This book made me smile and put Ruthie Knox on my short list. I’d rank her up there with Jill Shalvis, Victoria Dahl, and Sarah Mayberry. A sweet and hot romance with some humor thrown in. I really want to go buy her first two books that I missed.
Ellen is a hard working, divorced single mom of a 2 year old son. She’s also the sister of a very famous singer, Jamie. Jamie unintentionally turned Ellen’s life upside down when he started dating her next door neighbor, Carly. Even after Jamie and Carly broke up and Jamie left town, the press remains very interested in Carly. When the paparazzi continues to be aggressive, Jamie hires a security team to take care of Carly and Ellen. Caleb is head of the security team and very thankful for the job. He doesn’t expect that neither woman will want his protection. And he doesn’t expect to be so attracted to Ellen.
I thought this book would be about a forbidden attraction between Ellen and Caleb. Thankfully, it’s not. Pretty early in the book Caleb decides it’s ok if he has a thing with Ellen. Also pretty early in the book he decides he doesn’t just want sex, he wants more. So they negotiate. They negotiate about what security provisions Ellen is willing to make, and they negotiate about what kind of relationship Ellen is willing to have. I really enjoyed their negotiations. I really enjoyed almost everything about this book!
Ellen and Caleb both are intelligent and not afraid to apologize when they realize they’re in the wrong. And there are times when they are in the wrong. They aren’t perfect, and that was nice to read. Ellen especially has a lot to overcome as she comes back to life after divorcing her emotionally abusive husband. She struggles to not depend on a man and stand on her own. I really appreciated her journey and felt for her.
Rock star brother Jamie and neighbor Carly have a great story. I think if their back story had been filled out they could have carried a book on their own. It certainly added a lighter side to the book when things got heavy between Ellen and Caleb. Carly’s grandma was a hoot, too, but I think I’ve read too many books in a row that had an outspoken elderly woman character. They start to all blend together.
My only complaints about the book have to do with Ellen’s son, Henry. I thought his Yoda-style speech pattern was annoying, and his confusion of pronouns felt unrealistic to me. I could be wrong, though, I’m not a speech expert. I did LOVE that he called Caleb “Cabe”. Very sweet.
Overall, my small complaints were handily outbalanced by all of the things I loved in this book. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to read more by Ruthie Knox!