In this episode of True Librarian Confessions, our intrepid Super Librarian will reveal a deep, dark secret – one she has tried to keep hidden from the world but can no longer deny. Is it a secret baby? Has she fallen in love with an amnesiac cowboy sheikh? No, it’s much more sinister than that. She will, on occasion, succumb to that most evil of temptations….
— Lindsay Evans (@LindsayEvansXOX) September 24, 2015
I know, I know. But seriously, when something like this tweet lands in your timeline, how exactly is one supposed to ignore it? I had to read this book on principle, and lucky me, my day job happened to have a copy for me to borrow.
Reyna Allen is a still-single tattoo artist after her divorce five years ago from her high school sweetheart. She was blindsided by his betrayal. It’s a classic story of she fell in love with him when he was a dorky nobody, but once her ugly duckling turned swan, landed himself on a hot syndicated TV series, he couldn’t keep his pants zipped up. Reyna was all like, “Dude. I don’t ask for much – just that, you know, you only have sex with me – but I want to make this work.” And he was all like, “I want a divorce, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, sweet cheeks.” So yeah, still single. Which means she’s taking the train with three of her girlfriends for their annual Hey We’re Single But We’re Not Dead ski/spa Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. Then she learns that her ex’s divorce lawyer is staying at the same resort and oh, she’s really not amused. Especially since he’s so tall, dark, and sexy that she wants to lick him from head to toe.
Garrison Richards is a divorce lawyer with a heart. He remembers Reyna, even though her husband was a client from five years ago. He remembers how shell-shocked she was, how vulnerable, and since that day he’s reevaluated how he goes about doing his job. His hormones also kick into overdrive. He wants her. Badly. OK, yeah, so he has commitment issues – but he cannot get Reyna out of his mind. Which means he’s going to do everything in his power to woo his way into her bed.
Evans is a new-to-me author and works the category format well. Category is all about tight word counts and keeping the action moving. After a brief opening scene of Garrison’s secretary browbeating him into taking time off, the story kicks off in the deep end of the pool with Garrison and Reyna running into each other on the train. Then the author uses the rest of the word count to feed us back-story and character development. There’s not a lot of tiresome set-up to wade through. The downside to this is that there are moments of info-dumping, but the author moves things along quickly and I got sucked in right away.
That said, there’s not a ton of urgency to the conflict. Reyna’s three girlfriends round out the story and are on hand to jump-start the latter half of the story – and this is where things floundered a bit for me. Certain professions are tricky business in the romance world – namely law, medical, anything where ethics can come into play. Garrison’s lawyerly business was going along just fine until conflict arises toward the latter half the story involving one of Reyna’s friends who is divorcing a hot-shot football player….and it kind of smells like milk a few days past the sell-by date. For the most part I was able to “let it go” – but recognize that it might not be so for other readers. Also, Reyna has a bit of a meltdown that leads to a confrontation with Garrison. Given how her ex “done her wrong” and her trust issues, I could understand it. But some readers might feel like she flies off the handle a bit too quickly.
This is a hard book for me to assign a final grade to. I literally inhaled it on a particularly lazy, self-indulgent Sunday afternoon and the pages turned easily. But I wasn’t riveted to the pages (I didn’t resent having to get up and finish my laundry) and it’s the sort of book I know I’ll have trouble recalling when I try to go strolling down memory lane. There’s enough here, though, that I’m not sorry I read it and I’d certainly read another Lindsay Evans book in the future.
Cold nights. Hot kisses…
On a much-needed ski getaway with her girlfriends, the last person Reyna Allen wants to run into is the lawyer who ruined her life. The tattoo artist’s bitter divorce left her with nothing, and she blames her ex-husband’s attorney, Garrison Richards. Now firelight dinners, winter walks in the Adirondacks, and toe-curling chemistry are daring her to give in to the one man she refuses to ever trust.
Garrison is good at his job—and where Reyna’s concerned, he may have been a little too good. He regrets the role he played in her divorce, and intends to show Reyna that he’s found his moral compass since then. But as their mutual heat thaws her resolve, will doubts put the freeze on their relationship—before he can convince her that they’re the ones meant for happily ever after?
Other books in this series: