My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ARC generously offered by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Cocky NHL player meets broken, humble woman. What’s new under the sun, right? No, wrong. So, so wrong.
Sure, the blurb may sound cliché, but there’s nothing unoriginal or boring about this book.
Let’s proceed with order:
Jake Birch: at first, he got me curling my nose because he was being super assholish, and got me: “ahem… am I supposed to fall for him?” But then things changed really fast as we got into his mind. I loved how he realized almost immediately that he wanted Miranda and not just in the physical way. (view spoiler) Also, we discover many other facets of his personality, namely his soft, broken and altruistic sides. His past story, which we discover only gradually, is a major part of who he is, having shaped the man he’s now and having created also some obstacles in their relationship. It was honest, though, without any unnecessary drama-llama. To sum it up, Jake may seem an arrogant asshole, but in truth he’s one hell of a book boyfriend, caring, sweet. Sure, he fucks up, but it stems from his inexperience when it comes to committed relationships rather, not from arrogance or mean intentions.
Miranda: she’s the kind of heroine you want to be friends with. I simply adored her. Her witty banter with Jake, her sarcasm, her being solidly grounded on Earth. She works two jobs to pay for her tuition and I loved that she was a maid. It made for interesting dynamics with Jake at first. It was like a modern Cinderella tale, if Cinderella didn’t put up with any of the Prince’s bullshit and was a sarcastic spitfire. She was a highly relatable character, being burned by love and focused on her education rather than on finding her “forever”. Sassy, yet sweet.
As a couple, Jake and Miranda are simply outstanding. They are best friends first, but their chemistry is off the charts and we have some really hot moments. (view spoiler). They slip into a relationship kind of naturally, going out on dates, spending time together. And as the story proceeds you can really tell they are made to be together. No one of them is perfect, but they complement each other.
The angst level was really low and the story was highly focused on these two characters and how they got together. The only other significant element was a certain psychotic bitch.
Hailey: now, saying that I loved her would pass as weird. So I’ll say that I loved the role she played. Generally speaking, deranged characters are right up my alley, but I haven’t read of many “psychotic” females, while have come across plenty of stalkers, maniacs and such of the male gender. Anyway, what was so great about her is that at the beginning you don’t realize how crazy she is. Sure, her oral skills leave a lot to be desired and she’s a clingy, needy lass, but apart from that I didn’t think much of it. Then, as the story progressed, I realized something was not quite right with her. What I appreciated even more was that, when the story finally came to the point that her “relationship” (do not take it literally. If you read the book you’ll understand) with Jake came out, Miranda and Jake were already at a point where it was clear that he would never cheat on her, so they resolved things quickly and with maturity (Plus, just gotta love a guy willing to beg on his knees, right?).
All in all, it was a great read. The style if definitely more than good and the dialogues witty and captivating. The characters will sojourn in my heart for a long time and I’ll make sure to pick up other books by Brenda Rothert.
P.S.: I don’t know why, but with Miranda’s economic status and the amazing MTB relationship, it reminded me of The Hurricane by Prescott. Just thought I’d put it out there, in case you wanted to check it out. Although, warning: the plot is completely different, darker and features a fighter, not a NHL player.