Part of a series? Yes.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Losing fifty pounds is an incredible achievement. But for Melissa Atherton, progress doesn’t come with praise—a scathing comment from an evil cousin at a bridal shower threatens to crush her new self-esteem. Who will she bring to the upcoming wedding? Showing up without a date would be humiliating. It just isn’t an option.
Personal trainer Jake Sawyer was attracted to Melissa before she lost weight, but her progress has him floored. When she admits she plans to hire a male escort—and why—his heart all but breaks. Melissa’s come too far to be knocked down, especially by her own family. He’ll go as her date…and figure out a way to keep his hands to himself.
But when a steamy hotel room encounter takes them both by surprise, Jake balks. He’s sworn never to date one of his clients, not again. And Melissa can’t bear to be just friends with the man who treated her so tenderly, even if it was only for a weekend. Jake’s helped her see she’s strong enough to stand up for herself, but will she find the strength to pursue the only man who’s ever seen the real her?
I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
While this book is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone because it features another set of characters. Though, there are a few mentions of previous events regarding some other characters, there’s nothing major that would make difficult reading this book first. I haven’t read the others and I didn’t have issues. In fact, I realized that there are other books rather late. lol
This book is difficult to rate or even review. At least, it is for me. I enjoyed reading it. It’s sweet and nice and there are a few hot scenes. But while it’s a nice read, I didn’t feel that thrill I’m looking for while reading a romance story. I like the characters, the plot is not bad, but the romance isn’t that intense. In a way, it’s almost too nice for my taste. I’m awful, I know.
The writing style is nice. Some dialogues sound a little too forced at times, but nothing that worth mentioning. The descriptions are not impacting the rhythm and they show a little bit of the characters’ voice. To a certain extent at least.
The plot is what I have a little bit more of an issue with. It’s too linear in a way. The twists are minors, the consequences not enough played out to better enhance the “risks“ of breaking his —Jake—rule. It’s too much told at this point and not enough shown. On this front, I think nothing much happens. Also, the other little twists are really inconsequential. The plot disappoints me a little bit even though the sweetness between Melissa and Jake warms me quite a bit.
Speaking of the characters…
They’re nice. I would have enjoyed to see a little bit more of their flaws instead of their qualities, their sweet and caring side. In that aspect, it’s really a matter of personal taste. I enjoy characters more flawed, with more hangups. Somehow, here, Melissa and Jake, almost seems too perfect when it comes to their personality. But it matches the nice and sweet atmosphere of this story, so in a way it’s probably a good thing. I’m just not completely the right reader, I guess.
I love Melissa’s sister. Paige is a character I look forward to read about in another book. Seriously. I think it’s going to be one wild ride with laughter and excitement. 🙂
In the end, I think it’s the perfect book to read in between emotionally heavy books, when you want something light and easy, something to just relax. I just wanted a more epic love story so I think that’s why I’m not completely, fully sold.