Can there be too much of a good thing? Yes. This was very funny, and it was very steamy… but I don’t think it was all that romantic. It’s like everything I love about this writing duo’s work was cranked up to one hundred, and the romance got lost in the shuffle a bit. There is a TON of comedy, a whole lot of steam, and the lighthearted, low angst vibe that keeps me coming back for more. That all sounds amazing on paper, but I wanted a few more quiet moments, a touch more emotion, and a little bit more heart. Despite that, the foundation is definitely there; this is just the kind of opposites attract romance that I adore, so there’s a lot of good stuff going on.
The story follows Carly and Ryan, two strangers – and total opposites – who meet through their parents. When their elderly parents (Carly’s mom and Ryan’s dad) suffer mysterious injuries, Carly and Ryan fly out to Florida to care for them. Life in a retirement community is a lot crazier and more unpredictable than expected, so Carly and Ryan find themselves bonding over their experiences. While Ryan is an uptight workaholic, Carly is a carefree wild child, so she brings out another side of him. And it seems these opposites complement each other perfectly – at least temporarily.
The last few books by this writing duo have had significantly less steam than usual, so I was surprised to discover how sexy this one is – especially given that cute cover. Have no fear, despite a slow start, this couple makes up for lost time. I wasn’t entirely sold on the “Dom” side of Ryan, but I loved watching this stuck up suit let loose. Their chemistry was great, and I would’ve appreciated a lot more of them together… especially outside of the bedroom without parents present. The beginning of the book really sets the tone for the story – I think Carly and Ryan had like two 30-second interactions in the first hundred pages, and the rest was devoted to comedy. I like comedy, but I’m in it for the romance, and this would’ve benefited from more of it. We get more in the back half, but it’s complicated by parent problems and all of that steam. With a little fine-tuning, I think I would’ve loved this. As it stands, it was alright. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this light and funny rom com.
If my time with Ryan Miller were a hit track on the radio, I imagine the lyrics would go something like this…
“We’re so different, but they say opposites attract. Oops, I’ve fallen, and my heart doesn’t want to come back.”
But, holy bingo night, is my attraction to the sexy, broody businessman so much more complicated than the chorus of a song.
His dad lives right next to my mom, and after the two of them suffered an unexplained accident while taking down holiday decorations, both Ryan and I were forced to become the only thirtysomething residents of Sunny Creek Village Independent Senior Living Community.
Temporarily moving in might seem like overkill for a fractured tailbone and a severely pulled groin muscle, but believe me, when your mom is as wild as mine and your dad is as cantankerous as Ryan’s, they need supervision to ensure they stick to doctor’s orders.
Constantly thrown together by the antics of our crazy parents and the tough-as-nails community enforcer, Betty Matthews, Ryan and I formed an alliance for the sole purpose of survival.
But I never expected to be so interested in finding out what he was hiding beneath his grumpy, serious demeanor. More than that, I never dreamed what I found would be the kind of man women sell their souls to the devil for.
Unfortunately, our little one-hit wonder on the airwaves has more to say before it comes to an end.
Although, finishing the outro to this song is a real doozy…
Tell me…what lyric rhymes with Oops, I’ve fallen for my future stepbrother?
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Incoming Call Dad.
I’m tempted not to answer—very tempted, actually—but I do anyway. There’s a chance he needs me, given the circumstances of my visit in the first place, and I don’t want to leave him hanging.
“Where are you?”
“Baggage claim where?”
“What the hell, Ryan?” he bellows, making me close my eyes against the speech I know is coming. “I told you I’m good. You didn’t need to come here.”
“Yeah, well, your nurse said otherwise.”
“My nurse?” he questions. “Who? That old woman Jessica?”
“Old woman?” I retort on a laugh. “She was younger than you, Dad. By about twenty years.”
I had the pleasure of speaking to my dad’s nurse Jessica on FaceTime last night when I got a call that he had taken some sort of strange fall and had been escorted to the hospital in an ambulance.
“Whatever. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
“Actually, she does,” I correct. “And so does your doctor, who also recommended that I come down and help you out while you’re recovering.”
“Recovering.” He scoffs. “You’d think I had a heart attack or some shit. I pulled a muscle in my damn balls.”
I shut my eyes briefly. “Groin muscle, Dad. You pulled your groin muscle.”
I want to explain to him there’s a big difference, but in the name of not driving myself insane—or drawing the attention of everyone around me—I bite my tongue.
“Too late for that. I’m already here,” I answer on a chuckle and step up to the carousel to snag my black duffel from it.
He groans. “You’re my least favorite kid sometimes.”
I shake my head. “I’m your only kid, Dad.”
“Yeah, and I like you the least right now.”
I snort. Sal Miller is a seriously complex mix of blunt honesty, overwhelming affection, and way too much testosterone for a seventy-five-year-old man. The good news is that when he sounds like he’s being an asshole, I still know that behind all the flashy insults, he loves me. “Hey, Dad?”
“I’ll see you soon,” I say and hang up the phone before he can respond.
I scrub a hand down my face and take a deep breath. It’s moments like this that make me realize how much shit my mom had to put up with when she was still alive.
Mom, seriously, you were a saint.
With my duffel over my shoulder and my small carry-on rolling behind me, I walk out of the baggage claim area and toward the taxi line.
Normally, I’d rent a car, but since I had to book this flight so last minute and there’s apparently some kind of end-of-summer festival going on in downtown Tampa, there were no rentals available.
Hopefully, though, I’ll be able to arrange something tomorrow. Or else, I’ll have to cruise around in my dad’s Porsche while I’m here.
Not such a terrible fate for me, personally, but as far as taking him places with an injury to his damn groin muscle, I’m thinking his late-life-crisis Porsche won’t be ideal.
Once I make my way through the automatic doors, I spot the taxi line and count only three people in front of me. Not too bad.
While I stand in line, I pull my phone back out of my pocket and start scrolling through work emails. In just the short flight from New York to Tampa—two and a half hours, tops—my inbox has managed to accumulate over forty emails. Since the small regional plane didn’t offer Wi-Fi, I had to settle for working on my end-of-quarter reports.
On a sigh, I run my hand through my dark-brown hair and begin the task of sifting through what’s priority and what’s not.
Five emails done and the taxi line gets smaller by one person.
Another ten emails and the line gets shorter again.
By the time I reach the front, I slide my phone into my pocket and wait patiently as I spot a black taxi heading my way. The driver pulls the cab to a stop right in front of me, but just as I lift my duffel up and over my shoulder to carry it to the trunk, a rush of bright red careens past me.
“Oh, thank you so much!” a female voice calls toward the male driver who has just gotten out of the driver’s side to assist with bags.
But he shouldn’t be helping with her bags.
He should be helping with my bags.
What the fuck?
“Uh, excuse me?” I question loud enough to catch her attention.
She looks up from her spot at the trunk. Her long, wavy red hair fans down her shoulders, and a few rogue curls hang over her face. Bright-blue eyes meet mine, and I can’t stop my brain from thinking, Well, goddamn.
Smooth skin, striking features, and a few freckles dotting her nose, she’s…stunning. The kind of woman that urges a double and triple take. Between her gorgeous face and the way her long legs look beneath her cutoff jean shorts, this woman is like the girl next door, but with secrets.
Dirty fucking secrets.
“Were you talking to me?” she questions, tilting her head to the side when I don’t answer right away.
Shit. Get it together.
Those blue eyes of hers are still locked with mine, searching them in confusion.
“Uh…yeah…actually,” I say, clearing my throat. I glance between the taxi and the taxi line. “You’re kind of stealing my taxi.”
I smirk. “Yeah.”
“Did you call him yourself?”
My head jerks back in surprise. “Well, no, but—”
“So, you don’t know this driver?” she questions, looking between the driver and me. “Do you know him—” she pauses briefly, then asks “—what’s your name, sir?”
She smiles at him. “Bob, do you know this man?”
“No.” The driver shakes his head.
“I didn’t call him,” I explain on a sigh. “But I followed the rules and waited in this taxi line like everyone else.”
“You follow the rules a lot?” she asks, and I don’t know what to make of her question.
It sounds dirty and sexy yet sarcastic and accusatory at the same time.
“Don’t most people?”
“I don’t.” She winks. “But you keep doing you, Barney Fife. The town of Mayberry needs you.”
Okay, she definitely just passive-aggressively called me a square.
“So, you’re just going to steal my taxi, then?” I question and glance over my shoulder to note the other people waiting in line like myself, but I quickly realize I’m the only one standing here. It doesn’t matter, though. My point is still valid.
“Well, I guess that depends.”
“Are you going to fight me for it?”
“Am I going to fight you for the taxi?”
“Um, no,” I answer on a laugh. What a weird fucking question. “I don’t make a huge habit of fighting women.”
“Okay then, I guess the answer to your question is yes, then.” She nods. Winks. Taps her hand on the top of the taxi. “Let’s hit it, Bob.”
Bob looks between me and the redhead, who is now getting into of the back seat of his taxi. But eventually, he just shrugs and hops back into the driver’s seat.
Then they’re off. Just like that.
And I don’t miss the way the mysterious, taxi-stealing redhead turns around in her seat to wave to me as they go or the fact that I’m feeling a lot less attuned to how pretty she is.
Her manners are apparently very, very ugly.
What in the hell just happened?
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About the Authors:
A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.
Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.
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