FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley).
Series: New York #1
Publisher: Loveswept on August 5, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
May is the last woman you’d expect to react with violence to a marriage proposal, but when her pro football player boyfriend delivers the most insulting proposal ever, that shrimp fork she’s holding comes in handy. Now she just needs to get out of New York City and get back home to Wisconsin. But in the chaos of the media’s descent on her now ex-boyfriend’s apartment, she’s mugged, left with only five dollars, no friends nearby, and no way to reach anyone back home.
Ben’s not interested in conversation or the fish-out-of-water girl in the bar, but she can’t seem to take a hint. But when his friend questions Ben’s ability to simply be nice to people, Ben gets curious. Finding out this strange girl’s story gives him the perfect testing ground. Offer to help her, try to be a decent person, and see what happens. He just doesn’t expect to fall in love with her.
I’m not sure what it was, but partway through the story, it felt like things began to drag. It really doesn’t make sense, since the writing’s pretty great, and the whole thing takes place over only a few days. Perhaps it was the loss of drama in the middle. In the beginning, there was her desperation for help and the meeting of a rather brusque man, and at the end there was some really awesome drama as they realized their feelings and dealt with May’s family. In the middle, though, it was just all getting to know each other, and while that was absolutely necessary to the story, it was a little anti-climactic for a while.
Despite that strange lull, I really enjoyed the story, especially all the craziness there at the end.
May was sweet and tried to be positive about pretty much everything, but in doing so, she denied herself a certain degree of freedom. It was easy to see how things got that way for her; after all, she was leading what many would say is the perfect life, and while her boyfriend might not have been ideal for her, he actually was a nice guy.
Ben was just plain interesting. He was closed off and rather broody, and he didn’t really understand why. It’s not like he was necessarily emotionally damaged — at least not in the way that seems to be standard in romance novels. But just like May wouldn’t allow herself to be the least bit adventurous, Ben wouldn’t allow himself to have hope. In that way, they both sort of trapped and limited themselves.
Their romance was fun to watch as well. May found it easier to come out of her shell around Ben, and he didn’t have so much trouble opening up, though he resisted pretty adamantly for a while. They didn’t fit the mold I expected, and that made them so much more interesting, since I couldn’t really predict how either of them was going to react from one moment to the next.
The best part, though, was the end. Finally back in Wisconsin, Ben and May found themselves both in a kind of comedy of errors, and the hilarity that was her family had me laughing, even through the angst. Her mom, while pushy, was still likable, probably because it was clear that she really did want the best for both of her daughters, including their happiness. She just couldn’t quite see what that should be. And while her father didn’t have much to say, his silence was perfect entertainment.
All in all, this was a fun read with some great characters, none of whom felt like the carbon copies I normally find in romance novels. Truly has all the classic elements of a good romance, but it’s just different enough that it stands out on its own.