This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Intermix
Released on December 31, 2013
Normally I’m not a huge fan of prickly people who take their anger out on the world and at the same time walk around in a thick cloud of denial. But for some reason instead of stepping around this book carefully and quickly, I decided there was something about it that begged for a chance.
Ronnie Clark is a hard, tough as nails bad mama with a filthy mouth, tight jeans, wicked-high heels and the very true rep of being the best artist for tattoos. Men give her those looks and she forcibly puts their eyeballs back in their head; women bristle and she laughs at their insecurities. Ronnie tries to play it cool and keep everyone at a distance other than just a handful of friends and even they aren’t allowed around the walls she’s erected. She grew up in a trailer park and got out with her childhood sweetheart and later her fiance’. She trusted him with her dreams and her heart when he enlisted and she worked her way through art school. But then came that call…he was cheating on her with someone in his unit. His best friend confirmed it. Valentine’s Day is coming up and it is the worst day on her calendar. In her book, it’s fake and just an excuse for guys who couldn’t show love the other 364 days to pretend. And how many times does she have to do sweetheart tattoos for those poor delusioned women and girls who think its forever?
Sgt First Class Kale Emerson is on a short leave that he really didn’t want to take. He has no family to come home to and he lives for his guys and doing his job to look after them. His reluctance changes when he gets an eye full of the luscious female tattoo artist with the cold eyes and the sassy mouth. And those heels? He has definitely plans for those heels. He isn’t fooled one bit that she’s disinterested. He knows the score and he makes sure any woman he’s with does too. He doesn’t do relationships. He won’t put a woman through it when he’s married to the military and he doesn’t want to deal with all the drama and fallout that comes with attachments. Ronnie intrigues him and becomes a challenge. He pursues her and eventually wears her down into their Valentine’s agreement- just the physical, no attachments, etc. It doesn’t take long before he realizes that he might want more- he wants a real Valentine’s Day with Ronnie.
This was one of those stories that I knew what I was getting into when I started which is good because Ronnie comes across pretty abrasive. She goes way beyond rude. The thing is, I was okay with this because the author did a fabulous job of creating a character who convinced me that Ronnie was really just so full of anger and pain that she was begging for a big, handsome white knight to rescue her. She even calls Kale her Captain America because of his clean cut superhero bod. Her tough girl thing doesn’t fool Kale in the least and the silly man is challenged to get past it while at the same time he thinks its adorable. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he finds her frustrating too when she’s busy imitating a mule, but he doesn’t give up- he is truly her Captain America. The process of watching Ronnie grow and change was slow, painful and yet so worth it and watching Kale finally have someone to replace the loneliness of having nobody was beautiful. Now it didn’t hurt that these two were so all-fired scorching hot together.
I have no complaints about plot, pace, characters or story development. I was happy to see this is a series and minor characters will get a chance because I want more from this author now. It was good stuff through and through.
On a side note, I loved that the story very vividly showed what it is like for those who have attachments with people serving in the military. Sacrifices happen on the home front too and like Ronnie, I honor the families of those who are deployed in harm’s way.
This was a good strong military romance story that’s more of a novella in length. I recommend this one for those who enjoy their heroine with a lot of sass and their hero tough enough to handle such a woman even while showing her that he can really be her hero (and cue Enrique Iglacias singing ‘Hero’).
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.