Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she’s been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he’s completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother’s matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan – buy some lingerie and climb into her boss’s bed. The plan goes brilliantly … until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead.
Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started. Though her holier-than-thou attitude puts a serious damper on his mood, Gabe’s never been one to give up on something he wants. And he wants Elle. But does a man who lives on the dark side really have a chance with a proper lady?
A good premise does not imply great execution but this story was entertaining enough for me to say that I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy watching a chick movie.
It started really well with Elle, the heroine, ending up in the wrong bed with the wrong man, Gabe, while trying to seduce his brother, her boss. When she realises her mistake, she is mortified and furious at him for not stopping her, while Gabe can’t think of anything he wants more than getting her back into his bed. So the cat and mouse game begins. Elle can’t see beyond Gabe’s endless tattoos and bad boy appearance, something she has avoided ever since her bad boy ex-boyfriend cheated and humiliated her. She does not trust men anymore, but even more, she no longer trusts herself to be attracted to the right kind of man. It doesn’t help that she has a controlling and overpowering mother who seems to think she knows best when she relentlessly tries to play matchmaker. Gabe is exactly someone Elle would normally choose for herself while her mother would slam a door on, so she fights her attraction to Gabe with all she’s got. But Gabe won’t give up – he is determined to woo her and he eventually cracks her shield with attentiveness and plain and simple sex appeal. His rough exterior and raw masculinity hide a caring and sensitive man who shows Elle that he is exactly the type of man she’s been looking for in her life. The chemistry between them sizzles, they can’t keep their hands off each other when they are together, and Gabe slowly manages to break through Elle’s inhibitions, exposing the sensual and exciting woman that she really is.
So, up to this point all is a-okay with the story. Maybe it all happens a bit too easily and somewhat predictably but it is nonetheless a fun story to read. Where I felt the book could have been put together a bit better and what could have strengthened the plot were the secondary characters and their stories. There was no other story in this book apart from Elle and Gabe’s. There were five other characters that I can see who could have had a stronger voice and greater impact on the overall plot but none of them were explored. Things were alluded about them, some actually quite intriguing, but nothing was resolved, or even pursued further than a few enigmatic hints here and there. I felt that there was no point to them, apart from confusing the reader with random trivia. Perhaps a second book is in the works and these characters will have their stories heard, but I see no reason why Elle’s problematic relationship with her mother, for instance, could have not been used better in this particular book. I would have loved to see Elle showing some courage around her mother, asserting her independence and stopping her mother’s meddling in her life. That would have enhanced the development of Elle’s character, given her some backbone. Without those elements, all we saw was a young girl scorned who after one failed attempt at dating decided to lose trust in all men, who has a panic attack every time something shocks her or embarrasses her, and who judges people on appearances. Her epiphany in the end felt a bit out of character. A better background story or a more colourful context could have tied these parts of her personality up a bit better, making her a more likable heroine. Heck, the only gutsy thing that she does in the entire book happens over the first few pages and then everything after that fails to explain how a person like Elle would have actually ever had the guts to sneak into a man’s bed without any indication of a mutual attraction.
Gabe was a lot more likable but apart from the physical attraction, I could not for the life of me understand his irresistible draw towards Elle. Nothing was offered about his background apart from a very short insight into his troubled childhood and what he now does for a living. Again, a trillion hints here and there but nothing that actually helped to build a complete picture about Gabe as a man.
If you are looking for a very easy to read and angst-free romance about an unlikely match, steamy chemistry and some hot lovin’, this is the book for you.