They didn’t keep their painful pasts from each other. They talked about it and got it all out in the open just like people would in real life.
It was refreshing, because I can’t even tell you how many books I’ve read where either the hero or heroine (or both) spends chapter after chapter wallowing in oh-I-can-never-tell-anyone-my-secrets-because-they’ll-hate-me-forever land. Cruz and Rosie were mature and REAL and I adored them for that.
I kind of liked that Rosie had some secrets in her past, too. She would’ve been too perfect without them. The fact that she’d made some mistakes and had to overcome the consequences of those mistakes just made her even more likeable as a character, in my opinion.
Cruz was a great hero, too. He had the whole alpha, dirty-talking, bad boy thing going for sure, but he was never once an alphahole to Rosie, her friends, or her family. I LOVE an alpha male who still manages to maintain some gentlemanly manners.
(Aside to the author: I’d 1-click the CRAP out of Shane’s story, should you choose to write it. And I would hope that Denver the dog plays a BIG part in it. Hint, hint, hint.)
And this was one of the few small town romances I’ve read where the townspeople didn’t irk the bejesus out of me. Sure, there were a couple of small-minded busybodies, but mostly, everyone was tolerant, understanding, and...real. The characters weren’t caricatures or cartoonish in any way, in other words.
Heat warning: the sexy times are SUPER sexy. If you’re looking for vanilla, fade-to-black sex scenes, you won’t find them here. This one’s steamy with a side of someone-get-me-a-glass-of-ice-water.
If I was to complain (which, let’s face it, I almost always do), I’d mention that I would’ve liked to learn more about Cruz’s family and his past. But that was a super minor nitpick that in no way hurt my enjoyment of the story.
Long-story-short: this one’s worth a 1-click, folks. Give it a shot! You won’t be disappointed.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Crushes it! This one is clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
For a sexy hero-just-got-out-of-prison read, try Taking Connor by BN Toler, or Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley.