I loved this book. It’s not the fastest paced, or the sexiest but it completely worked for me. Our hero is Ben Madison, who is the newly elected sheriff of Frost Falls, Colorado. Taking place in 1898, Ben is the most easy-going, never-to-get-riled hero I’ve read. That doesn’t mean he is stupid or doesn’t care, he just likes to observe and play along real nice with the folks, to keep everyone peaceful and happy. He puts the bad guys in jail and truly cares about his townspeople. He check in on the elderly and those who are ailing. He has a very dry wit about him – so when he says something, you never know if he is being serious. I absolutely adored him.
Our heroine is the brand new doctor in town. After her godfather went back to Boston to retire, she takes over and the town isn’t really on board with a female doctor. Ben takes it upon himself to show Ridley around town, and to show his public support of her, in hopes to ease the transition to a female doctor. I liked Ridley a lot too. Very mature, doesn’t go into her new job with grand expectations, since she knows being a woman is never easy in a professional field. She is patient and kind and gets so frustrated with Ben and his easy-going nature. Ben lives right next door to Ridley, and they form a friendship and a close bond before any romance occurs. Like I mentioned, this isn’t the sexiest book, but their romance unfolded at just the right pace for me.
We meet a lot of the townsfolk, as we learn their different ailments and their feelings about Ridley. There is one prominent story line that involves spousal abuse. The town’s blacksmith, Jeremiah, beats his wife, Lily, after he drinks too much. Ben knows this, Ridley learns of this, and pretty much the whole town knows, but what can be done? Ben will put Jeremiah in jail for a few nights, so Lily has a day or two to heal, but she won’t leave so Ben can’t do much more. This is definitely a darker story line and takes up a lot of pages. I think it’s handled with a lot of care and done really well.
I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting (Shacking Up #3)
Released: May 29, 2018
I’ve really enjoyed this series by Helena Hunting. As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, these books are super sexy but less raunchy than her previous works. They work well for me. That being said, I enjoyed the first two books more than this one. By the end of the book, I liked Pierce and Rian together – they are both sweet and fun. But the beginning of the book was a little too much for me.
Rian has a twin sister, Marley, who hit a parked car and booked her butt away from the scene without leaving a note. A few days later, the person she hit, our hero Pierce, sees Rian at the grocery store and thinks it’s Marley (they are fraternal twins who look exactly alike). Of course Rian is totally confused and pissed off that this guy (HOT guy) is yelling at her about hitting a car and he is also saying things like:
“Don’t play dumb with me! You think you can flip your ponytail” – he reaches out and flicks the end, which is rather startling – “flash a smile and some cleavage, and it’s going to get you out of this. Well, think again, sweetheart. I guarantee my paint is still all over your bumper.”
and Rian responds:
“And I’d like to point out, that the cleavage comment was completely unnecessary and unwarranted and actually, pretty damn sexist.”
He blinks a couple of times, possibly taken aback. That expression doesn’t last long. His lip curls in a sneer and that pretty all-American handsomeness morphs into downright malevolent hotness. “Nice try, sweetheart. But there’s no way I’d forget you.” His gaze sweeps over me—it’s not in an unappreciative way either.
I poke hard at his chest. “Stop leering at me, you pervert. I don’t know what kind of drugs you’ve been snorting, but I assure you, you’ve got the wrong person.”
This just rubbed the wrong way – it’s never good when I get a creepy vibe from the hero to start the book. Heroes shouldn’t be creepy! He did grow on me – but it took a while.
Rian and Pierce are both in the Hampton’s (beach area in New York) because they are both in real estate. Pierce has a lot of money to play around with and some time. His father created the a popular doll, which used to be a huge seller. Pierce in a patent lawyer who didn’t handle the patent for a life-sized doll well, and the doll ended up being sold in porn stores. Disgraced by his family, he has moved in with his brother in the Hampton’s, where they have been buying real estate to flip or rent.
Rian and her sister Marley are also doing this, except they have no where near the capital that Pierce has. They have been carefully making investments and finding houses to flip, so that one day they have enough money to buy a nearby mansion, that has family memories for them. Pierce happens to own a rental house that Rian and Marley are staying in, so these two enemies start to see each other a lot. Pierce falls hard for Rian, who stubbornly keeps him at bay until his sexy body is just too much to ignore.
Let me also note that when Rian first meets Pierce, she had already agreed to go on a date with a man, Terry, she met through a dating site. Terry isn’t all that attractive apparently, and Rian is a much higher number on the beauty scale, per Pierce. They really start to tear into Terry – making fun of his name, that he may lose his hair in the future etc… and again, this rubbed me the wrong way.
As the story progresses, Rian and Pierce start to have all the hot, sexy sex and nice sexual tension.
This author writes well done banter and really fun sex scenes, but this one had a rocky start for me.