The problem with this book? I had ZERO emotional connection to the hero. Our couple didn’t even come face-to-face until almost a third of the way in, and once they did, the hero was trying to stay so emotionally distant that I never felt the love. Sure, it was sexy, and there were a few steamy scenes, but there was no real tenderness or endearing moments. It felt like the love story didn’t even kick in until 40% of the way in, and then it went at lightning speed after that. All the right elements were there – a solid writing style, history between these two, and characters who had the potential to be likable – but it just didn’t pan out that way.
The story follows Caleb and Zoey, two people who have been in each other’s lives in one way or another for years. Zoey has watched Caleb with woman after woman, always wanting to be the one on his arm. Now that he’s back in town and helping to plan her sister’s wedding, Zoey’s determined to finally get his attention. Caleb’s got some personal struggles that make him more commitment-shy than ever, but he can’t deny that there’s something there with Zoey.
Don’t let my negativity fool you; if I truly thought this was a bad book, I would’ve rated it lower without hesitation. A 3-star rating from me is a book that had me groaning at least once but isn’t without redeemable qualities. I can appreciate the strength of Ryan’s writing, as well as the complexity of the characters. I can also somewhat understand where Caleb was coming from with his reluctance. However, I didn’t love how desperate Zoey comes off in pursuing a guy who has repeatedly broken her heart, nor did I love some of Caleb’s actions – PARTICULARLY in the final few scenes. This is wrapped up WAY too quickly for me to do anything other than curl my lip at the “HEA.” Perhaps if the love story had featured more prominently in the first 40%, it would’ve been more palatable, but it definitely didn’t work given how little time these two spend on the page together. I appreciated receiving an ARC (and am voluntarily leaving a review), but this gets a “meh” from me.
Series: Less Than #3
Caleb Carr might have once been ready for commitment, but when the unexpected
slams into him with the force of a two-ton truck, he knows he has to run away
from anything that might be important. Zoey might well be his final temptation,
but to keep her whole, he’ll walk away.
Zoey Wager has loved Caleb since they were eight. And has had her heart broken
from afar repeatedly ever since. It doesn’t help that every time she sees
him—even when she’s running away halfway across the world—he’s with another
woman. She’s watched him fall in lust her entire life. Now, she’s ready to
watch him fall in love. With her.
Chance encounters of the sequined kind, best friends who aren’t really just
your friend, and childhood meet cutes that are anything but cute force the Carr
siblings to face what life has brought them. Again.
Ryan is the New York Times and USA
Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance.
Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Fractured Connections, and
Elements of Five series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She
started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry
and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and
novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional
and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her
clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.