Dawn Freeze had a huge crush on Hawk Rain for years, and the entire town knows it. It’s understandable―the man is total hotness. That tall, lean body. Intense dark eyes. And always one foot out the door. Now he’s on leave for exactly one week. And this time, he’s made it crystal clear that he only wants one thing. Her.
Hawk’s been fighting his attraction to Dawn for as long as he can remember. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and that means hands-off. Except now she’s all grown up, and her sweet sexiness is exactly what he craves. But just as Hawk allows himself one mindblowingly intense night with Dawn, he learns that everyone he loves is in danger. Especially her.
And the only way to protect Dawn is to push her away…
Source: ARC from Entangled Brazen via NetGalley
This is the first book I’ve read from this series and from this author, but I don’t think I really missed out on any connections as it stands alone pretty well, filling in what needs to be known and introducing other characters in gradual stages. Dawn and Hawk clearly have history, but when it comes to this story I felt that their romance lacked tension. Sure, there’s a gaggle of old ladies doing some furious matchmaking, but it’s unnecessary since Hawk makes his move, Dawn doesn’t object and although there’s a lot of push-pull between them on various issues, I found the forever-crush and best-friend’s-sister problems completely lacking, since Hawk doesn’t exactly put up a fight.
Which isn’t to say that this isn’t enjoyable, because it is at times. Hawk is a broody alpha guy and Dawn’s an independent, capable woman. There’s plenty of heat between them and plenty of funny moments, especially when Dawn’s brothers are involved. In fact the sundry side characters are the best part of this book, providing the humour and affection and general interest.
Then comes the whole drug-lord/escaped criminal thing that Hawk – quite rightly – wants to keep away from his friends, their families and the woman who means so much to him. It was at this point that I really started disliking Dawn. Yes, yes, Dawn, you’re a strong woman who can stand up to your man and fire a gun. Well done you. But that does not qualify you to take down ruthless criminals! Even worse, she never acknowledges the fact that Hawk is trained to deal with this sort of thing and is just trying to protect her. No, instead he’s an idiot man making her out to be a weak-willed princess. (I’m all for pointing out male stupidity when warranted, however, in this case Dawn was being foolish.)
I kept wishing someone would shoot her, just to prove to her that being a strong woman doesn’t mean you have to be stupid. And as nice as it was that she wanted to prove to Hawk that he wasn’t alone and was part of her family, the lack of concern she shows for her brothers and their families just proved to me that she was either incredibly naive or plain dumb. All the time she’s accusing Hawk of not seeing her for who she is, she never once realises her hypocrisy – he knows what he’s talking about, so if he’s worried for you, stop being a twit!
As it turned out, I found that side of the plot a bit rushed and messy. The action was disappointing and the emotional build-up ended up overwrought and repetitive. Overall I was left unsure what to make of this book. The romance is okay, but not quite the forbidden-territory/dream-come-true type I was expecting, and the suspense side of things lacked any suspense. I did really enjoy meeting the rest of Dawn’s family, which made me interested in reading the rest of the series. This particular installment, though, fell a little flat for me.
Over the Top is out July 21st!
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