Reading has been hit or miss lately and honestly it has been hard to really get lost in books. Although I was able to finish all these books it is possible that any lack of enjoyment of them is reflective of the world at large and not the book.
Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan– Delilah and Macon didn’t get along when they were children. One could even say that he bullied her and she responded in kind. The flashbacks of them as kids and antagonizing each other were at times hard to read. They reconnect as adults after he texts her after her is trying to reach her sister.
I enjoyed the book enough to finish it, but I didn’t overly enjoy it. Enemies to lovers is always a hard sell for me. I need them to keep the meanness to a minimum. And even as adults Macon started out trying to be mean to Delilah. He still wants to punish her for wrongs caused by her and her sister. I just couldn’t let that go and couldn’t quite understand why Delilah would, especially so easily. There were some sweet and tender moments that did work for me, just overall I couldn’t believe in them.
Also there is a plot about Delilah’s sister that was boring and annoying how Delilah was so willing to sacrifice her wants and needs for her sister.
With all that said, I was interested in learning more about Macon’s best friend and seeing if he gets an HEA.
Bench Player by Julianna Keyes– I absolutely love Keyes voice. I think she is fantastic at writing incredibly complicated main characters. And this book was no different. They are both kind of grumpy and driven and closed off, yet they open up to each other. Even if it is slowly.
This can probably be read as a stand alone, but go ahead and read the first in the series Team Player, for some extra back story on Allison and Conner. Conner is fresh out of jail for insider trading, which Keyes only delves into a little and that was fine for me. Allison and Conner are both working to save their careers and helping each other.
It was a good story. I was very invested in their HEA. It was sexy (but not as sexy as Time Served, one of Keyes’ earlier books). Allison and Connor quickly fall into a good rhythm of a relationship and I was here for it.
(CW: ailing/dying grandparent)
Missing In Action by Kate Canterbary– I purchased this because I have read all the books in the Walsh family series and this is loosely related. This was a quick read and had some laugh out loud moments. Wes Halstead is a commando SEAL of some sort. Tom Esbeck is the operations manager for the Walsh Family Architect business.
Will has to abruptly leave his mission and is back in the States recovering. He meets Tom while recuperating at his brother’s house. They have an instant attraction and they build on that.
Tom has an nearly obsessive need for order in his life. Wes doesn’t know how to live without being in the military/spy world. They have to figure out how to work together. And they make it work. I was invested in their story and wanted them to have their HEA.
I have a few quibbles though that are sort of spoilerly. Wes is partially in the closet. He is afraid to tell his parents who he is and who he loves. I wasn’t buying this. At all. I’ve read every Walsh sibling book. We’ve met the Commodore (Wes’s dad). He is definitely a hard nosed military man, but also he loves his family. Deeply. Unconditionally. There is no way that he would be upset/disappointed/angry etc upon finding out his son is gay. I wasn’t buying that angle at all.
Tom also has a complicated family history regarding his sexuality and it just felt like a lot.
Wes and Tom have a verbal argument that felt so incredible real and true to life. But the resolution came a bit too easy for me.
Also, at times Tom’s control issues surrounding his food felt like it was bordering on disordered eating.
Overall I enjoyed the story. I was invested in them figuring it out. But had some issues with one of the conflict points.