My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not going to lie, I struggled at times with this one because I didn’t really care about one of the MCs for at least the first quarter of the book.
I simply couldn’t get my head around why Shae would fall for Rowan at all and, unfortunately, only getting one POV from Shae didn’t help much in giving any kind impression of his pretty crappy a*hole of a boss.
Shae was fun from the off though, and he kept me reading when I wanted to put the book down and give up.
I also had faith in Christina Lee as an author because I’ve generally always enjoyed her stories and I knew she’d have a plan in hand to make me change my mind about Rowan.
And, as the story progressed, we get glimpses of the real Rowan, hiding behind his cold and aloof personality and you start to get snippets of information which reveals the hurt and the heavy walls he’s put up to protect himself.
One of the things I did love about this book from the beginning though was the depth of information Christina gives about the stylist career, something she knows plenty about, having been one herself in New York.
This brought a huge sense of realism to the day to day activities and banter going on between Shae, Rowan and their celebrity client Kendall. Who I also absolutely loved. She was such a warm and caring personality and it was her interventions and conversations with Shae that let him see behind Rowan’s barricades to the vulnerable man underneath.
There’s very much a slow burn vibe with this book, it’s not overly steamy – which works beautifully for the narrative – and I very much appreciated the step away from the traditional top/bottom roles as Rowan is a side (someone who doesn’t like penetration).
Christina also writes superb first kisses and this book’s one is no exception, it’s a truly tender moment where Rowan allows his guard to be broken.
Overall I had a positive experience once I’d got over the first quarter hurdle of really not liking Rowan’s attitude and the final part of the book, through the Third Act tension/break-up moment and into the HEA, was really well done.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review