One Sexy Ride by Vivian Arend

Grade: C+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Thompson & Sons #2
Published: 6/19/14
Reviewed by Anne
156 pages
Len is the quiet brother in his family.  He’s never had a serious relationship and doesn’t want one.
Janey is an outcast in her  family.  Instead of going away to college after high school, she’s learned her trade and is becoming well known in her home town for her remodeling and fix-it all skills.  She’s always had a crush on Len, her best friend’s quiet older brother.  She’s flirted with him for years.  She’s a little confused when he finally decides he’s ready to date her, but she’ll go for it!
I have such conflicted feelings about this story. I loved the characters and liked the story, but lots of details bothered me.  On the good side, Len may not talk a lot, but when he does, it’s good – Len is a dirty talker!  Janey is confident in herself, and I enjoy reading characters like her.  Even though she was forging a path different than the rest of her family and what they wanted her to do, she knew she was good at what she was doing and she was enjoying it.  She always had a thing for Len, but it wasn’t embarrassing for either of them.  Just feelings he never returned. They were friends and neither felt bitter about that.
I had two big problems with the story.  The first was that I was confused on a few different plot points.  For example, early in the story, Len decides he’s ready to date  Janey, but he never really says why.  Later he mentions (not to Janey) that  he heard she’s going to be moving out of town, so he’s planning a short term relationship with her.  When I read that, I wondered if she really was planning on leaving town.  I think it mentioned it in the book blurb, but I tend not to trust them.  Janey herself didn’t mention those plans, and Len never discussed it with Janey, so I wondered if it was gossip or an assumption he’d made.  It wasn’t until quite late in the book that the subject was cleared up, and it was unsettling to be left hanging like that.
Another example of this confusion is that Len makes a major revelation about himself to Janey, and it caught me so off guard that I initially wondered if he was kidding.  When it turned out to be true later in the story I was almost surprised.  Probably either of these situations alone wouldn’t have bothered me, but to have this confusion as a reader more than once makes me think it wasn’t just me.
Unfortunately, I also had a very big problem with what was at the heart of Len’s issues.  I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say I don’t think his big traumatic thing would have happened like it did.  When I read it, it just pulled me out of the story, and made me think “This author has never been in this situation.”  Either that or her experiences were light years away from anything I’ve seen.
So, I had some issues with the story, and despite great sex scenes and characters, it was just ok for me.  I’ll read more by Vivian Arend, though.  I’m curious to hear if anyone else has read this book if they had the same experience, or if it was just me!

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