Group of big, hot guys who just happen to be part of a warm, fun-loving family and a trio of feisty gal pals next door from different backgrounds and going different directions in their careers suddenly become aware of each other. Sounded like the makings for a fun sexy romp with some sweet and spice sprinkled in so I had to try the new series and a new to me author. Though it wasn’t a complete triumph, it definitely had some good points.
The story opens when Flynn is over babysitting his nine year old nephew, Colin while his widowed older brother Mike is out on a job. He doesn’t mind and loves his nephew. The McCauley family of parents and four brothers are close and they do anything for family. That being said, he wonders why the heck Mike didn’t tell him about the three hotties renting hid parent’s old house next door when he goes over to take care of a plumbing job. For a man who appreciates women, he was struck nearly dumb by the temperamental red head who had a horrific day at work and swore off men at the top of her lungs to her quiet roomie that bares an uncanny resemblance to Mike’s dead wife. Maddie’s feisty refusal to take crap off her former boss and her fiery good looks stick with Flynn so that he’s conniving his family into a barbeque just to get more time with her even after Mike warns him away from the neighbors.
Maddie is so embarrassed by her meltdown in front of the hottie there to fix their plumbing, but her boss wanting to exchange sexual favors for the design account she wants, her epic ‘I quit’ declaration and her boyfriend ending it just pushes her over the edge. No more boyfriends and she’s done with men she tells her starched up bossy cousin Vanessa who is an accountant that enjoys running everyone’s life and their quieter friend, Abby who is an erotic romance writer. So why does every encounter with Flynn leave her wanting to jump him and chuck her own rules. And why does it seem that her mother suddenly has all this sage unwanted advice about Maddie having relationship hang-ups? She eventually agrees to a secret casual fling with Flynn that is scorching hot and nothing like she’s experienced before. Now suddenly she’s in danger of falling deeper and harder than she ever imagined with a man who doesn’t do serious or committed.
Alright so this had a lot of stuff that I found appealing. I liked this adult version of the boy next door, the family togetherness, the separate sets of brother camaraderie scenes and the same type scenes with the gals across the fence, the sex scenes were off the hook caliente- Holy Hannah! Flynn was a masterful lover. There were a few narrators and I enjoyed the perspectives of the side characters as much as the main narrators. And little Collin was a total scene stealer. Loved the dynamic of the three generations represented in the story. It was fun anticipating what was coming because of how much Flynn loved his rep as a studly player and the fun of the chase and knowing that Maddie was going to lead him on quite the merry one because of her issues.
So much was good, but there was some lack in the story development. It opened well and it closed well, but it stalled out in the middle. It was the case of too much of a good thing so to speak. Erotica lovers should pounce on this one. It was loaded with scene after scene of scalding sex. Unfortunately for my taste, I needed more story development and more character development to balance out the story more.
Much of the middle of the book was Maddie and Flynn with the hots for each other, refusing to deal with what was developing between them, denying what was going on to the others who weren’t fooled for a minute and things just generally not moving forward for some time. By then, I was tired of Maddie who was all over the place with her wants and emotions. She didn’t impress me for much of the story and I just wanted them to settle the differences already. Flynn was more appealing and grounded even though this thing with Maddie knocked him on his butt from the moment he saw her. The surrounding group of family and friends and their interactions with them was the more interesting part of the story for me and what kept me reading a few times.
All in all, I liked what this one was setting up for the series and I like where it’s going. I liked the backdrop of every day people in the same ordinary neighborhood. I loved the family and friends interaction. But I would like to see a steadier story progression and evidence of romance development in the book that may need to sacrifice some sexy scenes to make this happen.
As to whom I would recommend this for, definitely contemporary erotic romance lovers, but also contemporary romance peeps who are okay with things dumping on a whole lot of spice to the romance.
My thanks to Sourcebooks and to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.