There was bound to be a miss in this otherwise-fantastic series at some point, and… this is it, unfortunately. I could tell something was off from the first chapter, when these two were (off-page) banging within the first few minutes of me picking up the book. We miss the initial banter and spark of attraction of them planning the event together, we miss their time together that night, and then we just miss any signs of actual chemistry until far, far into the story. It’s disappointing, because I feel like a lot of the rough edges of the story could’ve been smoothed out by a few more chapters at the beginning. Even just a prologue of them exchanging emails and then a few flashbacks along the way would’ve done a LOT for the story, and likely changed my whole opinion of the dynamic. Instead, I kept waiting to see the softness, the connection. The potential was definitely there, but I feel like this ultimately just scratched the surface.
The story follows Keeley, a woman that most would consider a flighty, ditzy hot mess. The women in her family tend to die young, so she makes the most of every day and does everything she can to avoid commitment – like chase after men who are completely wrong for her. So when she meets the stuck-up suit she’s been exchanging emails with while planning an event, Keeley immediately knows that Graham is all wrong for her. Yet, somehow, they find themselves having a drunken night together, and somehow Keeley finds herself waking up with a ring on her finger. She runs, but it becomes impossible to ignore the situation once Keeley discovers that she’s pregnant. Once Graham finds out, he insists on becoming a part of Keeley’s life… and that’s how she finds herself slowly falling for her husband.
All three of the other books in this series were EASY 5-star ratings for me, and I was excited about the premise of this accidental pregnancy/Vegas wedding romance, so it should’ve been a homerun for me. And it was apparent from the very beginning that it wouldn’t be. Both Keeley and Graham have the type of personalities that can grate on you after awhile (total opposites!), and I needed to see the attraction between them in order to be okay with the way they treated each other. Keeley is a lot, but I just didn’t like the way she spoke to Graham, being so dismissive of him. And Graham was steady and protective, but he came across as overbearing and judgmental. The combination – without seeing why they were attracted in the first place – was not ideal. Also, I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable about the fact that Keeley was so drunk during their hookup that she remembers next to nothing, while Graham seemed to have been coherent enough to recall significantly more. There were just a series of things that rubbed me the wrong way (I could probably write a whole essay on them, and there are many more that I’m not mentioning here!), and it was enough to overtake everything else. I couldn’t appreciate the slow emotional burn or the caretaking because of everything that was bugging me, and it just threw the dynamic off. Like I said, a few flashbacks would’ve gone a long way to changing the vibe, but that’s not how this one played out. In the end, I was left unsatisfied, and that’s not how I thought this would go. Every author has an off book here or there, so I’m going to assume that’s all this was, and look forward to the next one.
I liked the audio! Samantha Brentmoor does a great job, and she narrates the majority of the chapters. Her voice was easy to listen to, yet she also represented Keeley’s over the top personality well. It’s my first experience with Wen Ross, and I wasn’t a fan. He sounded like an overgrown frat boy, a snobby bro, and that certainly didn’t help endear Graham to me. However, his chapters were not all that frequent, so it didn’t deter me too much. I preferred Brentmoor’s representation of Graham (it’s dual narration), and that’s what most of the audio entailed. The runtime was short enough that bingeing was easy, and this ended up having a pretty low steam level. We don’t actually see their initial hookup, so it’s kinda/sorta a slow burn after that. The audio enhanced the experience for me, even if the plot dragged it down.
Keeley: Last January, I drunk-married my nemesis—hot, oversized geek Graham Tate. With no memory of how it came about, there was only one solution: run off before he woke up and pretend it didn’t happen. It would have worked perfectly if I hadn’t wound up pregnant.
Graham is the opposite of everything I want in a man—practical, disciplined, frugal—but living with him until the baby arrives has me wondering if, perhaps, I’ve been wanting the wrong things all along. And if that drunk version of me last January might have been onto something.
Graham: I never planned to have kids, and I certainly wouldn’t have planned on one with Keeley Connolly—a woman who does not believe in savings accounts or personal safety and thinks Lucky Charms is a health food because of the non-marshmallow bits.
A woman who also didn’t think twice about marrying me in Vegas and ditching me hours later.
I can’t wait to put this behind me and return to my careful, chaos-free life in New York. But the more time I spend with Keeley, the more I’m remembering the things that led me to marry her in the first place…and wondering if I can live without them when this ends.
Start the series today!
The books are only loosely tied together, but we have met the characters from The Devil Gets His Due. These books really have nothing to do with one another otherwise, so it’s certainly not required reading. HOWEVER, A Deal with the Devil was EXCELLENT (so were the other two!), and getting to know bits about the characters ahead of time is fun. I loved the slow burn, enemies to lovers vibes in A Deal With the Devil, and the hero is such a lovable jerk.
He might not be the devil, but working under him for six weeks is my idea of hell.
Hayes Flynn is an arrogant jerk known best for his scotch habit and the way he spreads his British “charm” all over Hollywood, never with the same woman twice. He’s the last person I want to work for, except he has a face I can’t look away from, and the longer we’re together, the harder he is to hate. Because under that smug exterior is a heart he doesn’t want to show—one that was badly broken a decade earlier.
A part of me wants to fix it for him before I leave…but can I do it without breaking my own in the process?
Read the review here
About the Author:
Elizabeth O’Roark spent many years as a medical writer before publishing her first novel in 2013. She holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and arts from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of eight novels and recipient of the 2017 IBPA gold medal for romance. She lives in Washington DC with her three children.
Connect with Elizabeth:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/763175423764640/
Follow Jeeves on social media!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases