Raphael Cruz doesn’t do it. He just doesn’t. Cruz doesn’t fall in love. He’s a “get in and get out” kind of guy. Ladies love him and fall all over him for his swoon worthy good looks and overwhelming sex appeal. He knows how to talk to them and tells them exactly what they want to hear. When he’s done making them scream his name, he shows them straight to the door. The meaning of the word love doesn’t exist in his world. But that could all change with a wink of a girl’s eye… And one hot-as-hell romp in a bar bathroom.
Harlow Hannum is your typical girl-next-door. She has the brains, the beauty, and the money. What she doesn’t have is the luxury of being someone’s first choice in the game of love. She always comes in a distant second place, leaving her guarded with her feelings. Lies, betrayal, and secrets of her past follow her wherever she goes, no matter how hard she tries to hide them. That is until she’s reunited with the one guy who can ignite the spark in her heart that’s been extinguished for so long. With sunny days, heated nights, and love lingering in the air in the beach town of Sandy Cove anything can happen. Especially when fate steps in for Harlow and Cruz. Will their blossoming friendship turn into unexpected love or will the collision of their opposing worlds be the end of what could have been?
This book kind of drove me crazy. I didn’t fall in love with Cruz until the end and I thought Harlow (despite loving her name) was just as stuck up as Cruz imagined her being at the beginning of the book. But the thing about this book is that I adored their story. It wasn’t a perfect book and it didn’t make me overly swoon, well except for Harlow’s brother, I kind of swooned on him a bit. But it has a great story. I thought long and hard about my star rating on this one because as much as I did enjoy the story, there were a few things that just kept throwing me off.
So here’s the thing… I was so not picturing any military man in this book at all, infact by the way he described himself, I had a hard time picturing Cruz in a uniform of any sort, let alone a military. The rent-a-cop gig, I could picture. I just pictured him more as a temporary kind of guy. One that wasn’t around long enough to make the kind of commitment that the military requires. He had the mouth of a sailor and just in general didn’t seem like a decent person. He was cocky, arrogent, rude and a man-whore. There is a difference in my mind between letting loose and being a jackass. Cruz’s character just blurred that line a little too much. Now that I have said all that, I am going to turn around and tell you that it takes a special kind of guy to own up to his mistakes and to want to try and make things better. He sees what he has done and just wants to fix it and that I completely admired about his character. There was redemption in his character and that made me smile. He character changed so drastically from the beginning of the book to the end of it. But I guess that is the point.
Then we have to look at the flip side of the coin. Though I thought Harlow was a snob in the beginning with her five-dollar words, her character grew on me more and more. She wasn’t strong, she was trying to be. She was broken on the inside from her past and was trying on her own to get better. What I liked about that is she wasn’t trying to do it with a guy or for a guy, but that guy sure did help!
I was a little surprised that the first thing you read in this book is a sex scene. I stopped and thought, ok. That’s one heck of a beginning…it was definatley attention grabbing. It wasn’t bad, but it was so unexpected to open up a book to two people going at it in a bathroom… but obviously it caught my attention and I was intrigued with where the story was going to go from there. It was a unique catch at the beginning.
I did love the alternating points of view in the book. I liked reading both perspectives of the story and I liked the overall premise of the story. Over all it was a great story, with some serious steam. I am looking forward to the next book to find out what happens to this couple or not couple…
Cruz & Harlow’s Playlist
- Beneath Your Beautiful~ Laberyth feat. Emile Sande
- Try Again~ Keane
- Satellite~ Gunther
- Let Go~ Ellie Nash
- Who you love~ John Mayer/ Katy Perry
- Lucky Now~ Ryan Adams
- Passenger~ Let her go
- I’m moving on~ Rascal Flatts
- The Story~ Brandi Carlisle
- Demons~Imagine Dragons
- Hundred~ The Fray
- Kiss Me Slowly~ Parachute
- Summer Again~ The Afters
- Sweet Disposition~ The Temper Trap
- Follow Through~ Gavin DeGraw
- You Could Be Happy~ Snow Patrol
- A Great Big World~ Say Something
- Evanescence~ My Heart Is Broken
- Linkin Park~ What I’ve Done
- Just Like Heaven~ The Cure
ABOUT M.R. JOSEPH
I’m a book enthusiast, turned author, who loves all things “Happily Ever After”. My first book, ‘Reunion’ debuted in November, 2012. Meant only to be a Christmas gift to my family and closest friends, word got out, and here I am. The second in the series, ‘You Belong With Me’, released in March, 2013, and the final installment in the series, ‘Letters to Luca’, released August 2013. Mom and wife by day, writer of contemporary romance by night, I believe in soul mates, true love, and all that mushy stuff.