Growing up, the three of us were friends.
He was the nerd.
I was the playboy.
She was the beauty.
Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits.
I went off to college, and he got the girl.
Amber never knew how I felt.
They were together for years—before he broke her heart.
Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch.
When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room.
Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men.
One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings.
Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity.
Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message.
She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.)
Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel.
When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she was stunned to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.
~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~
I purchased this as an Audible "Deal of the Day" and it surprised me. Early on it felt like it was going to be everything I hate about this genre, but it actually turned out to be a story with substance. The characters were fairly likable and while their chemistry wasn't off-the-charts hot, it was still hot. They had real-life issues and not some overtly contrived dribble. It won't be that for everybody, I'm sure…but for me, I liked it. A few elements of the story actually resonated with me, personally.
☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-
~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~
Main Characters~ 4.2/5
Secondary Characters~ 4/5
The Feels~ 4.3/5
Theme or Tone~ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5
Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.
Book Cover~ That guy is seriously hot…
Narration~ ☆5☆ for Sebastian York & Andi Arndt, these two are masters at this genre, especially when they are together in one book.
Setting~ Boston and a little Chicago
Source- Audible Audiobook
This is an assured debut from Sarah Ward. This isn’t a book filled with core or bloody scenes. It is a gentle paced novel but don’t let that fool you. This is a story that creeps up on you and draws you in without really noticing. I soon got lost in the pages and looked forward to reading it when I was away from the book.
I liked the character of Sadler and would love to see him return in future books. He had a gentle way of dealing with people and situations, though was not without personal issues. It would have been nice to learn more about his back story and see more of his character develop, hence my hope for more from him. Of his colleagues Connie and Palmer I felt that Connie was the stronger of the two. Palmer almost faded into the background. I found myself a little distanced from him and unable to figure out the dynamic between him and Connie. As for Connie I would have liked to know more about her, as what was revealed helped shape her for the reader.
The real focus of the story is Rachel. We see how the kidnapping has effected her life, her distrust of women conflicting with the fact that her family tree focussed on the matriarchal line only, or perhaps because of it. The genealogy aspect was fascinating and very relevant to the story. It allowed Rachel to be her own form of detective, looking into things that she can control i.e. the past.
I had fun figuring out the twist in the tale and the outcome was one I can’t recall coming across in recent crime novels I’ve read.
A great read. I’m looking forward to more novels from Sarah Ward.