It’s lust over love for this couple, but that makes for a fast-paced, sexy read. While I think there were a few missed opportunities (especially in enhancing the emotional connection), I enjoyed this overall and had no trouble bingeing it in one sitting. The hero is a sweetheart of a guy who gives off bad boy vibes, and he makes the perfect complement to the put-together, image-focused heroine. The opposites attract dynamic worked, and it was easy to see the attraction sizzle between these two. But, in keeping things casual, they avoided developing an emotional connection – and I think they were too successful at that. I kept seeing potential moments of intimacy, and they were almost always overlooked or tossed to the side. These two seriously needed to have a conversation, lol. So, despite my frustration at how easily they kept their fling free of feelings, I could see all of the ways these two were right for each other.
The story follows Ian, a pro hockey player who is having a particularly rough year. An incident on the ice has left him questioning his future, and the only bright light is the Italian vacation he has planned with some friends. When Ian discovers that his sexy, uptight neighbor will be joining the group in Italy, Ian isn’t sure what to think. He wouldn’t mind ruffling Vera’s feathers – or hitting the sheets with her – but she hasn’t been returning his advances. Vera thinks Ian is sexy and a little infuriating, but it isn’t until her ex re-enters her life that she actually considers crossing that line. Vera’s relationship ended in part because she was too buttoned-up, and Ian might just be the perfect guy to teach her some lessons in seduction. While Vera isn’t sure whether she wants her ex back or to show him what he’s been missing, she does know that Ian would make an ideal vacation fling in the meantime. They’re way too different to develop anything meaningful, and that’s good because Vera might already have another guy in mind.
I’m not always a big fan of “love lesson” storylines, but I’ve been enjoying the series, so I decided to dive in anyways. And I’m glad that I did! Surprisingly, it didn’t bug me (much) that Vera was working on her bedroom moves for another man. It was easy to see how great she and Ian were together, and how they had the potential to be exactly what the other needed if only they would open up. Which, yeah, I wish they had opened up more, but the book flies by so quickly that I barely noticed the absence for awhile. I loved Ian; he’s the kind of guy that looks like he’s just up for a good time, but he’s really a loyal, lovable man underneath it all. And Vera might’ve seemed uptight, but that was hiding her awkwardness and inexperience. Sure, parts of the story were underdeveloped or a little too “typical,” but I liked their connection. Plus, the book doesn’t have a dull moment, and it was over before I knew it. It’s not a standout read for me, but it does make a solid addition to the series – and certainly a sexy one.
The audio was excellent! I’ve been loving this series on audio, and the experience is undeniably enhanced by the performances. You can’t go wrong with Joe Arden, and I also liked the female narrator, so it was an easy, laidback listen. It’s dual narration, with a runtime that’s short enough to finish in one day without trouble. The low angst vibes work well for a workday listen, though there’s enough steam that you’ll be in for a few uncomfortable moments at the office. The steam isn’t a huge part of the book, but there’s a decent amount. I turned this on at the start of my workday, and it was over before I clocked out – which was absolutely ideal. It flew by, and so did the workday. So that’s a definite win!
He needs an image makeover, she needs a mojo upgrade. A new lessons-in-seduction hockey romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Sarina Bowen.
After I’m arrested for throwing a raucous party, my hockey team says I have an image problem. And I need to fix it, stat.
Charity work? Check. Haircut? Sure. But I draw the line at hiring my neighbor to style me. In the first place “style” shouldn’t be a verb. And I’m tired of people who’d judge me on appearances.
Vera and I don’t see eye to eye on anything. She wants me to try on clothes, while I just want to remove hers. She’s distractingly pretty, with soulful eyes and a sinful mouth that likes to argue with me.
But when management threatens my summer vacation, I grudgingly agree to Vera’s unusual proposal: she’ll give me an image makeover. But in return, she wants lessons in the art of seduction.
It sounds a little nutty, but I know a good opening when I hear it. Besides, it’s not like I’ll ever fall for her…
About the Author:
Sarina Bowen’s contemporary and LGBT romance novels have hit the USA Today bestsellers list over a dozen times. Formerly a Wall Street derivatives trader, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University. She lives in New Hampshire with her family, nine chickens, and far too much hockey gear.
She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com
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