Content warning: this book is aimed at over 18s, so there may be things in the review that aren't appropriate for younger readersPublisher: Carina Press
Released: Available now - ebook
Source: Carina Press on NetGalley
Description: Ten years ago, Rori Simon left town shy, unattractive and with zero self-esteem. Now she's back, older, stronger and finally loving herself-and it shows. Hot men are soon knocking at her door, including Jude Callahan, the bad boy who starred in her teenage daydreams...and her adult fantasies.
Jude can't believe the sexy, confident woman before him is actually Rori! She's gotten under his skin like no other woman has...and she brings out secret desires he can't resist. He wants to dominate Rori with every fiber of his being. Wants to own her and pleasure her. To cherish her as he makes her his.
Rori discovers she likes being controlled. She also knows Jude is not a one-woman man. Everything changes when she meets Zach Helm. Edgy, sensual Zach knows just what she needs, and before long, she's in love. Jude watches them together and wonders if he's lost his chance forever...
My thoughts: I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. I really liked it at first, but somewhere in the middle... it just didn't do it for me.
The book starts off well - we're introduced to Rori as she arrives back home after a very long time away. I found Rori to be immediately likeable, and her relationship with her sister and sister's family at their reunion was very believable. I think one thing that helped me like Rori is the way that she used to be a very awkward teenager, and then left home, travelled a bit, and gradually developed into her own person - I think probably most people can relate to this, but personally it resonated a lot.
I like Rori's early encounters with the people she used to know in the small town, and their reactions to how much more confident she is now. Again, it's very believable. And I liked reading about the gorgeous Jude, even if the fact that she's hooking up with her brother-in-law's half brother struck me as a tiny bit weird sometimes. The scenes when she's with Jude are very steamy, there is so much emotion and chemistry between them. I really wanted to see how they worked out what they were doing, how they were going to fit together. Then Jude screws up. And this is where it started to go downhill for me. As it says in the blurb, she meets Zach. She meets him the same night she's broken up with Jude, and yes, she won't let herself do anything with Zach at first because of that, but she's so persistent in thinking that everything is over between her and Jude. I can understand that she's cross because she's been badly hurt before, but I really wanted her to let him apologise properly, to give him a second chance.
As the blurb says, Rori falls in love with Zach. And here I really wasn't into the story. They get together, work through a couple of things, and then there is a huge chunk where they, for want of a better phrase, play house for a while. I found myself skimming over a lot of this bit. It just wasn't interesting to me. I'm still not sure how I feel about the end bit of the book. Yes, it was ok, but by that point I wasn't really interested any more. I felt like it had lost the promise that it had at the start.
I've heard a lot of good things about the author, Lauren Dane, so I probably will try and read some of her other books, because the writing was very good for a lot of the story, but unfortunately this one just didn't really do it for me. I'll give it five stars.
Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?