I’ll admit it: the marketing sold me on this one, and the writing just didn’t live up to the promise. That fun, vibrant cover and catchy title definitely caught my eye, and I was looking forward to a sexual tension-filled romance, likely a slow burn. Because that’s what you expect from a romance where the heroine is on a man ban… right? Wrong. It’s instalust for these two, complete with one of the more awkward meet cutes I’ve read, a sleazy hero, and chemistry that is mentioned (but wasn’t there for me). While I liked elements of our hero, it was difficult to forget that he’s slept with all of his co-workers, is married to his job, and is aggressively flirtatious. Plus… a few other things that would be spoilers to mention. Every time I started to get into the story, something off-putting would happen. So, while I liked some of the unique elements of this book, it really wasn’t successful for me overall.
The story follows Harper and Manny, two people who meet at a wedding. After a bad breakup, Harper is on a self-imposed “man ban,” but she can’t seem to resist the handsome and flirtatious doctor she spars with at the wedding. Manny won’t take no for an answer, because he’s immediately smitten with Harper. This outgoing playboy has never wanted a relationship, but something about Harper makes him feel differently. What starts as simple flirtation quickly evolves into more, and it’s not long before the two are falling hard and fast for one another.
I was really looking forward to the man ban part of the story, and it just… never happened. These two share their first kiss within minutes of meeting each other – though I’m still not sure if it was consensual. Manny is very aggressive in his pursuit, and some of his actions didn’t sit right with me. Paired with the CONSTANT reminders of what a playboy he is, and I just couldn’t find him compelling. Maybe that’s why the “chemistry” was non-existent for me; I cringed a few times when it was mentioned. I also cringed at a few phrasings that felt problematic. That’s disappointing, because I DID like the storyline involving Harper’s autoimmune disease and her original reason for the man ban. Had this relationship developed at a more natural pace (with a more likable hero), I think that part of the story would’ve been the star. It’s certainly unique and the most interesting part of the book. As it stands, this one just wasn’t a win for me. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy romance.
When you swear off men for the foreseeable future, that means no dating. Hookups don’t count, right?
Harper Ryland has been on a self-imposed man ban for the last twelve months, after a particularly horrible breakup. Instead, she’s focusing on the one thing she can control: her career as an up-and-coming food stylist. Harper’s latest gig is her best friend’s wedding, and she receives glowing praise throughout the night. When the Best Man, Manny Gomes, belittles her hard work, she wants to stab him with skewers from the buffet table, but she can think of something much better: to lead him on the entire wedding and then humiliate him in sweet revenge.
When the handsome Anglo-Indian doctor shows up in New Zealand a week later, while Harper’s on her first international job, it’s the last thing she needs. Everything about him rubs her the wrong way, but when suave Manny steps in to help after an unfortunate disaster, his chivalry gets under her skin a little, and Harper discovers lifting her ban while overseas is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Manny isn’t looking for anything but fun either–especially not marriage, like his grandmother Izzy keeps pushing on him. But there’s something about Harper that makes him want more, even though she keeps her distance, and they’re about to discover how far he’s willing to go to be with her. . . .
About the Author:
USA TODAY bestselling & multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes page-turning fiction to keep you up all night.
She has published 77 books, sold over 8 million copies worldwide and been translated into 25 languages.
She currently writes contemporary romance for Penguin Random House Berkley, women’s fiction/rural romance for Harper Collins Australia’s Mira imprint, and domestic suspense for Hachette UK’s Bookouture/Grand Central Publishing in the US.
She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan, Amazon, iBooks and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a Romantic Book of the Year and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multiple finalist for awards including the Vivian Awards, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, and More than Magic.
A physiotherapist for 13 years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two dashing young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!
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