Reviewed by Helyce
Gwen Cooper has missed her flight home and is attempting to text this information to her teenage son when she literally runs into a man, throwing them both to the floor. He spills his coffee all over her shirt, she drops her phone and loses a shoe. When they finally right themselves, she realizes that she’s bumped into actor Blake Donovan, Hollywood’s popular leading man. They exchange pleasantries, make sure they are both okay and part ways, Gwen heading to her hotel for the night.
When Blake shows up at her hotel room with an apology in the form of a new pair of Louboutins, Gwen decides that this might be an excellent opportunity to jumpstart her post-divorce sex life. Why not, he seems interested and she’s up to the challenge.
But Blake could not have prepared himself for the night he spends with Gwen, and when they part he knows that one night will never be enough.
I’m so glad that I picked up this book. Gwen is 40-ish and an attorney who is recently divorced. She’s looking inside herself to try and understand exactly how she got to this point in her life. Married young, she had a successful career and had worked with her husband at their firm. She’d raised two boys who are now in high school and old enough to take care of themselves. Her life had become routine, boring, uneventful. She did what a lot of women do I think…stuff down our wants, dreams, needs and focus on everyone else. She cared for her children, her husband, her work, but somewhere along the way she lost herself. This story is a journey of Gwen’s reawakening.
I liked that Gwen was confident and aware that she was an attractive woman. I loved that while she knew exactly who Blake Donovan was when she bumped into him at the airport, she didn’t fangirl and just kept herself calm and a bit business-like. By the time Blake knocks on her hotel room door to personally deliver a new pair of stilettos, Gwen has had time to relax and n the short time it takes for him to apologize, she talks herself into taking advantage of her good fortune. She easily slips into the person she’s always wanted to be in the bedroom and Blake is the lucky recipient of Gwen’s first step at reclaiming her sensuality.
For Blake, meeting Gwen causes him to question where he is in his life as well and he too begins his own journey of self-discovery. Since he was a boy, he’s listened and done whatever his mom and then later, his agents have told him to do. It became easier or habit maybe, to just do what they said rather than fight them. Along the way Blake’s true self-faded to the background. When he’s with Gwen, he comes roaring back to the surface and he really likes who he is around her.
I think both characters are representations of real people. Many women, myself included, can relate to Gwen’s struggle. Wives and mothers tend to put themselves last while they are caring for their families. That’s not a bad thing at all as it usually comes from love, but it was really fun to vicariously live through Gwen’s journey as she experienced a lifestyle she’d only fantasized about in her mind. She was never confident enough to experiment with her husband, but oddly, Blake being a stranger encourages her to be the woman in her head. For Blake, his experiences with Gwen have a similar effect. He begins to stand up for himself, make his own decisions, call the shots.
I should note that Gwen exploration of her sexual self includes bondage and while I am no expert, I would say that this part of the story is definitely BDSM lite for those who may have an issue with this. I thought the scenes were done really well and enjoyed Blake as a submissive.
I thought that Gwen’s sons accepted Gwen and Blake dating a little too easily. I also thought Blake’s continuing friendship with Gwen’s sons during the conflict portion of the story was an odd way to go. Perhaps it works because he’s a popular actor and spending time with him brought a certain excitement to their lives, but that part seemed a bit unrealistic to me. On the flip side, I loved the pissing matches between Gwen’s ex and Blake on the few occasions that they shared page time. Gwen’s mom is also hilarious and brings some humor to the story.
This is a fast-paced story easily read in one go that will resonate with many women I think. I mean who doesn’t fantasize about hooking up with a handsome, sexy celebrity??? In the end, though, Blake longed to be just a regular guy in love with his regular girl, and Gwen never really cared that Blake was a celebrity anyway.