Most of All You, Sheridan’s book published last year, is a favorite of mine. It made me feel all the feels. More Than Words was greatly anticipated, but it misses the mark. We meet Jessica and Callen as teenagers, they randomly meet one day at an abandoned train car, as they are both looking for escapism. Jessica’s dad is a serial cheater and her mom falls apart each time. Callen’s dad verbally abuses and shames him, so when they meet as strangers, they form a strong bond. They meet several days a week at this train car for a year or so until one day, Callen never shows up again.
Ten years pass and now they are both into their careers. Jessica has a passion for French, and a skill to translate very old French text. She moves to France to immerse herself in their culture and hopefully find a job, which has been hard to do. But she finally gets offered a dream job of translating documents possibly written by Joan of Arc.
Callen has become a composer, creating scores for video games, and now movies. He is wildly popular, not only for his music, but his good looks. He is known as a bad boy – he takes home a different woman each night, and that is as long as each relationship lasts. Lately, he has had writer’s block, unable to write music for a big movie scheduled to release. He has turned to drinking heavily and of course women. He goes to France on vacation, to hopefully clear his head, and runs into Jessica totally out of the blue. Their feelings for each resurface after ten years, but he has to convince her his womanizing days are over.
I did not like Callen. At all. I love a grumpy hero – but Callen is just plain unlikable. He has an ugly attitude. He doesn’t treat women that great. He blames everyone but himself. And yes, I know he struggles with the verbal abuse he suffered as a kid. I tried to keep that in mind as he lives his life – but it was hard to give him the benefit of the doubt. Also the fact that ten years later, Jessica is still a virgin – I’m tired of this. Tired of the dude always the manwhore, the heroine always the perfect virgin, waiting for her prince to arrive. Her prince, by the way, who is not worthy.
“God, don’t look at me that way, Jessie,” he rasped. “I never lied about the life I led. I never promised you anything I couldn’t deliver. You agreed to this. No promises. No regrets.”
“I know,” I said softly. “It’s just …” I shrugged, a self-conscious gesture. I felt to very tender an raw. “You’ve always been my prince, Callen,” I admitted, voicing the thought I’d just had, letting him into my heart. “It hurts to see you as anything else. After this weekend I’d hoped – “
“Stop. I can’t be your prince, Jessie. You have to see that.”
Yes, because he had a married woman in his hotel room after spending the weekend with Jessica. And this is towards the end of the book. He didn’t sleep with her, but he uses women as tools to attack Jessica when feelings get too real. It’s gross.
I didn’t care for their relationship. Jessica fell flat for me and had no personality. This was a big miss.
I really enjoyed Fake Wife earlier this year, so I was happy to try this one. I do like this author’s voice, although Knocked Up, in my opinion, is not as good as the first book. In this one we have Braxton and Cara, who didn’t know one another, and hooked up for a one night stand at a wedding. Six weeks later, Cara finds out she is pregnant. She immediately tracks down Braxton (thank goodness, I hate it when heroines keep the pregnancy a secret from the father) and tells him the news. Braxton is of course shocked.
Braxton is a big,muscled, heavily tattooed (umm….cover model is not representing Braxton well here) guy who owns a tattoo parlor. Growing up very poor with drug-addicted parents, he eventually met a man who became a father-figure to him, and who also left him millions in his will. In present day, Braxton lives in a luxurious pent-house, but doesn’t look the part. It angers him when people judge him as a “thug” based on his appearance.
Cara comes from wealth, but a family who finds her art passion to be too low-class. She moved out on her own, and lives in a run-down apartment, as that is all she can afford. But she is proud to be independent of a family that doesn’t want to be part of her life. When she tells Braxton she is pregnant, he immediately goes into over-protective mode. He wants her to move in with him – she stubbornly refuses, to keep some of her pride. This goes on and on until eventually she moves in. She suffers from extreme morning sickness and finds herself too weak to thrive on her own.
Although Braxton is super alpha – and he wants to basically run Cara’s life for her – I still liked him. His over-protective stuff did get a bit old, and at times I think he thought he knew better in all areas. Their relationship worked for me and I like that they communicated so well, besides that darn, final chapter, predictable fight that happens in 99% of the romance books I read. Their relationship progressed pretty well but the fight at the end was pretty silly.
Cara’s parents are over-done in the villain department. They felt like caricatures and not real people. We have the predictable loss or bad parents, wealthy hero, lots of tattoos, a hero swooping in to save the heroine etc.. Things could have been fleshed out more in the story, as this was a pretty quick read but I do like this author’s voice.