This is a hard one to rate for me. I was really enjoying it up to around the 30-40% mark and the author had to go and include a scene where the hero and his friends turn into d-bags toward a woman obviously just created to make our heroine look better and create some completely unnecessary angst. I disliked it enough that I seriously thought about dnf-ing because I'm sick of stuff like that. Also, if you have a problem with your hero sleeping with someone other than the heroine, there's a moment you're going to hate, author doesn't show scene but reader gets clear idea on what happened. It was such an odd scene because the only time the hero and his friends displayed this attitude was the one scene but talk about leaving a distaste in my mouth.
Anyway, the first half had some really fun contemporary moments.
“So,” Chris said, leaning on his cart. “If I’m not a pirate king or a highlander, what kind of romance novel character am I?”
The checkout girl looked him up and down. “Definitely contemporary. Maybe a fireman or-”
“Army Ranger?” Chris asked teasingly.
The girl picked up a sales flier and fanned herself. “Lord, girl you snagged yourself an Army man?”
“Landlord,” Slick repeated. “Land. Lord. No snagging.”
“We’re having lunch today,” Chris told the checkout girl. “She’s making roast beef sandwiches.”
“There was a sale,” Slick whined. “I like roast beef.”
The checkout girl shook her head. “Girl, you like some kind of beef, I’ll give you that. You take that man home and get some beef, okay?”
A little meta-ness with discussing the heroine's love of romance books and their heroes and some cuteness with Chris our hero actually being a former Army Ranger.
I thought the second half dragged on with too many sex scenes, this could have been edited down about 20% as far as I'm concerned. It would have made the danger Hayley was in feel more prominent and kept the story engaging. Hayley also turned into some kind of Mary Sue/Leave It to Beaver mom that made me wonder if her character was written from a male gaze. Chris stayed the same throughout and while at sometimes seemed one dimensional, he broke out enough times to make him interesting.
Overall, I liked this but the slut shaming and general d-bag attitude towards a woman character was not endearing, at all. The story needed to be edited, would have liked the female characters as complexly written as the male, the serial killer plot could have been formed and strung through better, and the writing could have been cleaned up a bit. Chris' friends are clearly serial bait but their different stories and attitudes have me hooked and I'll give the second book in the series a try.