FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Montlake Romance (via NetGalley).
Series: Lone Star Burn #2
Publisher: Montlake Romance on March 10, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Melanie Hanna has finally worked up the courage to travel to New York and tell an old flame that he’s the father of her young son. She’s done hiding and apologizing for her one impulsive night. When her best friend asks her brother to watch over Melanie, her emotional trip takes an unexpected and sizzling detour.
Charles Dery is at the top of his game, but all he can think about is bedding the woman he was asked to protect. When she’s almost killed, he takes what he’d been denying himself and discovers he’ll do anything to keep her—even break his own rules.
When it comes to love, two wrongs may just finally make a right.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
When single mother Melanie finally gets the guts to seek out her son’s father and let him know that he’s got a son, a million scenarios play out in her head. That one unplanned night changed her life forever, and while she doesn’t necessarily need a man by her side, she knows it’s not fair to keep her son from having a father.
Charles has always been defined by his success, his control over his career that’s allowed him to be one of the top in his business, but Melanie is the one woman he can’t seem to maintain his control around. His sister asked him to look out for Melanie in New York, but he soon realizes that looking out for her and falling for her go hand in hand.
I enjoyed Taken, Not Spurred so much that I jumped at the chance to get my hands on this one, but while it was a good read, and the story played out well, it wasn’t quite what I expected. Melanie was super-gruff in the first book. It was obvious that she was incredibly protective of and loyal to her boss Tony, and it goes without saying that single motherhood without the support of her family was tough on her. It soon became clear that she was a great person, but she never really softened up, so I was very interested in getting more of her story.
In Tycoon Takedown, we see Melanie reconnect as best she can with her family and finally head off in search of her child’s father — a man who till now hasn’t even known that Jace exists. Sarah encourages her to go and even calls her brother Charles to help and look out for Melanie while she’s in New York. Charles was a bit of a stiff shirt and a jerk in the first book, though his heart was in the right place, so he seems like just the kind of guy who can handle Melanie’s not-so-sunny disposition. But of course, they’re incredibly attracted to one another, and while getting involved wasn’t on either of their agendas, it’s bound to happen.
Since I never really completely warmed up to Melanie in the first book, getting inside her head was a bit of a shock. She wasn’t nearly as hardened as she’d previously been, and it seemed that every decision was an emotional one. Even the ones that seemed based on logic — like putting off relationships in order to be the best mother to Jace — were really all heart. That’s a great thing, of course, but it was such a change from her tough nut to crack persona of before that it kind of felt like I was meeting a completely different character. I never really warmed to Charles, either, but I think that’s more of a personal preference than a flaw in his character. The business-minded, uptight, designed suit kind of guy will probably never completely make sense to me.
I think the one thing that was really missing for me was the humor. While neither Charles nor Melanie was completely without laughs, Taken, Not Spurred was hilarious and a bit edgy, whereas the story of Melanie and Charles was more standard and didn’t really leave me cracking up at any point. Perhaps if I hadn’t cracked it open with those specific expectations, I would have been more invested. In any case, it’s a good read and a nice continuation of the lives at the ranch I fell in love with in the first book. And I absolutely loved the way the father thing played out in the end — not what I expected but entirely possible and probably more common than some of us think. Cardello’s writing is still solid, too, so I’m interested to see where the series takes me next.