Maddy Mason, 25, just got offered an internship she’s dreamed about…except it’s unpaid. Her brother just offered up his apartment for her to live rent-free in while he’s out of town….except he lives with a buddy who Maddy thinks doesn’t like her.
Quinn Draper’s been enamored with his best friend’s sister since they were in college…except he’s a no-commitment guy who doesn’t want to get attached. But when living together brings the walls down, Quinn finds he’s faced with a version of himself he doesn’t recognize or know how to take.
“‘…I was an asshole who’d never even considered the idea of reforming, and you were a princess who couldn’t tell I was a prince.’
‘When did you go from being an asshole to a prince?’
‘The day I rearranged my kingdom for you.’”
Told via Maddy and Quinn’s alternating first person POV, these two had good banter right from the start so it wasn’t hard to get sucked into their story. I liked that even though Maddy didn’t always know how to take Quinn, she was upbeat and held her own. I also liked that even though Maddy is the “little sister character,” she wasn’t shy or virginal. And the poker scene was the best…a total hoot. I adored it.
“If I was ever going to see Maddy Mason’s tits, I wanted it to be because I unwrapped her slowly in a situation where she felt like she was winning the whole time.”
Quinn was a complicated guy, but likeable just the same and a well developed character. As the reader, we get insight into what’s made Quinn Quinn, and my heart broke just a bit for the guy who deep down craved so much more but was “trained” not to show emotions.
“‘…he pretends to be this heartless badass, but I think he’s more like a puppy that’s been kicked so hard it’s forgotten how to cuddle.’”
That’s not to say I didn’t think he acted like a dick at a certain point, but he knew how to grovel and man did he know how to woo.
“I was going to be the gentleman she deserved, even if a few baseball socks had to die for the cause.”
This is the second book I’ve read from the author where the hero pulls out some swoon-worthy stops, and that kind of thing always makes romance great. It’s what’s romance is all about. So points for that.
I’m going to *spoiler alert* this next section because it gets into the later part of the book, but I can’t not give it credit because it comes through when so many other romances with this premise fails in the 21st century.
When it comes to the best friend’s sister trope there’s a careful line to tread or the whole notion of the conflict can fall into a very sexist line of thinking. Not only that, but in my reading experience, the brother character tends to be a real obnoxious villain simply to make it more taboo. But that did NOT happen here. So I’ve got to give the story so much praise for pulling this trope off with the maturity and respect.
“‘Shame making my life awkward is how you’ve both found happiness, but I suppose I’ll get used to it.’”
The story felt so much more real by getting at the root of the dilemma, by having adult characters behave like adults, by making it about caring for the feelings and happiness of your little sister rather than about dictating her life. Not only were the confrontation scenes between Quinn and James and James and Maddie fun to read, but they made me crave a book for James so he could get his happiness too.
There are a lot of good messages in this story—from reaching for your professional goals to the importance of love and the people who matter most. On that note, I was prepared to cry over the letter, and while I did tear up, it was gold.
All in all, a low-angst, cute, feel-good romance, and it doesn’t skimp on the steam factor either.
*I volunteered to review this ARC. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.