A guest review by Jenre
Summary Review: An enjoyable contemporary romance with a couple of likeable leads.
Jack Lawson grew up poor and can’t forget it. He’s a huge success in the business world, but it won’t be enough until the image of “poor little Jack” is completely wiped away. When Jack runs into his old friend, Noah Mercier, he decides that Noah’s sister, an up-and-coming movie star, would be the perfect evidence of glamorous success. If Jack can win Hayley, it will be clear to everyone, including himself, that he has truly arrived.
The problem with Jack’s grand plan is that he’s more attracted to Noah. Jack’s never worried about the gender of his conquests, but Noah just isn’t flashy enough for Jack’s scheme to set the world on fire… unless Jack realizes he has practically no control over deciding who he wants—and even less choice in who he needs.
I’ve read a couple of Kate Sherwood books before and found them angsty reads. This novella shows us a little of the diversity in this author’s repertoire as this story is a fun, breezy tale with a lighthearted tone.
Jack is the CEO of a chemical company who comes from a poor background. He has everything he desires but still finds that there’s something missing in his life. At a sales pitch from an advertising company, he bumps into Noah who works as an ideas man for the company. Jack discovers that Noah’s sister is a beautiful and famous Hollywood actress, and decides that he needs her to make his life complete. Noah reluctantly agrees to get Jack and his sister together and Jack is delighted, until he realises he’s having trouble getting Noah out of his mind.
The real star of this book is Jack, who is our third person narrator. Much of your enjoyment of this book will rely on how well you like Jack, and to be honest he treads a fine line between being likable and engaging and downright annoying. Most of the time I liked him a great deal. His charm and confidence, the way he is focused and sets out to get what he wants are admirable qualities and on the whole I warmed to him a great deal, liking his enthusiastic, verbose narrative. However, Jack is also rather self-absorbed and has a habit of steamrolling over people in an effort to get what he wants. Sometimes this is amusing, especially at first when he meets Noah, and leaves Noah blinking like a deer caught in headlights after having managed to get him to go out for a drink almost against his will. Other times it was slightly annoying, for example when Jack is so caught up in his fantasy of a ‘trophy girlfriend’ that he fails to take into account Noah’s feelings, and even tries to brush them aside. Whatever you may feel there is a drive and energy about Jack which propels the story forward and I found that I was quickly hooked into the story.
Jack is such a force in the story that Noah is a little overshadowed. I liked that he was strong enough to stand up to Jack when necessary, but also that he manages to capture Jack’s attention by just being himself: quiet, unassuming with an underlying good sense of humour and moral fibre. Noah does spend quite a lot of the book reacting to Jack, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but did mean that he pales somewhat next to Jack. Still, I did get the impression that they worked together as a couple, and that Noah was good for Jack. When Jack is around Noah he seems less brash, more aware of how his attitude can affect others, and that can only be a good thing.
The plot itself centres mostly on the two men and is driven by character rather than events. This worked for me as I like books like this, but it did mean that things happen in quite a short time frame. The one niggle I had was the way that Noah tries to rid himself of Jack towards the end of the book. I felt it was a little out of character for Noah, as well as being a bit of a silly thing to do. However, as it was resloved very quickly, it didn’t spoil the book too much for me.
Overall, this was a fun and amusing story which I sped through very quickly. Jack was a great character and I liked that he brought out mixed feelings in me. Those of you looking for a lighthearted romance will hopefully find this as satisfying as I did.