Reviewed by Kini
Declan O’Brien was always driven to take his place among Philly’s elite, working hard for everything he’s earned, including the title of Assistant District Attorney. He’s won seemingly impossible cases, so he’s furious when he’s assigned to lead the one unit he doesn’t want.
Melissa Fenske was born hearing impaired to a neglectful mother, finding solace when she was adopted by a young attorney, now Declan’s boss. As the current Director of Victim Services, Melissa’s livid when Declan is placed in the main unit she oversees. She can’t forget their disastrous first encounter. Or shake how he makes her feel.
Declan considers the assignment another step toward his political aspirations, despite that he can’t get Melissa out of his mind. Melissa sees Declan as egotistical and self-serving, kicking herself for how fast she’s falling for him. Someone as hot, smooth, and perfect as Declan isn’t supposed to want her.
In another situation with any other woman, Declan wouldn’t hesitate to take Melissa to bed. But she is the boss’s daughter, and for once, Declan finds himself wanting more than just a one night stand.
Neither counted on each other. Both just met their match.
Something about this blurb appealed to past me, but when I got around to reading it, me of the present was not as impressed. A lot of little things about this book left me feeling frustrated. Melissa and Declan work together and he is pretty much a jerk throughout the whole story, he is possessive and dismissive of her feelings, he gets mad at her for things when he does similar things to her, and I never grew to like him therefore I didn’t believe in their story.
There was lots of shaming in this book, slut-shaming (calling other women sluts, skanks and tramps for previous sexual encounters), kink-shaming (a potential client is also a submissive and as a side note it was not relevant and never came up again), emotion-shaming (a few instances of being called a “pussy” for showing emotion) and most importantly romance novel enjoyment shaming – Melissa enjoyed reading romance, she feels obligated to downplay her enjoyment and then later when Declan gives her a present of some romance books, he’s so disgusted by the thought of having to enter a store to purchase them, he sends his sister.
Declan has a lot of siblings and I disliked pretty much all of them. His one brother, Curran, talks about how he went to the ob/gyn with his pregnant wife and then pitched a fit when he found out the doctor was male, because he didn’t want another man looking at his wife’s bits. His sister refers to him as metro-sexual in a super negative manner because he doesn’t drive a truck. Additionally. Declan’s family gets a lot of page time, if you’ve read previous books in this series and enjoyed them, that may appeal to you. I could mostly understand the previous connections, so this could be read as a stand alone.
I was really interested to see how the author portrayed Melissa’s hearing impairment and I don’t feel qualified enough to say if it was good or bad. There were some times when Melissa tried to explain that she doesn’t like it when people whisper to her because of back noise, but in the next scene Declan would whisper to her. It was confusing. She could read lips and Declan didn’t learn ASL until very late in the story.
Overall this book did not work for me. I found the hero incredibly unlikeable. The sex wasn’t even very hot or detailed. Too many little things that bothered me that all combined, I did not enjoy this book. Melissa was a decent heroine trying to live her life doing what she believed was her calling. She definitely deserved a better hero.