This didn’t play out like I expected it to, but I liked it. I’ve been a fan of this author’s laugh out loud rom coms for awhile now, and this is a completely different vibe from her. There’s still some understated humor and lighthearted moments, but they’re toned down in this story. The chaotic, overwhelmed mom storyline was definitely a bit much at times (and took away from the romance), but both characters are easy to like and empathize with. The real draw here is the sweet, loving hero – who 100% seems too good to be true. Their connection was easily the best part of the book, and I would’ve loved more focus on it. The pacing felt off, with a slow (almost tedious) start, a SUPER fast-paced middle, and a tidily wrapped up ending. So, this falls somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me – I liked it, but there are plenty of things that bugged me.
The story follows Rachel, a divorced mom of twins. After a lackluster one night stand resulted in pregnancy, she tried to make things work with the father – until it became glaringly obvious that they weren’t meant to be. Once their brief marriage ended, Rachel was left to take on the bulk of the responsibility for raising their kids, and she’s inherited a family that makes that even more complicated. Among them is her ex’s brother, the loyal yet lazy (and exceedingly sexy) Travis. Rachel has heard enough about Travis over the years to know that he’s a carefree playboy – and is completely off-limits – so she’s quick to shut down any crush she may have on him. But when a family vacation brings them closer than ever, it becomes impossible to ignore the attraction between them.
In case you’re wondering, the forbidden dynamic here is actually not all that angsty. I think of it more as having met the wrong brother first – a little awkward, but Rachel and Travis are clearly a much better fit. It’s easy to feel the chemistry between them, and once they commit to moving forward, it’s full steam ahead. I guess that’s what really threw me off with this one – the pacing. The first third is almost entirely focused on Rachel’s overwhelming life, with only small hints of romance. Then BOOM, it’s a go. It’s almost like these two were already in love when the book started, and they were just waiting for the right opportunity to acknowledge that. Which made me feel kinda cheated, in a way. I loved Travis a whole lot, and I would’ve loved more time spent on the actual process of falling. There was so much potential in the story and some great moments, but it wasn’t fully developed. Still a sweet and sexy read, just not a completely satisfying one. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this forbidden romance.
Single mom Rachel Gibson seriously needs a break. Between an absent ex-husband, rowdy twin boys, and running her own work-from-home business, her candle isn’t just burning at both ends, it’s a full-blown puddle of wax. She’s the go-to girl for other entrepreneurs, handling all the tasks they dread. Social media posts? She’s got it. Website updates? She’s on it. Light bookkeeping? She loves it.
Thank goodness Rachel’s about to get a reprieve, as her former in-laws plan to whisk her boys away for a summer of fun at the family lake house. But when her ex backs out at the last minute, she finds herself in a pickle. Even though she’s drowning in to-dos, she’s horrible at saying no—especially when it comes to providing some stability for her kids.
Once Rachel arrives at the lake house, she struggles to keep up with work and balance the demands of family, all the while fending off pesky new feelings for her ex-brother-in-law. Which makes her wonder…is falling for her ex-husband’s brother just one more messy complication added to the dumpster fire of her life? Or is anything possible when she’s out of office…?
Want some rom com goodness?
If you haven’t tried Hovland’s writing yet and are looking for something light and FUNNY, try out her Mile High Matched series. I was introduced to her work with Blow Me Away, and it was so much fun that I’ve been looking forward to her new releases ever since! Take It Off the Menu is my other favorite from that series.
Blow Me Away on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2M258FO
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author Christina Hovland lives her own version of a fairy tale–an artisan chocolatier by day and romance writer by night. Born in Colorado, Christina received a degree in journalism from Colorado State University. Before opening her chocolate company, Christina’s career spanned from the television newsroom to managing an award-winning public relations firm. She’s a recovering overachiever and perfectionist with a love of cupcakes and dinner she doesn’t have to cook herself. A 2017 Golden Heart® finalist, she lives in Colorado with her first-boyfriend-turned-husband, four children, and the sweetest dogs around.
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