A stray puppy gets loose on a busy LA freeway bringing traffic to a halt and sparking romance between two unlikely people. I loved the premise for this story.
Sophie Reid is a make-up artist who likes to think of herself as a free spirit and is adamantly opposed to people in her life trying to change her. This is why she has a rule never to date a lawyer. Imagine her surprise when the first man to ever spark a true interest in her is none other than a lawyer. She does her best to find things to dislike about him and push him away. She discovers that besides the fact that he is persistent; he is also not like what she imagined.
Ryan Becker has finally reached that place in his life where he has fulfilled most of his life goals with the exception of one. He hasn’t found that special woman who he can love and with whom he can start a family. After a startling first encounter on the freeway helping a woman corral a lost puppy, he realizes that he might have been looking in the wrong places. This quirky lady with the yellow hair and the matching yellow VW bug captures his attention entirely. Too bad she wants nothing to do with him and won’t even give him her name.
Fortunately for both of them, Ryan doesn’t give up easily. Ryan persistently shows Sophie that she is worth it and so is a relationship. He seems to be succeeding until they find themselves on opposing sides of the union bargaining table.
As I stated previously, the premise was good and the plot was entertaining. I enjoy opposite attract romance stories. Ryan had to overcome his notion of what type of woman would make him happy and he does that fairly quickly, but Sophie’s growth arc is a bit more involved. She has to get past the same issue as Ryan, but her biggest problem isn’t that so much as she has been deluding herself for years about who she really is and thus, what she really wants or needs.
I confess that I didn’t have much patience with Sophie’s barriers because much of her stuff struck me as selfish. It was one of those things were Sophie tries to project ‘free spirit’ and that her only desire was for other people in her life to accept her as she was. I have no problem with that because I’m all for being accepted for who you are. My problem was that Sophie didn’t come across as a free spirit to me so much as a young woman who took on the outward trappings of what she saw as ‘free spirit’ only to insult and punish her parents. Ryan called her on it too. She was really just trying to desperately gain her parents’ attention and acceptance through negative shock value. She projected her father onto every man who held down a normal responsible job thus selling them short and coming across as almost cruel. She teased him with dirty talk having no intentions of following through when it turned Ryan on. I say almost cruel because at least she was honest with Ryan about what they were doing together. She just wasn’t being honest with herself which was what was sending mixed signals to Ryan when he could see through her words.
That all being said, it didn’t interfere with me hoping for Sophie to change her mind about Ryan, to see them get through all the barriers Sophie put up, meeting the families, and getting past the union negotiations.
I have to toss in there that one of the best scenes in the book which happened early on and cemented Ryan’s character for me was when the puppy christened his lap while at the vet. Ryan’s reaction just shouted ‘keeper’ to me. Maybe having a pet pee in a date’s lap should become a standard litmus test to reveal their true character, right?
This story would appeal to those who adore sweet animal characters and a sexy, contemporary opposites attract romance.
Their hands touched only briefly when the man handed over the dog, but she felt a jolt that zinged her to the tips of her wild berry toenails. The energy, decidedly sexual, was nothing like she’d ever experienced. It traveled up her arm and zapped her somewhere down low. She grasped the dog cum security blanket more securely and looked into the stranger’s midnight blue eyes for the first time.
He was looking at her intently, curiously, sizing her up. It was probably the hair, she figured, not her. Men like him did not look twice at women like her. Her multiple piercings and tattoos shocked a lot of conservative types. For just a moment she forgot the furry bundle wiggling in her arms. She felt an unexpected attraction to the man dressed in a starched button down shirt and pressed slacks. His whole demeanor screamed uptight lawyer or bean counting CPA – just the kind of guy she worked to studiously avoid.
The traffic started moving. To be safe, they both retreated to their cars, but Sophie could not shake the strong and instant connection she felt to the stranger.
He seemed just as bewildered. “Hey, Sunflower, I didn’t get your name.”
She smiled, trying to hide the shivers he caused. Her usual sarcastic rejoinder froze on her lips. “I’ll be fine. Thanks, really, thanks for your help,” Sophie said, her gravelly voice more husky than usual, deliberately leaving the question unanswered. She cut the exchange short, knowing that any further conversation with this guy, no matter how handsome his strong features were, no matter how well he filled out the conservatively cut clothes, was a bad, bad idea.
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