If you’d asked me whether I read romance novels, I would not have hesitated before saying yes. I read historical romance (mostly regency and surrounding time periods), I read romantic suspense, I read books that walk the thin line between women’s fiction or chick lit and romance. I even read a little paranormal romance. However, it turns out I don’t really read this particular kind of straightforward contemporary romance.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Leanne Galloway has no time for dating; her focus is on launching her academic career. Dragged along to her childhood frenemy Gillian’s bachelorette party at a male strip club, she just wants to get through the evening—but she can’t help interfering when Gillian sends a note to a sexy dancer proposing a hot hookup.
Brandon Myles is working backstage at the Foxe’s Den to fund his post-graduate studies in dance, but he’s forced onstage when the headliner fails to show up. He feels a surprisingly strong connection with a quiet woman watching from a table full of tipsy bridesmaids, and he’s delighted when she appears backstage after his set.
After a scorching spontaneous encounter, Leanne and Brandon agree to go their separate ways. But they’re both grad students on a small campus, and avoiding each other and denying their attraction won’t work for long, especially when a jealous rival appears, determined to ruin both their academic careers.
It was very steamy, and Brandon was perfect in every way– even just damaged enough for her to have some work to do… Although it had a plot that took place outside the bedroom, it felt like the entire book revolved around sex.
Since the lead character was working on a Ph.D. in literature, I kept wanting to read more into the book. Is the emphasis on sex actually standing in for something else? Are the (rather flat) supporting characters actually archetypes representing a larger class of people?
Or is this simply a fun wish-fulfillment fantasy where the regular girl (good looking but nothing spectacular in the looks department, successful in her chosen field but awkward in the rest of her life) wins the perfect guy, and in doing so fixes most of the other problems in her life? One where all the other trappings really don’t matter?
For the most part, I enjoyed reading it, even when being confused about what to make of it. I admit to having some issues with the ending, but I think those are me against the genre, and I’m not going to sweat it. It was quick and fun, and I’ll probably read more in its vein, trying to sort out the rules of the road, such as they are.
I requested this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you to Carina Press and NetGalley for giving me access to this book.