Wednesday, April 29, 2020

P. Dangelico - Sledgehammer

Amber Jones is in a pickle. And when I say pickle, I mean a world of trouble. She knew she shouldn’t have gone to her ex’s New Year’s Eve party. And she reeeaally didn’t mean to almost burn down his house. Now she needs a good lawyer, stat. But where to find one?
Ethan Vaughn is a very busy man. He really shouldn’t have agreed to spring Amber Jones out of jail. As the most sought after lawyer in professional football, he should be focused on representing his NFL clients––not an accident-prone, struggling actress.
Now she’s remanded on bail, and living in his house. The woman is a walking talking disaster. And considering his track record, he needs to stay as far away from this one as possible. Problem is, he’s finally met the one he’s willing to risk it all for.
Take one outspoken actress, put her under the same roof with an overworked lawyer, and watch the slow burn bring down the house.

Comment: This is the second installment in the Hard to Love series by author P. Dangelico. I liked the first book enough to want to try the next one and here it is.

In this second book we have the story of lawyer Ethan Vaughn, who helped Cam, the heroine in book #1, and Amber Jones, her the best friend.
Amber had a bad experience at her ex' house and she sees herself in a legal problem, being at risk of going to jail is she doesn't pay a fee so after asking her friend Cam for help, lawyer Ethan comes along even though it's not his expertise field.
Sadly, the judge orders her to not leave the state and to pay an amount she doesn't have, so Ethan offers to house her, so she can meet the legal matters and that means to live with Ethan for three months. Surely, it can be that bad although Amber thinks Ethan can't stand her.
Living together doesn't mean they need to see each other that much, does it...?

First of all, the premise of this story sets on the fact Amber has to live with Ethan for three months because he accepts to take care of her case. I'm not knowledgeable in legal matters but is this really a thing? Does something like this happens in real life? It seems too ridiculous to be true but well...
This is the way the author chose to put hero and heroine in close proximity so their feelings could develop in a continuous way.

Putting aside the doubts on the workings of legal affairs, of course the story is filled with scenes in which the protagonists slowly change their antagonism for one another into sexual attraction and confidence and then relationship status.
The author is compared with those who prefer a slow romance instead of an insta one but I must say I didn't feel this in this book. (as opposed to the first one, for instance)
What it felt was that the protagonists were not slowly developing their relationship...they were simply taking too long to be intimate, a delay on sexual intercourse because it was obvious to the reader they were in lust with one another.

I wouldn't, therefore, characterize this as a slow burn romance just because it took them several chapter to go to bed together.
I think the problem is that, although the characters talk about their lives and experiences, most of their interactions is followed by or initiated by lustful thoughts from the heroine. I mean, she is always thinking about sex when thinking of the hero and it feels a little diminishing of her real feelings if everything relates to sex anyway. Just because they don't sleep together soon after their legal situation doesn't mean the thoughts are thee and I'll be honest, it got to a point I felt annoyed so much of their time together was always seen through a sexual possibility.

Of course this happened because this is a first person narrative, we only have the heroine's POV. 
I've said this many times before already, but it is really unfair and counterproductive to write a romance when we only have one POV. It doesn't offer balance! Not every author does this well, not all romance stories have enough bases for first person to work out! What a pity this is the case here.

It does feel my opinion is very negative but I liked reading the story, the narrative is fluid despite all the sex innuendos and thoughts. I especially liked the characters' interactions with the secondary characters and the confidences they shared. There were some emotional scenes I felt were very touching and some things made for the ones I wasn't as fond of.
I just feel it's a pity the author wanted to convey sexual tension but the method wasn't the best. I wish she could have written this in third person, perhaps the story could flow better for me.

The HEA is cute, I liked it enough. 
I might also read the last story sooner than later, if I can.
Grade: 7/10

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