3.75 crazy family dysfunction stars!
I have to say it’s not normally the side characters that get to me in a romance book, however Tessa Bailey set up all the siblings in such a wonderful way that I can’t wait to see what happens to all of them. The sibling dynamic was what kept me wanting to keep reading. I wasn’t as in to the romance *gasp* I know… so bad. However this family is so dysfunctional yet functional in their own way. I don’t think any one family works exactly the same way and it was interesting to see the vulnerability in each sibling in this book.
The main romantic characters in this book are Jasper and Rita. Rita is broken, maybe not the most broken character in the series but she is broken enough to not realize she deserves better. Rita thinks she will never measure up to her mother’s high standards. She has failed at everything she has done. Or so she thinks… I really enjoyed her steely reserve with her siblings. How she had to act like nothing mattered to her when it did more than she was letting on. After the restaurant burns down and she reveals to her siblings how her mother wanted them all to travel cross country to jump in a freezing river on New Years. Things never go according to plan when the Clarksons travel anywhere. Their SUV breaks down in the middle of Mexico and she is escorted back to town by the handsome, yet elusive Jasper things start to take a turn toward the better. Rita still fights her true feelings, she feels torn between Jasper and her family.
Jasper has a very dirty mouth.. I’m just going to put it out there I was super surprised at his useful interpretation of adjectives. I have never read a Tessa Bailey book and based on reviews she is known for her dirty talking alphas? Not going to lie I didn’t mind it, but they seemed to base their relationship about dirty talking was a little over the top, to the point that I started glossing over some of it. Jasper as a character is also flawed… he has been the towns man whore for way to many years. It is starting to wear on him so much that he took a break from it 2 years ago. That is until he meets Rita and wants to make a proper impression. Jasper as a man seems like he does have a good solid loving background. However him trying to impress Rita always seems to go sideways. Maybe because he’s actually not trying to get into her pants at every turn and it is confusing both of them.
Like I said I enjoyed the family dynamic more than I did the actual romance relationship. I just couldn’t connect to the characters the way I wanted to. Would I read the next book in the series definitely. I feel fully invested in this family and seeing them open up old wounds to begin healing.
Thank you Forever, NetGalley and Tessa Bailey for a review copy in lieu of my honest review.
Goodreads link here
The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambéed her culinary career beyond recognition, Rita Clarkson is now stranded in God-Knows-Where, New Mexico, with a busted-ass car and her three temperamental siblings, who she hasn’t seen in years. When rescue shows up—six-feet-plus of hot, charming sex on a motorcycle—Rita’s pretty certain she’s gone from the frying pan right into the fire . . .
Jasper Ellis has a bad boy reputation in this town, and he loathes it. The moment he sees Rita, though, Jasper knows he’s about to be sorely tempted. There’s something real between them. Something raw. And Jasper has only a few days to show Rita that he isn’t just for tonight—he’s forever.