Though contemporary and new adult aren’t usually my genres of choice, something about the blurb on this story called to me. It promised a good guy with a rough past, compelled to protect and shelter an emotionally wounded young woman. And he’s a tattooed bouncer. And he is ex-Army. And he is an MMA fighter. He crushes lesser men every day, but treats her with gentleness and respect. Lots of good stuff here. There’s tough stuff, too. But for the most part, it works.
Evelyn is waitress in a club, trying to put herself through nursing school. She grew up very wealthy, but her world crumbled around her when her father was caught embezzling and killed himself. Now she has to scrape to get by. All of her old friends have abandoned her and she has a debilitating fear of the dark. That fear, though, is ultimately what sparks her connection with Matteo. He comes to her rescue in a terrifying moment, sparking the first seeds of a friendship that grows into something more.
Matteo is really the selling point for the story, in my opinion. He is practically perfect. He’s built like a brick house. He’s tough when he needs to be. But with Evie, he is kind. He is a gentleman. It’s like he senses the broken parts of her and responds in all the right ways. He makes her feel protected, cherished, and safe. More than that, he makes her burn. I loved watching the sexual build between them. There is great tension and very good payoff. Win. Win. Win.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Evelyn’s backstory. It was very dark, and when it was revealed I felt like it was supposed to be shocking. But I think most readers will see it coming. I’ll admit, too , that it took me a while to warm up to her. She was kind of off-putting to me in the beginning. I understand she was supposed to be kind of naive, but she said some pretty inane things and was a little too clueless for someone who has been on her own for several years. I did warm up to her though, as the relationship developed with Matteo.
The ending felt a bit rushed, but overall I was satisfied with the way it all worked out. There aren’t a lot of shades of gray here. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. But sometimes that’s comforting. Especially when the nice guy gets the girl and you get the happy ending they deserve.
*ARC Provided by Loveswept
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Cecy Robson
Release Date: October 7, 2014