In some of the podcasts I’ve been listening to, book reviewers talk about spacing their reading and reviews so that they read and review closer to the release date. If I get a book from NetGalley, I want to read it right away, because there was a reason I requested it in the first place. As for reviewing, I have been publishing closer to the release date, but I think I’ll start publishing ON the release date so that people who are interested in the book can buy it if they want to. If you want to buy the book, feel free to follow the link to my Goodreads page and access purchase sites from there. I admit it. I’m a lazy blogger. Someday maybe I’ll get crazy creative. In the meantime, go read this book!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
After a bad experience involving her stalker ex and heroin, Elli hates cops. So every chance she gets, she snarks and prods at one of the local constables, Brett, making sure he knows that even though they happen to hang with the same circle of friends, she has no interest in talking to him. But when her license is suspended and her creepy ex shows back up in town, circumstances mean she has to spend a lot more time with him since he becomes both her driving instructor and her fake boyfriend/protector.
This book kept me up way past my bedtime. I couldn’t put it down. I’d requested it because it looked cute, but cute is only one of the words to describe it. This story got me in all the feels. All. Of. Them.
The enemies-to-friends trope is often done with flat out hatred between characters, but it took a slightly different twist here. Elli just hates cops in general and Brett doesn’t really hate her at all. In fact, he kind of admires her, even knowing he has no chance. The development between them is a slow burn. The author paces the plots well, including the stalking of Elli by her ex, and how that plays into the relationship between her and Brett.
These two characters are so great. Elli played the damsel in distress, but only with regards to her crazy ex, the only thing that really seemed to scare her (understandably so). Brett was one of my favorite types of heroes: quiet, shy, unsure of himself at times, but an overall nice guy who just wants to make sure people are safe, especially those he cares about. He’s so sweet! These two characters play off each other perfectly and have an absolutely awesome chemistry. The dialogue between the two characters (and between them and secondary characters) is clever and funny and real.
The Romance Factor is 5/5 because I had so many “aww” moments and heart feels it made for a super fun read (hence being up way late to finish this one). The Sex Factor is at about a 2/5, but I’m adding in a Sensual Factor and giving it a 5/5. Basically, there is very little sex in this book, because with Brett being a constable and involved in an investigation involving Elli, he doesn’t want to do anything that could mess up getting her ex arrested, so other than a few kisses (and they are hot kisses), he keeps his hands to himself through most of the book (I suppose the Foreplay Factor could also be listed as a 5/5).
When sexy times happen, they’re not super dirty, so readers who really aren’t into the steamy stuff will enjoy this one. However, there is a very high degree of sensuality, and when Elli and Brett do anything together, you feel their connection and the romance between them and it made me want to melt into a puddle of happy goo.
I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to anyone who loves a good small-town, shy guy mystery.