I like to consider myself a fairly open-minded reader. I do have a few pet peeves and some flat-out No-Gos, but for the most part I can roll with anything if it’s presented well enough. Maybe that’s the problem here. The personality issue I had with the hero, Ryan, seemed ridiculous to me. I didn’t have any understanding, I was just irritated and impatient.
Ryan and Cassandra meet when Ryan is out at dinner with some of his friends. Cassandra is a waitress there and Ryan is captivated by her stockings. Ryan hits on her and they end up going out that same night. Things heat up quickly between them and they end up spending the whole weekend together in a sexual haze. Their time together was mostly just a hookup for Ryan, but the more time her spends with her the more he doesn’t want their time together to be over.
Cassandra was an enjoyable character, although I found it very odd to read about a heroine who felt like she was just starting out in life. I never realized before now that most of the Contemporary Romances I read have heroines that are a lot more accomplished and settled, even if they’re only in a ‘job’ and not a ‘career’. It wasn’t a negative point for me, it was just something that stood out. I really liked how willing Cassandra was to jump in with both feet. She felt like a breeze compared to the uptight Ryan, which made me wonder at times how she was so willing to ignore his hot and cold act.
Ryan was my biggest issue with the book. He’s a pilot in the Air Force and he comes from a humble background. He still has a lot of issues because of his past and is obsessed with how people perceive him. He spends much of the book constantly angsting about how much of a “sick fuck” he is. He bemoans his perversions and plays a hot and cold game toward the sex games he and Cassandra indulged in. He just can’t stand how sick he is because he likes…(wait for it)…role playing.
It drove me nuts because it was so ridiculous! I have read and enjoyed many a character who had a mindset or issues that I didn’t agree with, didn’t share, and found myself impatient with. The first book that comes to mind is Flowers in the Storm. The heroine drove me nuts at times, but the author made her character so real and layered that I couldn’t help but understand that she couldn’t be any way other than that. I didn’t feel that with Ryan.
Other than that there weren’t any big issues. The story was fluffy and didn’t really do anything for me, but I didn’t hate it. I would have enjoyed it more if the characters had more depth and if the characterizations that been smoother overall, true, but that wasn’t my issue. There were just too many little things that made me roll my eyes (like Cassandra thinking about Ryan going “thug” as he lectured some soldiers) that kept me from really sinking into the book and taking it seriously. Your mileage may vary, but it wasn’t my type.
”I’m not one of your subordinates, Major. You don’t get to tell me what to do.”
“You don’t get to lead me around by my dick.”
“I can. I did. Not anymore.”