Most people don’t know I secretly LOVE romance novels. (Okay, I guess I just let that cat out of the bat. But y’all won’t tell anyone, right?)
This book reminded me of what captivates me with this genre. I love love and I love happy endings. Having had a rough time personally over the past few years, I love reading about a happily ever after. I know it’s fiction, but it gives me hope.
I love that the focus of the book is on the evolution of the characters’ and their relationship. I know that’s what romance novels are supposed to do, but it’s so well done here. The author is masterful at allowing us to see this change in them instead of having other characters remark about it or narrating it in the text. Some writers use sex and pillow talk as the avenue for the characters to get to know each other and some utilize the hero-saves-damsel-in-distress-and-the-two-fall-in-love-while-he’s-saving-both-their-lives plot.
In this book, however, we have two vulnerable characters who essentially save each other from themselves. Roxanne is emotionally scarred by relationship advice she’d gotten from her mother, witnessing what her mom went through in several failed marriages, and having a couple men up and leave her out of the blue. For several years, she’s satisfied herself with one-night stands and casual dating. Ian is fresh out of the military, just home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Suffering from episodes of PTSD when he’s in loud places, close spaces, and/or around a lot of people, he is affected by an inexplicable calming affect that Roxanne has on him when he (literally) runs into her when they first meet. He realizes the treasure he has in her and works to get past her barriers build a relationship with her.
While Ian helps Roxanne battle her inner demons regarding relationships, she helps him get through dealing with his parents, with whom he has a rocky relationship with, and also with accepting that his sister, Elle, is going to marry a man who wouldn’t be his first choice for her. Her fiancé, Gabe, happens to be the brother of Ian’s best friend, Nathan. (Given the excerpt from the first novel in this series, Wrong Bed, Right Guy, there seems to be a heck of a story behind that.)
While the story surrounds Ian and Roxanne’s relationship, it’s not a touchy-feely, sappy story that non-lovers of this genre think all romance novels are. Both characters are strong, but flawed, two halves of the same whole.
I give this book five stars and I’m off to locate and read Wrong Bed, Right Guy and impatiently wait for the August release of the third book, Two Wrongs, One Right.
Click on the covers below to be taken to the Amazon.com pages for all three books.
*** Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book for the purpose of a review. I received no compensation, monetary or otherwise.