Although I am a stone Sarah Mayberry groupie, I tend to shy away from the Harlequin Blaze line, even with her books. So I hadn't any intentions of reading this one. I finally picked it up so that I could read it before reading her more recent Her Best Worst Mistake, which is a sequel to this one.
While I think the story was well plotted and it felt like a much bigger book than it was, I felt a curious distance from Elizabeth and Nathan which did not let me get as invested in them as I could have.
The set up and plot is actually quite good with Elizabeth feeling he need to break away from a stultifying existence and throwing over her rather lackluster fiance in the process. She ends up in Australia having super-sexy times with the hunky, troubled Nathan. Both of the main protagonists have issues to confront. And again, it is amazing how much story this author manages to pack in the category format.
Since I did read this solely for the prequel benefit of the other book, I was intensely curious about Elizabeth's stuffy fiance Martin. He is the hero of the sequel. I wondered if I'd be able to envision him as hero material since he is described as being sexually boring in this book and given a mischievous nick-name 'Droopy drawers'.
I have to give the author kudos here as well. I can't even begin to count how many books I've read where the non-hero boyfriend of the heroine is given the character trait of 'stuffy' only to be further demonized or emasculated to further contrast with the hero. He either becomes overly pompous, or is made to seem super petty, or in some extreme cases he's made downright evil. But Mayberry neatly side-steps that here. Martin isn't demonized or somehow made lesser to further polish up Nathan. He and Elizabeth manage to maintain a friendship and the character retains some sympathy for the reader. So I was relieved that I wouldn't have to overcome some bad character pre-conditioning when I got to his book.
Still this was a nice, easy read on a Sunday afternoon and whetted my appetite for the sequel.