What Erin finds even more shocking than Kelly’s indecent proposal is how much she enjoys submitting to his every command. But he can’t play the tough guy indefinitely. If they want to have more than just an affair, both will have to open up and reveal what they truly need.
Erin, for her part, is fairly instantly attracted to Kelly but she mistrusts that feeling for a number of reasons – the main one being that he’s the opposite of the guy she’d usually go for (someone “safe”) and too much like the losers her mother and her sister date/d – at least on the surface. But, as it happens, the surface is pretty much the only place there is commonality with Kelly and those men. Kelly is honorable, self-aware and kind beneath a gruff surface and, while he is strong and touch, he has no wish to get violent (except in a mildly BDSM consensual way) with Erin or any woman.
Kelly’s proposition to Erin is basically a weekend of no holds barred sex – where he calls the shots but she has the power of veto. He wants to let his toppy side out to play. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing in it for her however.
“You think that when I say I like getting whatever I want, that a woman’s pleasure isn’t one of those things?”
Kelly has an amusingly simple philosophy on love and relationships
“There’s four things a real man has to be able to do for a woman.”
“Exactly how many man-lists do you have?”
He let my wrist go and ticked the items off on his fingers. “Fix her car. Grill her a steak. Kick the ass of any guy who makes her cry. And fuck her so hard she wakes up half-crippled.”
Suffice it to say that Kelly ticks all the boxes in this book. 😛
Erin, against her own better judgement, takes Kelly up on his offer. She knows if things between them are any good, she’s going to get her heart broken but she thinks the trade off of potentially earth-shattering sex (which she’s never had before) is worth it. There’s also the complication of them working together – but here, Kelly’s compartmentalisation skills work very much in their favor.
Part of the story is Erin stepping out of the role of caregiver to her grandmother and sister. She learns, through the course of the book to step back a little from her sister’s life and let her make some of her own mistakes. She will always be the over-protective sister, but she makes a deliberate decision to not pick up the pieces very time – even so much as making sure she searches for a 1 bedroom apartment so that her sister can’t move in – it’s something she’d do and Erin would let her. But, Erin also steps into her career, one ripe with future possibilities. For the first time she feels she’s “earning her way” rather than merely “surviving”.
Erin makes some mistakes with Kelly – prying where she’s not been invited and this derails their relationship (or whatever it is) for a time. But, because, at heart, Kelly is the honourable type, he’s there for Erin when she needs him – and thus illustrates once again the differences between him and the sleazy men Erin’s sister are drawn to.
It was nice to read a story about two ordinary working people – no billionaires in sight here. The problems experienced by Erin and Kelly seemed authentic.
The book ends on a hopeful HFN which I thought fit the story well. I think this pair can make it together but I was glad the book didn’t try to force the exchange of “I love you” and a full on HEA – it was too soon. I think the ending made the romance more satisfying than less.
It was a good book and if I had been in a better reading frame of mind, I’m sure I would have been even more engaged than I actually was.
“I changed your oil and rotated your tires.”
I tried my best to sound exasperated. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“Course I didn’t.” He grabbed his mail and unlocked the door, flipping on the lights as he stepped inside. “That’s what makes me so dreamy.”