries to take care of Benny, telling him to get into the shower so they can take a walk and watch a movie.

Jacob and Briana continue to write letters back and forth, now on nicer stationary. Briana brings up to Jacob that she’s only interested in friendship though, since she’s not interested in dating and they work together.

When they both have four days off, there’s no letters, and Briana thinks about how much it sucks. She also starts to feel like the letters aren’t enough and she wants to actually hang out.

Chapters 12 – 13

Jacob gets a jolt when he sees that Briana has sent him a friend request. She then messages him and asks to call him. Jacob is mentally panicking but says yes. Soon, they’re chatting on the phone and hours go by.

Back at work, Briana comes to find Jacob to invite him to listen to an opera singer who occasionally shows up drink to the ER and sings for everyone. They also agree to have lunch together in the supply closet. Over lunch, they talk about how Benny is depressed and seems uninterested in living anymore.

While they’re eating, Jewel stops by, saying the family hadn’t heard from Jacob and they were concerned, but when she sees him with Briana, she excuses herself. Jacob and Briana agree to get drinks after work. Afterwards, Jacob sees from his family text chain that Jewel thinks that Briana is his girlfriend amd they’re expecting to meet her at Amy’s wedding. Jacob tells Xander, who encourages him to invite Briana to the wedding and ask her to pretend to be his girlfriend. Jacob is torn between not wanting to ask her to do this and really wanting his family to believe that he’s ok.

Then, Xander tells Jacob that he’s a perfect match to be Benny’s kidney donor. Jacob says he needs to think about it. He says if he did it he’d want to do it anonymously. He soon tells Xander that he’s in and down to donate his kidney.

Chapters 14 – 17

That night, Alexis shows up at Briana’s place on the eve of her divorce. She feels a wave of sadness. She talks about how the men in her life like her dad and Nick have all left her. As they talk, they suddenly hear screaming. They run into Benny’s room, but everything looks fine. It turns out he’s laughing maniacally and crying because he has a donor.

The next day, there’s palpable excitement on the hospital floor with people talking about Benny getting a kidney. Jacob feels happy to see her so excited and to be able to give her relief.

Briana and Alexis have lunch together, and Briana is surprised to feel so gleeful on the day of her divorce. She goes into Gibson’s office to request time off for the transplant surgery, and Gibson accidentally lets slip that Jacob is the donor. Briana cries after realizing what a wonderful person Jacob is. She finds him and asks him and hugs him when he admits it, promising not to tell anyone.

Briana sobs out a thank you. He tells her about the family thing he had previously mentioned, saying that he needs someone to pretend to be his girlfriend to attend his ex-girlfriend’s wedding and pre-wedding events. Briana agrees, reassuring him that she’d do it regardless of the kidney situation.

Chapters 18 – 21

That night, Briana arrives at Jacob’s house determined to put on a performance of a lifetime. They agree to say that they met because Benny was in the ER a few months back and that Jacob moved to Royaume in order to be with Briana. On the way over to his parents’ place, Jacob stops and picks up a racoon carcass, saying that he’s bringing it to his dad who is a taxidermist.

At the house, they’re immediately greeted by Jafar the parrot as well as Carter and Katrina, who are Jewell and Gwen’s twins. The rest of the family greets them.

Jacob shows her his childhood room, which his dad now uses to store taxidermy projects, and on the shelf there’s a book by his mother, who is a world-renown relationship expert. When Briana finds out, she freaks out, since she insists his mother is going to figure out really fast that they’re not really together. Briana insists they need to get to know each other better pronto and start hanging out more to really sell it.

The dinner goes well, and afterwards tells Jacob she has a really fun time. The next day, Briana tells Jessica that they’re dating since they’ve decided to keep the facade up for everyone to prevent discrepancies. Only Zander and Alexis know the truth. They make plans for diner the next day, and Jacob drops off some Taco Bell for Briana after she mentions she likes it.

The next night, they have a casual dinner and chat. They talk about their respective exes. Briana talks about how Nick cheated on her with a mutual friend, Kelly. Nick talks about how he and Amy had one therapy session and she just gave up.

Chapters 22 – 24

Three weeks later, Briana and Jacob are happily ensconced in their fake relationship, and Briana is starting to realize that she really genuinely likes him. She’s happy to have the companionship, though she knows a part of her wants more. She finds herself feeling jealous at the thought of him with anyone else. Meanwhile, Jacob is feeling the same way.

Tonight is Amy and Jeremiah’s engagement party. Before they go, Briana offers him a hug, knowing it’s going to be a difficult night for him. They come up with a escape plan catch phrase before they go in, for Jacob to say if he’s desperate to get out of there.

At the party, Jacob realizes he’s glad things are over between him and Amy and that it was never right between them. He finds that despite the circumstances, he’s still enjoying Briana’s company. During the night, Briana ends up telling his family that they’re moving in together soon.

Jacob is surprised when Amy finds a moment to talk to him alone. She confronts him about what’s going on with Briana, saying that she’s worried about him and knows that he’s donating a kidney to Briana’s brother. However, Jacob tells Amy that he’s fine and things worked out the way they should.

In that moment, Jacob also realizes he’s genuinely falling for Briana and he wants to do something about it.

Chapter 25

Briana overhears part of the conversation with Jacob and Amy and reaches the conclusion that Jacob isn’t over Amy. She feels crushed. She’s quiet on the way home, and Jacob is quiet as well.

Back at home, Benny informs her that Jacob is still outside, pacing on their porch. She goes out to talk to him, and Jacob asks her if she wants to go on a real date, not something as part of their fake-dating routine. However, Briana questions why Jacob all of a sudden wants to do this right now. She tells herself that he’s just doing this to try to get over Amy, and she says no, reminding him that she isn’t looking to meet someone right now.

Afterwards, Briana cries to Alexis about it, thinking about how heartbroken she is.

Chapter 26 – 31

Afterwards, Jacob is upset. His mom notices and asks if he got into a fight with Briana. However, his mom tells him that he and Briana seem to have something real and that he should show up and keep fighting for it. Despite his anxiety, he realizes his desire for her is strong enough for him to keep trying.

The next morning, he calls Briana and asks to come to breakfast. She’s at Alexis’s place in Wakan, but he asks to join her there. Briana is confused since Jacob doesn’t tend to like new places and new people. Knowing how he feels about unfamiliar things, Briana texts him all the details and specifics so that he’ll feel comfortable when he gets there. She tells him that he’ll be meeting her friend Alexis and Alexis’s husband Daniel. She also tells him about Daniel’s best friend, Doug.

Jacob soon arrives, and as they hang out, Briana thinks about how happy she is with him, but how sad it makes her that he doesn’t seem to be over Amy. They’re having a good time and in Jacob’s room where there’s a gust of wind that forces the door shut, and they can’t get it open.

They call Alexis and Daniel, but even with their help the door stays firmly put. They decide to put a humidifier outside to dry out the wood and hopefully loosen it up, but that means they’ll still be stuck overnight. Briana is worried since she knows she’ll be tempted to sleep with Jacob.

Chapter 33

With nowhere to go, they end up going through each others’ phone search history and sitting around the fireplace with bourbon. Briana ends up drunkenly telling Jacob that she loves him. When they take up, the door has become unstuck.

Back at home, Briana’s mom has shown up to help nurse Benny back to health. They decide to tell Briana’s family about Jacob being the kidney donor. Briana also tells her mom and brother that she is moving in with Jacob, since she has to keep up with what that she told his family.

Benny is concerned that Briana is dating Jacob for his sake, but Briana reassures him that she is deeply in love with Jacob and only a tiny fraction of that is because of what he’s doing for Benny. As she says this, she realizes it’s true.

Chapters 34 – 37

Briana soon shows up at Jacob’s door with a bunch of food from her mom and with some bags to move in so they can keep up their facade. The next week Jacob thinks that it’s the happiest he’s ever been.

They’re at the hospital when old friend of Briana’s, Levi, turns up. He is divorced and seeing a mutual friend of theirs, Cindy Baker, and they’re moving in together. Levi suggests that they all grab a drink together. Zander points out to Jacob that someone seems to be hitting on Briana. Jacob interrupts and Briana introduces the two men. Jacob notices when she introduces Jacob as her friend.

Later, Briana introduces Jacob and his family to her mother, Rosa. Afterwards, Rosa talks about how much she liked Jacob.

Chapter 38 – 40

Back at home Briana talks about going over to Levi’s place, and Jacob gets jealous and goes to bed. Later, he notices that she’s been texting him, and it drives him crazy. Every time he hears her phone ping it bothers him.

They’re at his parents’ house when it goes off again, and Jacob can feel himself having a panic attack. Amy and Jeremiah happen to be in the middle of making an announcement that they’re having a baby, and Jacob walks out.

Briana sees how upset he is and goes after him. They end up in the basement, and he breaks down. She tells him that she loves him. They have sex. Afterwards, Briana feels upset with herself for having sex with someone who is clearly in love with someone else. She runs out into the bathroom.

Jacob wants to talk to her, but Briana doesn’t want to see him. He’s confused by her behavior, but he’s supposed to be leaving for the bachelor party. He goes home instead, leaving the truck keys for Briana so she can get home.

Chapter 41

Briana collects herself and goes back to join the other women for the bachelorette party at the house. When one the women, Shannon, makes disparaging comments about Jacob (As Amy’s ex) Briana comes to his defense. She calls Shannon an asshole and storms off.

Amy soon comes to talk to Briana. Briana tells Amy that she’s upset because she’s more in love with Jacob than he is with her. Amy tells her that there’s no way it could be true because she sees how he is with her.

When Briana returns home, she asks Jacob what he wants and he says he wants them to be a real couple. Briana accuses him of being in love with Amy, and Jacob flatly denies it. He says that he was upset today because she was texting Levi. As they talk, they both admit that they are in love with one another.

Chapters 42 – 44

A short while later, Briana and Jacob are at Amy and Jeremiah’s wedding. They’re surprised to see Jacob’s sister show up with Benny as her date. Jacob tells Briana he could tell the three-months-ago version of him that when today came he wouldn’t even care since he would be madly in love with someone else by then.

The two of them have a delightful time together. At the end of the night, they head up to their hotel room, and Briana sees that Nick and Kelly are there and that Kelly is pregnant. Briana throws up.

They go home in silence and Briana continues to be upset the next day. She tells Jacob that things are over between them because all men are the same and that she just wants to be alone.

Chapters 45 – 46

Briana tells her mother about being upset and that she’s pregnant. Her mother encourages her to give it a chance, but Briana tells her mother that it will hurt too much when he leaves. Her mother tells her that Nick wasn’t a good man and neither was her father, but Gil is, and she apologizes for making Briana think that all men were bad. Still, Briana feels panicky, like she needs to run away from this.

Briana calls out of work the next two days, and Jacob doesn’t know what to do. He goes over to see her, and Briana tells him that she’s pregnant. He tells her how happy he is, but Briana tells him she miscarried when she was with Nick. Jacob tells her to come back to live with him and that he’ll take care of her. But Briana says she doesn’t know if she knows how to be all-in in a relationship anymore.

Briana says that she doesn’t trust her feelings and that she’s always going to push him away in fear that he’s going to leave her. They have sex again, but Briana is a little disconnected from it.

Jacob’s surgery is the next day, and he tells his mom he plans on coming home with her to recover. He also finally tells his mom the truth about everything that’s happened with Briana. His mother is sympathetic to Briana.

His mother says that she’s having a trauma response. That Briana has seen a pattern of men leaving during pregnancy and she wants to sabotage the relationship so she has control over when it ends. She doesn’t trust herself to choose someone who isn’t going to leave her.

He tells Jacob to move slowly, be reassuring. Be consistent. Make her feel loved and safe, and she says not to give up on her and to let her know that he won’t give up on her.

Chapter 47

The day of the surgery, Briana can’t stop crying. Alexis shows up and encourages her to be brave. Briana goes to see Jacob before he goes under, and he reminds her that he loves her and he gives her something.

When she goes out in the waiting room, Briana sees that it’s his diary. She reads through his thoughts about her and his difficulty dealing with her texting Levi. It talks about him falling for her.

When she’s done, Briana realizes that she needs to be brave.

Chapter 48

After his surgery, Jacob is groggy. Briana comes to tell him that she wants to move back in. She apologies for how scared she got, and she repeats back his words to him that “love shows up. And here I am.”


Two Years Later

Briana and Jacob now have a child, Ava. They’re about to have their wedding up at the cabin they own. They go to couples counseling once a month.

They have the ceremony and are married and kiss.

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