3 out of 5 Stars
Twenty-nine-year-old Nellie is coming off a difficult divorce and wants to let loose and have some fun for once in her life. Twenty-two-year-old boxer Abel seems like the perfect candidate for the job. Even with friends warning them of the dangers of their agreement, Nellie and Abel decide that being “friends with benefits” is the way to go. Each of them swears to keep things casual since Nellie is far from ready for any type of relationship.
Feelings start to get in the way, along with paparazzi photos thanks to Abel’s upcoming big fight. And when Nellie accepts a semi-date from someone she works with, everything spirals out of control. Abel takes a chance on admitting his feelings because he can’t imagine living without Nellie, but even when she reciprocates, it’s not the end of their troubles.
I’ll start by saying that this book is hot, just like Abel. Who wouldn’t love a sexy boxer who loves his mother?
That being said, several times during the first half of this book, I wanted to put it down and be done with it. The start of the relationship between Nellie and Abel is a little tired. Their “friends with benefits” status is established immediately, and when each of them develops feelings for the other they continually miscommunicate or get bad information from their friends. I was surprised that the first time Nellie felt like Abel was “making love” to her the author told us just that. Not one single moment of that scene was shown. Of all the steamy scenes that could have been skipped, that was the one I would have liked to see.
The second half of the book was more action-packed and much more enjoyable to me. If I could have skipped over ridiculousness of the first half, I would have been much happier. But even with using the first half of the book to establish the relationship, it still was missing something. Although part of a series, this book is supposed to stand on its own, yet it felt like the author jumped right into things and expected that the reader had read the previous book. I still don’t know what Nellie and Abel were doing on a cruise in the beginning or how long it had been since Nellie’s divorce. I assume the author set up that information at the end of the last book, as she set up information on another character at the end of this book.
I also didn’t love the author’s writing style. It was fine for the most part, but early on it seemed like a lot of information was repeated, as if the reader would forget that Nellie’s divorce was horrible or she only wanted to let loose a little. I’m a fan of “less is more,” and there were a ton of words that could have been cut out (especially from the first half of the book) to make a greater impact.
There were quite a few formatting and grammatical errors in the book as well. It wasn’t necessarily enough to distract from reading, but enough for me to be constantly rolling my eyes.
Overall, the concept was good but the execution lacking.