My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What. A. Great. Book!
ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Warning: I couldn’t help but highlight my favorite quotes, so expect lots of them here.
It was different than I had expected, and it took me by surprise with its great humour and amazing characterization. Don’t get me wrong, I DID have high expectations, but the novel even exceeded them.
It’s been a while since the last time I read a book in which I smiled or grinned or squealed every time the hero’s name popped on the page. This was absolutely the case and Dean is probably half the reason why this book was so entertaining.
He’s a unique character, but to give you an idea of what His Ginger Hotness is like, think of Blake Riley from Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Now, think of his ditzyness, immaturity and hilariousness times ten. There, you have Dean. Apparently, I have a special fondness for the boyish, carefree and careless kind, who would have thought?
Why was the universe always making gorgeous men and giving them the brains of iguana?
The heroine was definitely interesting. I don’t agree with those who say she was a bitch to Dean. From the very beginning we know what her final goal is: to have a kid. From the very beginning. She never denies her attraction of feelings for Dean, but he did indeed land in her life at the worst time ever. I couldn’t fault her for the choices she made, because she’d made it perfectly clear what her dream was and, honestly, Dean isn’t the most reliable guy in the world. I also loved how she didn’t fault him for it. He’s amazing the way he is, he just didn’t fit in with her plan. So I found Ashley real and honest.
Ash was shocked to see a blush working its way across Red’s cheeks. God, he was something else. A big dumb sweetheart. Ash just wanted to take his hand, tell him everything was going to be fine, gently steer him toward a quiet room, and fuck the shit out of him.
She’s definitely the boss in their relationship, while he’s the “submissive” (we’ll get to that later), and this role reversal totally did it for me. It was original, refreshing and fun. It kept me on my toes and it made Dean even cuter, like a little lost puppy who just wants to please the woman he’s falling for.
Another major plus was that, even though there was an initial push and pull, they didn’t fight their attraction that hard and eventually they caved in, diminishing the general level of angst.
“You’re not bad people; as far as fuck-buddies go, you’re a lot of fun. You’re seventeen forever. Like that Zach Efron movie, without the abs.”
“I have abs.” He raised his shirt to show her.
Ash’s gaze snapped to his stomach and then she looked away. “Abs aren’t everything.”
“They are pretty good, though.” Dean tensed. “See?”
Brownie points for the humour. This book made me laugh out loud. It’s not just Dean who’s the definition of hot goofball, but also Ashley’s sister and her boyfriend, who also happens to be Dean’s roommate. Their interactions were priceless. I think the first book in the series is about Max (Dean’s roommate) and Ash’s sister and now I HAVE to read it, because I lurved their characters as much as I did Ash and Dean.
He turned to Dean and slashed a finger across his throat. “Not a fucking word.”
Dean mimed opening a ring box and screaming with excitement. Max kicked him in the thigh.
“Red, my twat isn’t a vegan gelato truck, I don’t give out infinite samples because I sell a dubious product no one likes.”
Dean gave a soft snort of laughter. “Glad to hear it.”
“You shouldn’t be glad to hear it, ginger, because what I’m trying to say is
hurry the fuck up.”
This book also hid unexpected depths. Dean’s past wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but his wanting to help others was remarkable, and Ash’s reputation sure played a role in some of the events and her reactions to them. I managed to connect with their feelings and struggles, with their impossible love which clashed with her dreams and his being too unreliable for his own good. This book is the evidence that love just happens and, sometimes, it binds two people together who have very little in common and who aren’t in each other’s plan. And yet, somehow they just fit, and they make each other’s lives a happier place, an adventure. People who become your new home, who surprise you, who you would have never, ever dreamt of meeting. But sometimes life is crazy like that.
It’s nothing, he told himself. She doesn’t want you and you don’t want her. You just imprinted on her like one of those baby birds that thinks a cat is their mum, then gets eaten.
The best part, in my opinion, was seeing Dean trying to be more responsible for Ash, but without upturning his personality. He’s still Dean, but making an effort to be the man Ash needs in her life.
Finally, ALL THE STEAM. I have already expressed my growing boredom for all things Alpha-male-you-are-mine-fill-the-blank-space-with-the-usual-jazz-a-la-Alexa-Riley. So imagine my pleased smirk when I discovered Dean’s little quirk… or better, kink. As I said earlier, he’s not the boss in the relationship and with that I don’t want you to think of him as a wimp. Because he’s not. But there’s something incredibly hot in a guy who wants nothing more in his life, in his effing life, than to please you. Of a guy who would deny his own pleasure if that means having a real shot at dating you. Dean wins hands down the “MOST GENEROUS LOVER AWARD” out of all my book boyfriends. All the steamy scenes were amazingly written and just… different. They kept me hooked… and made me re-appreciate the Princess Bride even more. (Won’t even be able to watch it again without blushing. “As you wish” *shivers and fans herself*).
Ahem… anyway… back to planet Earth. This book has everything I look for in a romance: wonderful characters to love, hilarious banter, strong supporting characters, a valid plot, sexy times that will make you crack the AC a notch higher, not too much angst, and enough luvey feelings to appease my romantic side (not in a sugary way, though. Ash is a modern woman, with her feet planted firmly to the ground, but it was nice to see her develop the feels for the ditzy boy-man with a truly talented tongue *winks*).
“But take it from someone who’s also a little controlling and uptight, Dean has something people like us need. Something that’s rare as fucking diamonds.”
“He’s kind. Right to the bottom of his heart. Makes you feel better just being near him.”
And ain’t that the truth? That’s why I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Dean Sherwood. So I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes regarding him and a thank you to the author for offering me this book. Eve Dangerfield, you just gained a huge fan!
There were a lot of things to love about Dean, but there were things that drove her crazy, too.
He giggled incessantly at GIFs of people falling over. His memory had more holes than a sieve. He couldn’t name a single political figure, not even the Prime Minister. He thought, for some unknown reason, there were seventy-two weeks in a year. He’d made her a million cups of tea but he could never remember how she liked it (Irish breakfast with milk and one sugar). Once he went to the shops to buy her dishwashing liquid and he returned with flowers, a Boston bun, and a packet of double A batteries. If they were driving anywhere, he broke off mid-conversation to point out interesting-looking dogs or people. Even at his most mature and self-reliant, he was, at heart, a lostie.