Title: Ensenada Escapade
Author: Crystal Jordan
Series: Destination: Desire #6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
On a road trip straight from hell, things take a wrong turn—straight to heaven.
Destination: Desire, Book 6
Back in junior high, Ben Hudson tried the pull-the-girl’s-ponytail route to romance with Nora Kirby. It was the start of a decade and a half of mutual antagonism, which masks how desperately he’d like to get his hands on the grownup version of his boyhood crush.
Then he overhears Nora planning to drive to Ensenada, Mexico, to pick up her stranded younger sister. Oh, hell no. No way is she going alone, even if he has to resort to blackmail.
The last thing Nora needs on this trip is a pushy, antagonistic lawyer who’s been a thorn in her side for years. She’s a nurse—she can handle an emergency. But she’s not sure she can handle long hours within arm’s reach of the most attractive man she’s ever met.
Predictably, they spend much of the trip bickering. Then, somehow, kissing. And it’s mind-blowing. Desperate-for-more, knows-she-shouldn’t amazing. When the chips are down, they make a great team—but when the crisis is over, will they retreat to their respective corners?
Warning: Contains two stubborn people. A smooth-talking lawyer who knows when to play rough, and a no-nonsense nurse who doesn’t know whether to kiss him, or kick him. Naughty sex in all the best positions—up, down, upside down, and backwards.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
Like all the other books I’ve read in this series so far this was a fast, fun escape tale with some hot sex, fun characters and nice scenery along the way. This time it all hangs on an enemies-to-lovers tale with a blunt lawyer and a caring, but not particularly sharing, nurse setting off on a rescue mission.
However, for me there was a slight problem with everything. These two have a long and antagonistic history – but we don’t see any of it! There’s a bit of bickering in the beginning, but it’s a sort of practised annoyance that places the blame as firmly on Nora’s shoulders as it does Ben’s. Which was a problem for me, because without any evidence of how Ben used to treat her in school, just how he supposedly humiliated her or made her life a misery – not even in a couple of recollected mentions – it was hard to see why she disliked him so much.
The Ben the reader meets is straight talking and a bit of a winder when it comes to Nora, but he’s also supportive and there when she needs him. He’s sweet too, and clearly in love with her, making him seem like this amazing guy that Nora’s too stupid to take a chance on.
Which makes Nora seem petty and foolish, when I’m sure she isn’t, but without any real evidence of just what Ben used to do it’s hard to get firmly on her side when she snaps and snarls at him. True, he blackmails her a bit at the beginning, but never once does she acknowledge that the man has a point – a ten hour drive after a twelve hour shift is not smart and he actually does her a massive favour.
So, yeah, for me the underlying conflict needed a bit more information. The adventure itself is fun, the chemistry is hot and the sex is scorching, but because of all the history we’re not really told about, it made certain reactions seem over the top and unnecessary, which did dim my enjoyment a touch. Also, the actual amount of time this book spends in Mexico is ridiculously small. The road trip mostly takes place in California, so if you’re reading for a Mexican escape, you might be disappointed.
Overall this is a fun addition to the series, if not my favourite. I look forward to finding out more about Nora’s sisters soon.
Ensenada Escapade is Out Now!
Visit Crystal Jordan for more details.