Okay kids! Fasten your safety belts, its going to be a bumpy ride. We meet Mad Madison O’Shay, sister of the hero, in book one, ‘The Officer Says I Do’. She’s gutsy and sweet and she has her eye set on a certain Marine officer who happens to be her brother’s best friend and the most moody, but delicious man she knows. Jeremy Phillips is equally attracted to Mad, but he’s determined not to let her get under his skin for reasons of his own (yeah, good luck with that, buddy). They shared a kiss at the end of the first book and this is now their story.
Do read the first book before trotting along to this one or otherwise you’d be clueless much of the time. I was so eager to find out what came after the kiss for these two. Talk about opposites attracting! I’m beginning to think Jeanette Murray is the queen of making these work.
The story follows along most of the time with Madison and Jeremy’s back and forth antics of her trying to break through his barriers to their relationship faster than he can put them up or rebuild the existing ones. Mad is one scheming lady, but she has met her match. She is disheartened at times that she might not persuade the man to give in to his obvious feelings, but she keeps trying.
Jeremy is a Captain in the Marine Corps. He has served ten years with three tours of duty in the sandbox under his belt. He is at the point where its time to re-up his papers or get out. For most, this is a simple thing- sign the papers and get ready for the next duty assignment, but for Jeremy it is a heart-wrenching decision (my heart- okay and maybe his too though he’s a tough marine). Jeremy’s career in the marines has been his dad’s dream for him and not his own dream for himself. He wants to be a writer, but he can’t stand the idea of disappointing his dad. Then there’s his feelings for Madison. He tries to suppress them for a few reasons- she’s Tim’s sister and guys keep their hands off their best friends’ little sisters and she’s got her own Navy career and he has no plans to share his life, have a family, and leave a kid to the lonely miserable existence he had. His reasons for keeping Mad at arms length make perfect sense to him, but he’s not doing well at it. He truly wants to be with her even if he can only promise a short time.
I don’t want to spoil it, but naturally things do happen to change the status quo and break up the stalemate between the two forcing an ultimatum situation. It is a romance so things are sort of inevitable, but the means of getting there certainly weren’t.
I find those plots where there are those back and forth situations of will they or won’t they tricky things. The author has to be so deft at keeping the balance between the right amount of frustration build up and too much for my patience. The right amount of irritation with the protagonists and that bit too much that makes me hate them. By half-way through, I had worked out what had to happen to make things work for these two, but I was also aware that things were not in place yet for that to happen. It says how much I enjoy these characters that I was still eager to keep going with the author’s chosen pace to find out how she got the characters where they needed to be for them to break out in happy forever kisses and smiles.
The story was Jeremy and Madison’s, but it reprised the roles of the fab characters from the first book. Tim and Skye along with Dwayne are big parts along with Skye’s mysterious cousin. The pain in the butt Colonel Blacktower is as annoying to Jeremy as he was to Tim. I loved the introduction to Madison’s loveable best friend Matthew her fellow nurse at the naval hospital. Matthew totally stole the scene when he was in it.
This story doesn’t touch much on the military world background leaving the focus on Jeremy and Madison along with a few side scenes involving the others. The plot for the next book is introduced for Dwayne and the mysterious Veronica and I think Skye is going to announce something to shake up Tim’s well-ordered world once again. Looking forward to book three!
All in all, it was a fun, satisfying read between two characters that are scorching hot when Jeremy gives in to Mad’s maddening schemes. Recommend to those who love Contemporary military romance.