“Do you wanna know why it’s you?” I asked quietly, my hand gliding up his arm to his chest.
“Don’t wanna piss you off, Tab, but I don’t give a fuck. I’m happy just rejoicin’ that it is.”
I missed the relationships between the girls. In part, I think they were missing here because Tab didn’t have the same family of girlfriends that Tyra or Gwen did. I don’t know whether the tighter editing had a part to play. The next book, which features Lanie will probably (hopefully) have more of that as she’s very tight with Tyra. In this book, Tab and Tyra were distanced for part of the story as Tab was negotiating her relationship with Shy and then working out how to break it to the family. So, narratively, it made sense.
The story did have a kind of strange jumpy feel to it at the beginning – the prologue skips over three years and there is a lot of “six months later…” or “4 weeks later…”. The main part of the novel carries on this theme with many chapters commencing “2 weeks later…” but the breaks were shorter and the story carried on smoothly chapter to chapter.
Shy and Tabby sort their relationship out fairly quickly, the main conflict is what Chaos and in particular, Tack (and by extension, Tyra) would say about it. They decide to keep things quiet for a little while so they’re solid before outing themselves.
When we leave this apartment, you and me gotta be on the same page. But sayin’ that, sugar”—his voice dropped—“what just happened was somethin’ that was bigger than all that. It was bigger than everything. I had a taste of you four years ago that I could never get off my tongue. Now, I’ve tasted more of you with more than just my mouth and I know I wanna keep it in a way I don’t want to think of it bein’ done. Not in a few weeks. Not in a few months. Maybe not ever.”
There’s a lot of sexy humour in the book. For years, Shy has been ridiculously turned on by Tabby’s habit of licking her lip and once they’re an “us” he makes it clear what he thinks about her doing it in public.
“Don’t be fuckin’ cute and, honest to God, if you lick your lip, I’ll lose my mind. Next time you lick your lip you do it when we are nowhere near a public place and I can let loose the reaction I’ve had half a million fuckin’ times over four fuckin’ years every time I’ve seen you do it, not here, in a bookstore where I can’t.”
Shy is also sexually responsible and I cannot say how much I appreciated this. The magic of true love wasn’t enough. He was going to get a test. Thank you Shy.
“Right, we’ll do this quick and hopefully not painful,” he began ominously. “For three months, it’s only been Rosalie. The month before that, nobody. I didn’t lie, babe, always careful. Always. But I’m gonna get tested so you know I’m givin’ you nothin’ but me when it’s only you and me with nothin’ in between. We’ll wait for the results and then it’ll be just you and me. You cool with that?”
Tack and Tyra aren’t too pleased when they find out Tab and Shy are together. It felt like a fairly natural reaction as parents – Shy got his nickname because he had the (well deserved) reputation of not being shy with the ladies at all. Tack doesn’t want Shy messing with this daughter. After things get sorted out, Tyra points out that Shy is a lot like Tack but it takes Tabby a little while to realise it.
Ty-Ty was totally right. Shy was Dad, just younger.
“Yeah, he did, but that isn’t the point,” I answered. “Shy didn’t talk to me about it and, I’ll add, he didn’t tell me about it after the fact either.”
Dad’s face registered surprise and he asked, “Jesus, why would he do somethin’ stupid like that?”
I adore Tack (even if, in real life that kind of thing would drive me insane, he’s always and completely Tack.)
In case I’d forgotten that things in the MC are different than in real life, I got regular reminders.
The brothers were about as pleased as Dad upon the news spreading that there was a Shy and me, and when those men got ticked off about something, they didn’t go gab with their psychologists about it. All hell broke loose.
There is also a little more from Shy’s POV which was nice. I’ve never felt the lack of the male POV in an Ashley book because they are so dialogue heavy the male perspective is well represented. But I do like having more of it. It suits my reading style.
The sexy banter between Tab and Shy goes both ways and I felt they’d struck a good balance in their relationship.
He grinned, then he rolled her to her back in his lap and took her mouth, leaving her clutching his shoulders and panting when he lifted his head.
His eyes went to the mark he put on her neck that morning then to her eyes.
“You get off the phone, you thought the day started good, I’ll give you an ending you won’t fuckin’ believe.”
Tab’s not afraid to make her own demands in the bedroom.
“Right, so, I’ve brushed my teeth, you haven’t, so you’re free to eat something before you go to sleep,” I declared. That intense look left his face, his eyes flashed with heat, then I was off the vanity, in the bedroom, tossed on the bed, my panties were gone, and Shy ate something before he went to sleep.
Truth was, I used my mouth before finally falling asleep too, but fortunately what I used it for wouldn’t give me any cavities.
Where the book fell down a little for me was in the suspense subplot, involving Tab’s friend Natalie. It sets up a conflict for future books but doesn’t really go anywhere here.