Reviewed by Kini
“I need a hug.”
“It’s not a trick question, you big lump of granite. I declared I loved you this morning and after your exit pursued by a bear I didn’t stop loving you. You’re the best friend I have sex with, it’s been a crappy day, and I need you.”
This book and author are so difficult to describe. I have been reading Paton’s books since September 2013 when I read “Detained”. Her style is so unlike any other author I read and quite honestly at times, it can be a little jarring. I sometimes don’t know what exactly is happening, I even texted Mandi and said- “Paton almost always works for me, even when I don’t know who is talking.” That doesn’t exactly sound like an endorsement, except it is. I even had listed her books as some of my favorites. And this book was no exception. I really, really liked it. Her dialogue is snappy, snarky, witty and fresh.
Our heroine, Flick, is a lobbyist and is wild and fun and lives her life on the edge. She isn’t a complete mess like the hero thinks. Flick has quit her job in Chicago to move to Washington but needs a temporary place to stay. Flick has done very well for herself financially and carries the guilt of leaving her parents and sister behind as they rely on her.
Our grumpy and stuffy hero is Tom. He works in pharmaceuticals. He thinks Flick is flighty and a mess. He is afraid of the way she lives her life. His roommate recently moved so he needs a roommate. You see where this is going, right? Well, Tom does not want Flick to live with him, not even temporarily. But this is romancelandia and in order for them to discover how wonderful the other is, we need to force them together.
I LOVE forced proximity and this is definitely a play on forced proximity. Although they each live their lives, Flick is in Tom’s space and it forces him to view her differently. And quickly, as she is only there for three months. The coupons come into play about halfway through the book, as Flick is trying to encourage Tom to come out of his stuffy and repressed ways. The coupons are a lot of fun to see them work through. Some are sex-related while others are just different things to do. Even the time they spend together that isn’t coupon related is fantastic. Tom is such a caretaker and I am here for all the caretaking heroes.
The cover might lead you to believe that is all lightness but it is actually quite deep and emotional. The dialogue and prose in this book are top notch. I have lots and lots of highlighted notes from the book. Here are just a few examples of the prose.
He stood there with the handle of his airline wheelie bag in his hand and his mouth open. He looked big and tired and safe and wonderful. Arms that were shelter and legs that were balance, and a chest that, if snuggled against, might ward off the nightmares.
“I missed you.” She hadn’t meant to say that, the words surprised her, and she bit her tongue too late to call them back. He trailed a palm from her wrist down her bent arm to her elbow and over her shoulder to her waist. “You’re not allowed to miss me.” She went to her toes and pressed closer to him. “Don’t tell me what to do.”
One last one
Flick was his eight ball and he’d never felt so high as when he was with her, and when she left he’d be ruined.
I recommend this book for someone who doesn’t like their book relationships to come easy. Tom and Flick have to work through some shit. He makes some mistakes. She makes some mistakes. But they make it work in the end and I really enjoyed it.