Taking half a star off for all the unnecessary waffling that goes on in the last quarter of the book. The story had such a strong start and so much sexual tension and explosive chemistry between the hero Jeremy and the heroine Lucy I don't understand why Dare thought it necessary to force all that tension between them with all the constant misunderstandings, unspoken feelings, and distance. The couple deserved so much better than that. I'm a big lover of angst when it's necessary and adds to the story, here it came off like foot shuffling and stalling.
Lucy is not the kind of heroine I usually root for or have patience for given her stubborn headed personality but she really grew on me and I ended up loving her. Damn I really loved this girl! Her free spirit and fearless courage to go after the things she want I found charming and admirable. Her eccentric tomboyish reckless personality made me love and sympathize with her, she cracked me up countless times in here. Her struggle to try and be a 'lady' in order to fit in and a proper wife I found myself relating to in many ways and endeared me to her. The whole Toby drama was a little bit infuriating but I liked that she realized it was a girlish infatuation and accepted it and went after who and what she wanted with open eyes and an open heart....Jeremy.
Oh Jeremy. *sigh* There's just something about black-haired ice blue-eyed guys that make me all...
Guh-guh-GUH. Weak in the knees and woozy in the stomach. Jeremy was no exception. His stony brooding personality yet incredibly vulnerable tender passionate heart made me fall for him instantly. Oh and the fact that he seemed to be the only one out of the 5 friends with sense and reasoning! lol Like a typical Dare hero (I'm sensing a pattern here) he carries some major guilt, shame and self-hatred over a tragic family loss. I thought his shame and self-recriminations while understandable were overblown in some areas like seriously get off the damn wood darling! but I'm just glad he had Lucy there to make him believe he deserved to love and be loved in return. He deserves a life of happiness and know what it's like to be loved and share emotions. Telling Lucy to stop loving him? Oh honey don't even. He made my heart ache with what he went through as a young lonely boy. :( I absolutely adored how Lucy fought for them, for her, for him and refused to give up on him. I have to say it was a refreshing change from the typical HR template.
As for secondary characters, I do want to read Miss Sophia Hathaway's book because she's a painter & a dreamer but I wasn't overly thrilled with her near the end of this. Like my friend Beanbag mentioned in her review of Sophia's book, she's selfish and I saw some of those selfish instincts come out more than once in here which irked me and raised some red flags for me. The whole letter fiasco for one and letting Lucy take the fall for it while she cowered behind her shiny new fiance. Didn't jive with me. And her whiny 'you're so lucky I hate you' teasing on Lucy's wedding day grated my nerves. I know it was meant to be chiding and playful but to me it came off self-centered and petulant. She reminded me of that one Debbie Downer in a group of friends who gives out insincere congratulatory wishes and is constantly giving you grief over your happiness. Like knock it off. You got your dreamy fiance now pipe down! And let's not forget that she jilts her said fiance at the very end to find her own happiness. You couldn't have done this before the announcement was made? The girl had plenty of time to cry off while she was busy moaning and groaning to Lucy that she wanted passion. Just saying. I hope she grows up some more in her own book.
Overall, great story and wonderful loveable couple!