This was a really cute story by new to me author, Claire Baxter. The hero and heroine were like oil and water, until she underwent a mini makeover for a friend's wedding. Gone was the tomboy and out came a woman with movie star looks. Of course all her male colleagues took notice, one in particular. I'm not altogether sure how I felt about the catalyst, that seeing her “all dolled-up” was stunning enough to make her turn heads all of a sudden, whereas in her turn out gear, she was just another one of the guys. I wouldn't know whether to feel pleased or insulted. However, their unfurling pasts and their hidden depths were enough to make me overlook that slight.
Jasmine was one of those head-strong characters who preferred to do things on her own and never ask for help. She was independent, self-sufficient, capable, and (not) surprisingly, lonely. Her being somewhat of a tomboy seemed to have roots in her relationship with her mother. Her mother had always been beautifully coiffed and attracted attention. That attention seeking eventually led to an affair and her death in a car accident. Since then, Jasmine had denied all compliments of the mother-daughter resemblance. When she found out her boyfriend had been cheating on her, it led her to swear off men and relationships.
Aaron had a reputation for being a playboy. He liked them hot and dumb, or at least that's how Jasmine saw it. The wedding was a real eye-opener and suddenly Mac became Jasmine, a gorgeous woman with a body to die for. He not only surprised Jasmine but himself too when he decided to kiss her. Suddenly she wasn't the colleague he'd been trading snarky remarks and comebacks with, but a woman he desired. Before long, he was seeking excuses to spend time with her outside of work, he wanted to get to know her. Just like Jasmine, Aaron also had his own personal demons preventing him from wanting a relationship.
I really liked this couple because at first it seemed like the standard “opposites attract” situation until we learned more about backgrounds only to find they had common ground. The best thing about this story was the dialogue. The jokes, the snark, the veiled jealousy on either side was quite cute. I also liked that Aaron recognized that he had something to prove to her if he wanted a chance with her. I think that applied not just to her, but to any woman. Who'd want to really take a chance on a player? So yes, I enjoyed seeing him make some decisions about his life and take action. Of course not everything was smooth sailing, but I liked the anticipation. The drama near the end was a little predictable and perhaps a little cliché, but it helped this stubborn couple come to a decision. The full-circle ending was the icing on the cake.
Note: There was implied sex, but only for one scene. Anyone who is familiar with the Entangled Bliss line already knows to expect sexual tension, but otherwise these are “clean” stories.Favorite Lines:
“As if you'd know. Nobody would want to take your photo.”
“Hey, it has happened.” He grinned. “And all I had to do was lie there. But you're right, it was really hard.”
“You make my software turn to hardware.”
Her eyes widened.
Laughing at her expression, he said, “Some women appreciate my wit.”
“Never heard it called that before.”
Jasmine finds a hot pink stiletto in his car.
She examined it from all sides. “Strange. I thought it would have TGIF printed on it somewhere.”
“Thank God It's Friday?”
“No. Toes Go In First. That's about the level of intelligence I expect from someone who'd leave her shoe behind. The pair, I could understand, but not one shoe.”
Rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.