While brooding over an espresso, I meet Courtney Kwan, a biomedical researcher who savors the little things in life. And, suddenly, an idea strikes me—I will pay this woman to teach me how to enjoy my vacation from work.
Soon, I find myself doing crazy things like baking cookies, reading for pleasure, buying a phallic cactus, and falling in love. But Courtney is dealing with some serious issues of her own, and I fear that when I return to work, I won’t be able to give her what she needs, and I’ll lose her forever…
Comment: I got interested in this book because I saw several good reviews of it and of other books by the author. The blurbs seemed captivating enough for me so I decided to try with the one that I was more curious about, which was this one. I ended up not enjoying it as much as I hoped but it was still an OK read.
On the page, this sounded perfect for me. I like stories with opposites attract and by the way their personalities are described, it did seem as if Julian and Courtney were quite different and had different perspectives in life as well. I was eager to see how they would fall in love, how they would take the steps into want to be with the other person and how they could find common ground.
Unfortunately, I think the time between their first meeting and the moment Julian asked Courtney to share his apartment so they could "more quickly" go on with her teaching him on how to have a good time was ridiculously too short. In fact, it was that same night he suggested this idea and I admit I felt immediately irked. I mean! Even in the realm of fantasy or romance fiction, this is hard to accept, especially since they were strangers. My mood in appreciating this book went down very fast.
From that scene on, they start spending time together, feeling attraction of course but they both were aware that starting something was not in their plans, because they claimed they didn't want a relationship. Julian, because he had no time and didn't want to repeat a bad experience and Courtney because she didn't do casual flings and was afraid her depression was coming and that her perspective might be influenced by it. Both valid enough reasons but as this is a romance, easily to overcome. At least, I hope they would, and preferably in a realistic manner, so that when they got their HEA, it would be deserved.
However, for me the whole process/plot development simply didn't work out that well. The reasons they both had - and of which we have several pages with them or telling one other or "inner monologuing" about it - were quickly overlooked by the fact they wanted to have sex with each other. OK, I could see this was the purpose but then why so much explanation on how they didn't want it? I surely didn't have the feeling their personal reasons were that hard to overlook, that's true, but why bother having them when the change of mind didn't even feel natural? They go from one point of view to ignoring their own rule and that's it... I felt this made the story feel a little juvenile and lacking romance.
And it's not even a matter of not being an adult about it, after all they discuss the subject and agree on how the relationship/fling will develop. I just found the whole pacing and timing really off, it didn't feel they were that crazy about one another....I can't explain well, but I was not convinced by their romance.