Author: Lexi Maxxwell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 264
Published: Sterling & Stone, March 23, 2015
He’d be perfect if he wasn’t getting married … and if he wasn’t about to become her stepbrother. Romantic humor has never been so deliciously tempting. It’s been a rough day for Ella Roberts.
First, her social-climbing mother Valerie dragged her to yet another wedding — something that always reminds Ella that real life offers few happily-ever-afters.
Second, Valerie’s goal isn’t to have fun at the event, but to schmooze clients for the family wedding business that Ella’s hated forever.
And third (after too much wine, and being mocked by her black sheep sister for “letting Mom bind you with her bitch chains”), Ella gets a text from her latest disposable boyfriend, Chase: NOT WORKING OUT. SORRY. I HAVE YOUR GYM SHOES.
But things are finally looking up. The handsome, charming, successful man Ella meets at the bar fills her with flutters and makes everything better. Gazing into Nathan Hayes’s kind blue eyes, Ella can almost believe that love at first sight is true after all.
It’s too bad that in just two months, Ella’s mother will be marrying Nathan’s father … in a double wedding with Nathan and his fiancee Natasha.
She should run from her feelings for Nathan. She should back away and find a new mediocre man to amuse her. But Ella’s been unlucky in love too many times to ignore what she feels … and so for Ella, “taboo” turns to “game on” instead.
I know this book is shelved as a romantic comedy, but unfortunately for me, it was neither romantic nor a comedy. Sure, I laughed a few times at the very beginning, to a few inner monologues of Ella, but that was the extent of the comedy. She quickly became too childish and too immature, and too odd to relate to her in any way.
I like this kind of lightly taboo stories. Nothing between actual family members, but stepsomethings via marriage or other. They provide a healthy relationship with just enough of delightful sexual chemistry and charge. But did I get that in this book? Not at all. I’m really sorry to say that from its cover to its plot I had high hopes for this book, but the characters turned out to be extremely disappointing, the plot the weakest I’ve ever seen, and the ending, unfortunately, was something I looked forward to while reading for those exact same reasons.
Ella started out as-and that was when I still had hopes from this story- an oddly sympathetic young woman, who was working with her mother in her company, who wanted to do her own thing but didn’t know how to start. She seemed like a good girl, always doing what’s right and what’s best, someone I wrongly assumed I could relate to. Why? Because she was meant to stand up for herself, discover her own strength and take a leap of love with the strange man she met at a wedding who turned out to be the son of the man her mother was about to marry. But alas, the illusion stopped right there, because after the second or third chapter, I slowly began to realize that Ella wasn’t about to grow up and mature. It was as if the more time I spent with her, the more I discovered about her delusional and childish character, and see that she wasn’t who I thought she was. Sure, we all make mistakes and do silly things in the name of love, but Ella was something else. She lived in her own world, and though she was portrayed as a selfless, responsible human being, she was anything but. All she did was pine after her soon to be stepbrother who also happened to be engaged, imagine scenarios in her head that he was also hopelessly in love with her, and after only speaking with him ten minutes, declare him to be her one and only, and create a fairytale love of epic proportions. Believe me when I say, she had neither the time nor the opportunity to bond with him this deeply. I could go on about how flawed her character was, but I really don’t want to sound too cruel. Let me just say that she wasn’t a woman I could respect, in either her personal or professional life, and that’s a shame. She was the biggest turn off in this book.
As for Nathan, there isn’t much to say, except that he didn’t even come close to the kind of hero I’d love to read in my romance books, be it a comedy or anything else. He was weak even though everyone claimed otherwise, he was emotionally detached from all the people around him, including Ella, and I don’t really think he knew what it is to be in a relationship. But that was okay, because the person he had a relationship was Ella, who was just as much clueless and weak.
Needless to say, this was not what I expected. Far from it. This makes me sad because it was promising. I expected a cute and funny story, instead all I got was a book I couldn’t wait to finish for all the wrong reasons.
I’m adding one spoonful of this story into my hodgepodge and leave Ella and Nathan to fend for themselves in an adult relationship, wishing them good luck.
Other titles by Lexi Maxxwell:
- The Future of Sex (The Future of Sex #1)
- Bitten: First Blood