Year of the Category Challenge
From the back cover ~
Safe, steady . . . and unsatisfying - that pretty much summed up Maggie Stanton's life. Then a stranger stirred her imagination until she blushed, a stranger who made Maggie do the unimaginable: take a risk. . . .
Shockingly, the man who'd compelled her to forsake predictability for passion was the full-grown version of her childhood best friend. Only, this Matthew Stone wanted marriage, not a walk down memory lane.
Why the two covers? According to Ms. Brockmann's website, the second cover with the bedroom scene was the cover used to promote the book but when published the first cover with the creepy pinkish house was used for the book. Personally I like the bedroom scene cover better. The book is suppose to have an element of mystery surrounding the hero but the pink house just doesn't do it for me. I find it kind of boring so maybe it does work since I also found the story kind of boring.
I literally slogged through this book. Picking it up, putting it down. Trying to forget where I put it only to have it show up right next to me. Damn, I hate when that happens. :) It's a short book, only 186 pages. I kept thinking, this is Brockmann, I like her books and therefore I'll like this one eventually. Never happened. Maybe it was the New England setting. But no, I've read books set in New England that I've enjoyed. Maybe it was the technical aspect of the writing. Nope. Brockmann can write and no major editing problems that I saw. The plot - eh, it was a fairly standard plot. High school friends become lovers. I like that particular trope. So that just leaves the characters...
Maggie Stanton is the heroine. A heroine who lets just about anyone and everyone walk all over her. I could say she lost her backbone years ago but I'm not sure she ever had one. I know it sounds harsh but she just bugged the crap out of me. I do have to give her props for sticking up for herself when it came to the community theater. Her mother knew better than to have Maggie's pre-engagement party on the day the local community theater held their auditions. Of course this party was for a man that Maggie doesn't want to marry but she still hadn't gotten up the nerve to tell her parents or the non-fiance.
Matt Stone - former town bad boy who went away and came back Mr. Goodie-Two-Shoes. He doesn't smoke anymore; okay that's fine because the only hero I've ever found attractive that smoked is Roarke. And he only does it occasionally. Back to former bad boy Matt - he doesn't drink anymore, at all. He's into lots of excercising and he's a vegan. Talk about complete 180 on this guy. Why the big change? Don't know. He's all "mysterious" about the changes. Just that he was seriously ill and it made him change his life. We do find out by the end of the book what happened to cause the drastic changes and it all made sense but by then I just didn't care .
The main problem I had with this story is that I just couldn't drum up any concern for Maggie and Matt. I didn't care what happened to them, if they got a HEA, etc. Things did get a bit more interesting once they got together and Maggie stood up to her family but even then it was like the book was just going through the motions and their love story was just a typical story. Nothing really to make it stand out. The scenes concerning the play, which they both tryout for, were dull. I don't find live theater and the goings on very interesting so it could totally be my hang up. And as for Matt - I'm just a lover of bad boys and while I like reformed bad boys, I don't like them totally reformed - a little bad is not a bad thing. :)
So this book just proves to me that I need to stick to Brockmann's Troubleshooter series which I'm still reading even after the bump in the road know as Into the Fire. I did like Dark of Night (review here) but then I was just fine with the pairings that went on in that book.