I’ve had this story in my TBR for a while now. I’ve not read anything by Jessica Lemmon before and I’m glad I finally did. It’s a nice light read that most romance readers will find refreshing as the hero is the one who’s wearing his heart on his sleeve.
A year ago, Sadie Howard was dumped by Aiden Downey. Not only did he dump her, he did it over the phone. Ouch! During her best friend and his cousin’s wedding, Sadie bumps into her old boyfriend. Aiden’s back in town after a family tragedy and he’s back to stay. He’s 30 and living with his father, but that’s only temporary until he can get his life back on track.
This was a slow build and it wasn’t until about the halfway point where I thought the plot got really interesting. There’s a lot of going back and forth for Sadie and Aiden about what happened during their prior relationship, but interestingly, they really didn’t have too much to say to each other about it. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of Sadie and the focus she put on their prior relationship – I had a good grasp about the length of time that they were together, but it didn’t seem long enough for her to harbor the strong dislike almost hatred that she had for Aiden. And Aiden was so guilt ridden over everything, but I thought his guilt should have been focused in a different place, specifically about his siblings. I didn’t understand why he made the choices he did when it came to his mom and his siblings. It’s almost like he wanted to be the only one to be the hero, which was so unfair to this brothers and sister because he completely took the choice away from them to help.
Sadie was the quintessential sales person. She had the looks (but not the height) and she used it to her betterment. Some might argue that a great sales person doesn’t depend on their looks, but sometimes you gotta work with what you’ve got. Her relationship with her best friend was realistic – they were in each other’s lives, knew one another by what’s said and not said, by the look in each other’s eyes – you know all the typical things that your BFF knows about you, especially when you’re lying. That was priceless! Her best friend Crickitt’s story was told in Tempting the Billionaire which I might have to go back and read as I enjoyed her and Shane’s tête-à-tête tremendously.
I wasn’t convinced about Sadie and Aiden relationship and even them having sex. Sadie seemed a little obsessed with Aiden’s looks, which was fine but considering the hardships in both of their past, but it seemed a bit shallow. She had some legitimate concerns and for me they were not resolved. I did end up liking Aiden better than Sadie, but not by too much. Also, that whole sex thing didn’t sit well with me – from her deciding that she and Aiden should have sex to Aiden actually saying ‘okay’. And in a tree-house of all places… come on that’s about as unromantic as you can get; they have hotels where you live.
Aiden’s sister and brothers all make appearances. There’s the tatted out one, the one who’s a millionaire and their dad who still works in the factory. I guess all kids who turn into millionaires don’t always go back to help the parents. The other characters made this story much more fun to read than just reading about Aiden and Sadie. Overall this was a good book; the dialogue was fun to read and the pace was good (in the 2nd half). Sadie’s got a mouth on her and she’s certainly not afraid to use it.
Happy reading folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
Hard to Handle
by Jessica Lemmon
Release Date: October 1, 2013