This had the potential to be a five star book for me. I can see why this author has so many fans. I instantly connected with the story, I found the lead character funny and charming, the plot completely sucked me in, and the supporting characters were all interesting. As it is it ended being a 3-star. But I would have rated this book higher...:
A)...IF The hero wasn't such an utter asshole. Granted, re redeems himself later but he was a just waaaay too much for about 70% of the book. Now, the heroine, Gwen, is culpable here. The hero, Hawk, meets her in a bar where she flirts with him outrageously for the evening. When they leave, it isn't because they have mutually decided they want to enjoy the rest of the evening together. He simply says 'You comin' or what?'
What follows is a year and a half of hook-ups where he silently slips into her house at night, has sex with her and leaves. And Gwen doesn't even know his name. A year and half! So later on when circumstances force their relationship into daylight and into public Gwen finds out he knows everything about her
from her family background down to her favorite meal:
"How do you know so much about me?"
"Sweet Pea, I know who I fuck." he shot back.
Yeah, he's a charmer. He also tended to disregard what she says or treated her like her wishes were irrelevant. He just steam-rolled her at times. He also had a speech cadence and dialogue tics that made him sound like a mash-up of Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series and any random member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
I did eventually get to like him, but he was super annoying for much of the book.
B) ...IF Gwen wasn't made out to be some modern day Helen of Troy. I really
liked Gwen. I thought she was funny and interesting. But that never explains why four men were so riveted by her that they would drop everything on the turn of a dime to go running for her assistance, or start a turf war over her, or deploy massive amounts of employees to watch over her every move to keep her safe? Really? That isn't necessary. I already liked her. I didn't need to be constantly slapped in the face about how every guy who came into her orbit wanted her and was willing to do anything for her.
C)...IF it was More tightly edited. The writing was fairly clean and the story was fun and instantly sucked me in. But I felt there were times when the narrative started to spiral out of control. Or where parts could have been cut for a tighter more cohesive storytelling. It was a long book and at times it really felt like it.
But like I said, those things aside this was one fun, rollicking book. I liked how out there of the characters were. I especially enjoyed Gwen's relationship with her father and her girlfriends.
There are some great laugh-out-loud moments, like when Gwen is explaining how her ex-Army father manages to bond with anyone who is Army no matter where they are. Or when she talks about her father's work ethic:
"The entire eastern seaboard could fall into the sea and Dad would go to work then get on the phone can call his men and ask why they were still at home, grieving over loved ones and the loss of national monuments as the country came to grips with a colossal tragedy. Then he'd tell them they should be on site, there was work to be done."
This cracked me up because I know
this guy. I have a friend whose father is
There is such an intimate, conversational, almost confiding tone to the writing that it is impossible not to get wrapped into the story. If this carries over onto KA's other books I can see why she has such a following. Despite my issues with this book, I am very much anticipating reading the rest of this series.