Joint Review: Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton

fly with meReviewed by Shelly and Joanna

Joanna: Jordan, a statuesque business woman on a hen do in Vegas meets Noah, a lonely fighter pilot. They grind and kiss on the dance floor, but she decides against a one night stand and leaves him in the bar and goes to bed alone. Poor Noah is left to listen to his buddy, appropriately call-signed Easy, hook up with two of the other bridesmaids all night long.

This book is dual perspective so we get to hear from Noah as well as Jordan. So anyway, the next day, wound-up Noah searches Jordan’s hotel to find her by the pool and they have foreplay during a get-to-know-you conversation in a cabana. As you do. Then that night they get to screw properly. And a lot.

Shelly: I enjoy a good military style romance. I’m not particular about which branch, but I’m particular about the kind of hero I like and don’t like. I like heroes who talk to the women differently than they talk to the guys in their unit, show a tad bit of respect. So that means when the hero is talking to the heroine or any other lady, then maybe hold back on the cursing and the vulgar language; any other way, he just comes off as gutter language – crass and unlikeable. It’s very hard for me to read a romance that’s littered with ‘f-bombs’ and other such simple language from either side including the heroine.

That being said, Jordan was no different than Noah to me. She’s just happened to be a girl. They’re both 30 something, independent people, who are happened to love their chosen occupation and both expressed themselves the same way.

Joanna: They then pursue a relationship, even though it’s very long distance and there’s a whole lot of traveling and missing each other. She runs a fashion boutique in Florida and he’s on a base somewhere else, miles away, and she has to go to him if they are ever going to hook up. It is never going to be easy for these kids.

Shelly: To Joanna’s point, somebody had to give, and it just happened to be Jordan in this case. Being self-employed, she took on the ownership of being the mobile one. I can’t say that Noah really had a choice of going to her; he’s a fighter pilot and his commitment to serve is strong. I’m not going to hate on that because well… I’m just not.

Joanna: This book got more readable as I went along, though I’d have liked less internal dialogue and more of a feel for the surroundings. Saying that, the military life stuff was well described and enveloping. The life of the wives suck; they get hauled around from pillar to post, always in the background, never sure whether their guy is going to be home for Christmas or even come home at all. It’s completely dehumanizing and Jordan has to decide if this is for her, as Noah can’t just change.

Shelly: I completely agree that the readability of Noah and Jordan got better the further I read. But what bothered me was that I didn’t starting giving two figs until 75% into the story. (I know because I made a point of checking.) The first part of this story read like many other poorly constructed romances where all the couple does is have sex, and we know about it in minute detail. The whole getting to know you thing didn’t really start happening until tragedy struck, and by then I was completely over them as a couple.

Joanna: Yeah, I wasn’t in love with their love. But when their Big Deal came up, I felt for them, even though I felt their relationship was mostly based on the invulnerable sex they have, rather than a deeper connection cos they don’t have time to develop it.

Shelly: Yes! I completely agree. I felt let down from what I expected from the published blurb, and this might be selfish, but I want my hero and heroine to have some semblance of outside of the bedroom communication.

Joanna: A problem I had here was that I couldn’t identify with Jordan. Noah I liked, even if I didn’t feel I quite got under his skin. He’s married to the job and has moved 8 times in 16 years and hardly sees his family. Sound like a dead cert, right? Oh and he’s not beautiful either – tall and dark, yes. Magnetic – yes. But not drop dead gorgeous. I liked that. Jordan however is way too image conscious, and I got annoyed at her in a few places.

Case in point – about half way through the book she throws a fit that the guy she’s falling in love with, who she hasn’t seen for 3 weeks, who has dashed home just to say hi whilst he’s still at work, has grown a moustache for ‘Moustache March’. Whatever. This leads to a no-sex plot point where they try to tease each other into caving. But it didn’t come off, so to speak and it just left me annoyed.

Shelly: Hate is a strong word, so I won’t use it here, but Jordan, admittedly high maintenance, needed to grow the hell up. This chick got mad and started pouting when Noah grew that moustache and what threw me over the edge with her was she didn’t even ask ‘why do all the men grow a moustache in March?’ She was completely self-absorbed about showing up to her sister’s wedding with a man but then if he had a moustache, then ‘no you can’t accompany me’. Girl, you’re lucky you had a date. I strongly disliked Jordan, strongly.

Joanna: Then there’s some Big Emotional Stuff that happens at the end which was really well written and I was engrossed. It was gut-wrenchingly sad, and I thought I predicted the outcome, but I was wrong. It forced our lovers to a conclusion, though it didn’t solve their main problems, and I worry their HEA is fragile.

Shelly: Very fragile indeed. I see drama and ridiculousness in their future, because I never got the impression that they really got to know each other and didn’t act in the spur of the moment. And she only knew what she knew from what Dani told her about being an officer’s wife. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to do any research on her own about what an officer’s life (including the home life) is like; I’m still trying to figure out how Jordan was going to maintain her current maintenance routine on an officer’s salary.

Joanna: Ha! True. Another thing to mention – Noah’s best friend, the aforementioned Easy, is gorgeous, and you might well love him. He’s so tragic and a classic lead guy for a future book in the series, should this be written.

Shelly: Oh, Easy. What a tragic stereotype you are. Then, there’s Thor – the other two fighter pilots who initially met Jordan, her sister and friends during their Vegas trip. I’m sure that these two will have their stories told, but I’ll have to pass on those.

Joanna: Lastly, she never flies with him. This is not a spoiler – it is not reasonable to assume a fighter pilot would be allowed to take his girlfriend into a $40m aircraft. So it’s a metaphorical flying they do together. Just saying. In case you were disappointed.

Happy Reading Folks!

Joanna’s Rating: B-

Shelly’s Rating: C

*ARC provided by Berkley via NetGalley for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Fly With Me
by Chanel Cleeton
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Berkley

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