The First Word
After accepting a position as a live-in therapist for Will, Andie steels herself against the appeal of the disconcertingly attractive—and attracted—Rhys. But their chemistry can no longer be denied, and their heated affair seems destined for happily ever after. A destiny Andie’s terrified to embrace.
When Andie’s guilt, Rhys’s awkwardness, and the abrupt appearance of an erratic ex threaten to dismantle their delicately blooming relationship, they must decide if love is worth the challenge. Can Andie and Rhys find their way back to each other? Or will the demons of the past simply prove too strong?
I got this as part of my Amazon Prime First to Read program, and I considered not reviewing it. Why, you ask? Because my thoughts after finishing it could be summed up like this (see Spongebob at right):
It all started off promising enough. I mean, when the autistic kid’s first word was the heroine’s name, I’ll admit, it got a little dusty in my reading room. (It was dusty, I tell you, because I DON’T CRY). But that’s where the feels ended for me.
Andie, the heroine, got on my nerves with her self-doubts and self-hatred over a horrible accident that happened when she was a kid.
"But it was impossible, the idea of living under the same roof as this man and his son. Accepting their trust when she knew, in the deepest corners of her soul, that she wasn't worthy of it."
She was practically a saint and a highly accomplished occupational therapist and she still didn’t feel like she was worthy of trust and love because of one (admittedly horrific) childhood event? I’m calling bullshit.
Rhys, the hero, didn’t get on my nerves, but the way he was written kind of did. So, you’re telling me this handsome, super successful billionaire has some form of autism himself? Other than the fact that he’s not entirely comfortable with his emotions and doesn’t like to wear shoes, I didn’t see any evidence of autism. Why try and soft-peddle? If the guy’s autistic, make him autistic, not some shiny, happy, romance novel version of autistic. Not that people with autism can’t be handsome and super successful because they totally can. I’m just betting he would’ve had to struggle a bit more than he did to get there and stay there. Maybe if I’d seem a little more of Rhys’s character, warts and all, I would’ve been more invested in his romance with Andie, instead of feeling decidedly “meh” about the whole thing.
I also might’ve found the whole “long lost mom back for a second shot with the kid she abandoned” subplot interesting if she’d been sincere and not portrayed like a total crackpot. That whole thing just felt like lazy writing to me. (It was easier to make her a total crackpot than to find a way that she fit into everyone’s lives and got a chance to be a mother again.) In fact, I don’t even remember the character’s name. That’s how much of an impact she made on me, which is kind of sad, really.
Overall, it was a well-written book, mechanically speaking. I just didn’t give a crap about any of the characters. (Except the kid. I liked the kid a lot. Maybe if the book had only been about him and didn’t bother trying to tell Andie and Rhys’s story, I would’ve rated it higher.)
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s not doing much for the genre either way. Like I said…meh.
Other reading suggestions
For a fantastic, sexy read about a socially awkward but totally sexy hero, try Melanie Harlow’s Some Sort of Happy.
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