I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.
I enjoyed this. But, I just enjoy Noelle Adams' writing style. i enjoy her stories even if I sometimes don't like the characters all that much.
In this one, I liked the heroine, Allison. She comes from a privileged background and married an older man at a young age in order to feel secure (after her family lost their money) and ensure her future. Eight years in to the marriage, she realizes how much her husband is controlling her and how unhappy she's been for years. She divorces him and moves to her grandmother's house (left to her) in a small town. Rob, the hero, is her neighbor. He's single (twice divorced) and considered very eligible by the townspeople. They meet on the day Allison moves in when he offers to assist her with carrying bags from her car to her house. Allison is quite short and slightly rude to Rob in indicating she does not want or need his help. She's determined to be independent and do everything on her own after being a "trophy wife" for so long. I loved that she was basically rude to him.
I liked that Allison is not a snob, despite coming from a moneyed background. I liked that she wanted to be independent and do things for herself. I liked that she wasn't completely confident in herself and her ability to be on her own. And I liked that she didn't talk everything to death - spelling out for Rob exactly her wants.
I liked Rob, but I was suspicious of his motivations for a lot of the story. It made me a bit uncomfortable. He tried to hide so much and it took him a long time to figure out he wanted Allison for Allison rather than her image and the fact that he thought she would never embarrass or humiliate him (as happened in previous relationships).
The "needing" versus "being the strong one" in the relationship was very prevalent, but it was hard to always relate. I think because the characters were feeling and inferring from each other, but it wasn't so obvious to me as the reader. I'm not sure how to really describe that - I think that's the best I can do.
This isn't my favorite Noelle Adam's story, but I did enjoy it.
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is a novella, so it jumps right in with Amalie attending college in Minneapolis. She lives in an apartment while attending college and her neighbor is Jack. They've already known each other for almost a year and Jack has been interested in Amalie for most of that time - always inviting her out or to hang out at his apartment. She is always nice to him and feels attracted to him, but she consistently turns him down.
Amalie is actually a princess of a small microstate called Villemont, which is located in the Alps between France and Switzerland. She is keeping her princess status a secret from everyone because she doesn't want anyone to treat her differently, etc. Attending college away from home is actually against her family's wishes. They had planned for her to marry a man with money and Amalie is not attracted to him. She is very tied to her family. She feels a lot of obligation. But she does not want an arranged marriage just to replenish her family's bank account, so attending college in the States is a minor rebellion. Because of this situation, she does not get to close anyone.
Jack is very laid back and relaxed. He seems like a lot of fun and he's very attracted to Amalie. He helps her out when her apartment ceiling partially collapses due to an upstairs neighbor leaving the tub faucet on all day. This is how they finally spend time together .
Amalie is honest about her need to go home in a few weeks when college is over and so Jack convinces her they won't have a serious relationship, but will keep it casual. Amalie becomes very attached to Jack while Jack has been attached and serious since the beginning. He promises her otherwise, though, as a way to spend time with her.
The conflict is centered all around Amalie's family. Jack has very simplistic views and Amalie's life is very complicated because of her family. Both characters grow, make sacrifices, etc. It's a healthy relationship and the characters are very likable.
I look forward to reading Victoria's story. I suspect Edward (the man Amalie's family was trying to marry her off to) has a lot more personality than Amalie gives him credit for.
I started this book and thought Anita is worse than a 4 year old. Someone will make a statement, she'll ask why, they'll explain, she'll ask why, they'll further explain, she'll ask why again. It's never ending. Reminds me of when I'd turn to my daughter and just say, "Because I said so that's why, so stop asking." Then she'd just smile and do something else. Pushing boundaries I guess. So, this was a turn off for me. Then there's the description of curly hair, how you don't comb or brush curly hair, how this person or that person has a certain type of curly hair. Enough with the curly hair! You're just filling pages Laurell!
So, I'm huffing and puffing and mumbling complaints when I started this book and then about a third of the way through it finally clicks over to good. The story is good, I like that Nicky is a main character in here. <spoiler>The wedding for everybody is a little strange but we'll see what happens</spoiler>. Micah holding Nathaniel's hand and labeling him took too much time but it wasn't over the top. So I actually enjoyed the book and am planning on keeping on reading this series.