Reviewed by Kini
Favorite Quote: “Are you scared I’m going to bolt?” “I’m scared you’re going to eclipse the sun.” Cal Sherwood, you keep saying things like that, you are so getting kissed.
I loved pretty much everything about this book. The premise is a fake relationship between a con-man hero and a heroine that wants to raise money for the non-profit she just started. They meet in a bar and Fin tries to give Cal the pitch for her non-profit. As he is the big-jerk venture capitalist he knows her pitch is shit. He basic chases her away. But when Fin runs into her ex-boyfriend she goes back to Cal and kisses him. Sparks are ignited. They end up in a hotel but no sex because Cal decides he wants to help Fin with her pitch and knows that sex would ruin it. Queue up a lovely slow burn romance.
Cal and Fin were both wonderfully broken characters that when brought together aren’t perfect, but yet perfect for each other. Cal believes that because of his occupation he’ll never be able to love someone. Fin has been surrounded by people that don’t believe in her, so she finds it hard to believe in herself. Of course, when they are together, they learn these things are not true. It was wonderful to watch their journey together.
Paton’s style of writing is fast-paced and in my opinion, she makes the reader work. I like the challenge. There were occasionally times when I had to double back and re-read sentences to see which character was saying what. But as I have read at least ten of Paton’s books I am familiar with her style and enjoy it. I know that this style isn’t for everyone, but for those willing to take a chance, I think they will be rewarded.
Back to this book. Cal is WONDERFUL. There is a scene when Fin has her period and she is physically ill and he snuggles her and I wanted to cry.
“Thank you,” she murmured. “You’re welcome. How do you feel?” “Imagine someone stabbing you in the gut and back repeatedly with a dozen rusty serrated knives.” He rolled to his side, facing her, and played with an errant curl of hair, hoping she wouldn’t feel it, wishing there was something he could do so she didn’t feel this pain. “Is it like that every month?”
And then there is this quote-
“You’re such a damn liar.” He opened the one eye closest to her. “You and I pretend all the time. Get over here and pretend.” She was weak. Emotionally fragile. She slid over the cooled sheets and put her head on his shoulder. She didn’t know what to do with her arm. She was a plank, and this wasn’t comfortable. But if she got comfortable it might mess her up forever.
After the period talk and snuggles, they move from fake relationship to a weird relationship space where they aren’t sleeping together, but Cal is being more intentional with his feelings. I was there for every moment of it. Their conflict felt true and authentic for the situation. The offending party was appropriately contrite for their actions. There wasn’t a grovel perse, but the resolution to the conflict worked for me on every level.
I really love this book. Cal was tender and wonderful and didn’t give himself enough credit for his capacity to love. Finley was strong in a way she didn’t realize. Watching her realize that she could do the things were great. She didn’t NEED Cal to do these things, he just made it better. I highly recommend this book. If you’ve loved any sort of books containing a caper of some sort, I think you will enjoy this.