There’s been a lot of internal screaming while I was reading this book. And ache. Because it’s so good. Melissa Brayden is an automatic read for me at this point, and I didn’t even glance at the blurb before opening her latest book. So it came as a very good surprise that, as a romance writer, she created a character who is some sort of a book snob and won’t showcase a book in her bookstore because it’s a romance novel. « I’d read a handful in my teens and enjoyed them well enough, that is, until I outgrew them. » Yeah, Hannah Shephard is one of those. Brilliant idea. And so of course she had to fall for the author of said book, Parker Bristow, because how could she not?
Then Brayden did something I definitely didn’t expect: she stopped everything right there.
I guess even smart people can be stupid sometimes. I mean, Parker and Hannah get along really well, the chemistry is out of this world and they go on to get other girlfriends? What are you thinking, people?! That’s me, screaming in my head. I want to be clear that I wasn’t screaming at the author (that has happened with others, never with Brayden) but at the characters. Their behaviour was believable, and they both had their reasons – and baggage – to act the way they did, I simply didn’t want them to.
Also, I don’t do conflict. I hate it. It makes me want to throw punches and that’s not me. That weekend at the resort? Argh.
So it’s fair to say I had a lot of feelings. Which, in truth, couldn’t make me happier. I loved this book. If I didn’t have so many yet-unread books on my list, I’d probably read it again, like right now. I love Melissa Brayden’s books, I love the way she writes, I love the characters she creates (I think I’ll always be a little bit in love with Jessica Lennox), I love that some are lesbians and some – like Hannah – are bisexual and it doesn’t feel artificial, I love the wit and the quirkiness, and, most of all, I love the dialogue. I’ve rated every Brayden book I’ve read (I still have a few to discover) 5*, which I’m willing to admit is, in some cases, probably a tad overrated, but it’s all because of all these feelings and the dialogue. I’m a sucker for playful banter and heartfelt declarations of love, and Melissa Brayden writes both (and more) splendidly. Hence the 5*, once more.