The fourth book in the Bluebonnet series by Jessica Clare tells the story of Grant’s painfully shy sister Elise and the newest employee of Wilderness Survival Expeditions, Rome. Rome and Elise were both introduced in book three, The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild, which was Grant and Brenna’s story. I was so excited for this one. I couldn’t wait to see the tattooed, bad boy meet his match in the timid girl who needs to experience some excitement.
Elise has never seen herself as the pretty girl. She was born with a huge birthmark on her face and in her early teens developed scoliosis. After having a laser procedure to remove her birthmark and a painful surgery to fix her back, she’s physically not the same girl who was made fun of in school, but she still sees her birthmark when she looks in the mirror and worries about anyone noticing the scars on her back. Elise has almost no life experience, so shy and quiet that she’s afraid to talk to people, and that includes the man who sets her heart to wildly beating every time she sees him.
Rome is tattooed, pierced and rides a Harley. Elise thinks this bad boy would never look at a girl like her, because he could get anyone he wants… right? What she doesn’t know is that Rome has his own insecurities. In fact his entire background and childhood is one big, screwed up mess. Con artist parents, drugs and a prison sentence; Rome has his own reasons for thinking a nice girl like Elise would never go for a guy like him.
I’ve been sitting on this review for a while, trying to get my thoughts together and figure out what exactly to say. Mainly because this ended up being such a middle of the road read for me. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, it had plenty of super sexy love scenes and humor, but it didn’t grab and hold my attention all the way through. Elise is so shy at the beginning that for some reason I couldn’t connect with her character. She hides behind her hair, constantly makes herself small and inconspicuous and when Rome tries to talk to her she just kind of looks at him and stares. No words come out of her mouth, she just stares and runs away, and while I could understand why she acted the way she did, it was hard for me to actually relate to her. Rome is her exact opposite in personality and doesn’t understand her either. He thinks she is running away from him for reasons other than her shyness. In fact, at first he thinks she’s a stuck up rich girl.
Rome and Elise do have a sweet story. Once she starts to open up and let Rome in she becomes more adventurous. She grabs onto him with both hands and is more than ready for him to broaden her horizons. Then it’s Rome who becomes angsty and worried about his past coming back to haunt him. This part hooked me and kept me reading, then Rome leaves and that’s when I had my biggest issue. Elise tells Rome something to get him to come back to her and I didn’t like it. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I won’t say exactly what it was that she used to get him to return, but suffice it to say it threw me out of the story and made me get that pinched look on my face. This may not bother all readers, but it didn’t work for me at all. After that I just kind of finished the book to finish it. To be honest, I liked Rome and Elise together, I just didn’t care for how they got there in the end. Final Grade- C
“I’ll follow wherever you go,” he vowed. “You just lead the way.”