Plot overview: Abused woman on the run, Libby, falls for the mountain man who lives next door, Mason. That’s...about it, really.
I gave this one two stars purely because I liked the dog, Duke, a lot. If he’d been in more scenes, maybe it would’ve made it to three. But maybe it’s unfair of me to expect a dog to carry the whole book? Lord knows Mason and Libby weren’t capable. Poor, poor Duke. He deserved better owners. But I digress …
Mason is a grumpy loner because his wife is dead. But don’t feel too bad for him. She was awful. Truly, truly awful. Because no matter how many times anyone mentions how loveable she was, all I can think of is that she cheated on her husband with his friend, Coop, and played the two men against each other for years. And OF COURSE when Libby shows up, Coop and Mason both want her. Apparently they’ve learned nothing from their past mistakes. I guess that dicking each other over is just hard-wired into their DNA. Whatever. I found it hard to care because I thought both men were gullible, weak-minded tools for letting anyone lead them around by their dicks for so long.
Libby wasn’t a terrible heroine, but she was about as bland and Mary Sue as she could get. She’s on the run from an abusive ex, so I give her kudos for saving herself, but she apparently can’t hide for crap because the bad guy finds her at, like, 30% of the story. The whole rest of the book is stupid unnecessary relationship drama.
It’s also pretty instalove-y. Mason and Libby fall for each other before they’ve had more than a handful of conversations, and none of those conversations were particularly deep.
Overall, I felt like the story hoped to be a Kristen Ashley story when it grew up, and just never quite got there. It was like a Kristen Ashley story wearing it’s mom too-big heels with lipstick all over it’s cheeks and a dress four times too big. Not much character development, not much plot...not much anything.
(And, this is totally shallow of me, but the dude on the cover looks like he belongs on Criminal Minds. He’s a little freaky looking, if I’m being honest. Yikes.)
Long-story-short: You’d be better off re-reading The Gamble by Kristen Ashley than giving this one a go.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
A stint in rehab wouldn’t kill it.
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