What made me pick up this book was that several reviewers said how well it was written, that it was more than your normal romance. I believe someone even used the word literary romance, and I think it’s a good term for this book. Why? Because these characters have issues, particularly the woman. Her brother an Afghanistan veteran committed suicide, an event which left scars on her and her best friend. The male character is also a veteran and a top-of-the-line male prostitute. It makes for an interesting character.
I don’t read many romances, but when I do I don’t mind what level of heat they are. I can always skip anything that is too explicit for my taste. Frankly I often find detailed sex scenes rather tedious, unless they’re is so well written that they hold my attention. Usually that means that relationship building is going on as well as the sex; in other words, it’s still moving the story along, not just a chunk of sex thrown in because it’s a romance and readers expect it. Thrust was like that.
What I found particulary interesting in terms of characterisation was how the aspects of the male character that were unappealing outside the bedroom became appealing when wielded in the bedroom—at least for the female character. Their sexual relationship is based on the idea that women, or this woman anyway, likes to be dominated. It’s a common theme in romances, and harks back to primitive times when the females of the species liked a man who could, above all, be strong and care for her and any offspring. The thing that this author did well was to marry the dominating alpha male aspects of the character with tenderness and concern. The nice thing about such characters is that when they’ve found their woman, they know she’s the one and don’t hold back from letting her know. Women like that.
At first I didn’t like the male character at all. He comes across as an arrogant jerk. At the end he is less arrogant and you realise that he is actually a very caring fellow, not such a jerk as he first appears. The way he helps the woman to sort out her issues is unexpected and gives the story a depth it wouldn’t otherwise have. So this is more than a story about two people getting it off together—though that is a big part of it—it’s also about how people can heal each other, and how the right person can be the impetus for major changes in our life.
Expert writing, impeccable editing, a well-constructed, enjoyable story with depth of characterisation and meaning means that this book warrants 5 stars.
Nice cover too.
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