Title: Just One Week
Author: Alice Gaines
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 12th Sept
Her brother’s best friend is not only the hottest man Michelle Dennis has ever seen, he’s the reason she left town eight years ago. Of course he’s the one waiting at the airport. Worse, he made sure they’re staying in the same house.
Alex Stafford is expecting to pick up his friend’s kid sister, not a full-fledged bombshell. He was planning to apologize for their past, but the feelings he had years ago come roaring back…and this time, there’s no denying them.
Keeping his hands off is a test he’s bound to fail—especially when they’re stuck in close quarters. But falling in love with Michelle, living in her world, isn’t an option for a guy like him. And remembering that will save them both a lot of heartache…
Source: ARC from Entangled: Lovestruck via NetGalley
This is an easy, mostly cute read that throws in a bit of a teenage crush to go with the brother’s best-friend trope, putting together two people who are apparently perfect for each other and always have been, despite the eight years in which they haven’t spoken at all.
I definitely had my doubts at the start when Alex meets Michelle at the airport and calmly informs her that her wishes – regarding not staying at the house with him and having her own transport in order to get around – don’t matter. He’s in charge, because she’s been gone too long and they have to sort out what’s wrong between them. Some might think that’s kind of sexy in a take-charge way. Personally, I found it less than endearing.
Alex and Michelle’s relationship is swift and slightly confusing, if I think about it too deeply. Michelle’s emotions are all over the place, switching very quickly between anger to revenge to lust and love, while Alex does have a slightly selfish streak in doing what’s best for him with little regard for Michelle. I would have liked to have known a bit more about both of them, because Michelle doesn’t really come across as a genius, while it’s hard to believe Alex is a top-level sportsman. They’re nice enough, but a bit shallow – except for Alex’s struggles with dyslexia. That definitely added some depth to the book, but it feels a little out of step with the rest.
Essentially this is a quick, cute read that sprinkles certain impediments to the relationship around – the brother being less than happy with his best-friend getting involved with his sister; what happened eight years ago; Alex’s self-doubts – and pretty much proceeds to ignore them all in a quick dash into love. These two are good together, their romance is fun and easy, their family is full of nice, decent people, and the story itself was a good read. It’s a bit too light at times, and the characters could maybe have been fleshed out a bit more (Alex in particular), but it still made for an enjoyable escape.
Just One Week is out September 12th.
Visit Alice Gaines for more details.