Series: The Southern Gentlemen #2
Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre : Adult |Romance
Page Count: 320
Synopsis : They’ll discover exactly what happens when you mix business with pleasure…
Bryan James’s job is on thin ice. His dad has threatened to boot him from his executive position at the family textile company–unless he can score a major contract with a popular design house. Bryan knows his best friend’s younger sister can help, but her terms and conditions are more than he bargained for.
Alexis Devers’s debut fashion line is a hit. But when Alexis’s publicist tells buyers that it landed her a wealthy and handsome fiance, Alexis needs to come up with a fake fiance–fast. Bryan’s offer to strike a deal is perfectly timed. She’s more than willing…as long as he plays the role. Luckily, Alexis would never do something as silly as falling for her brother’s best friend…(From Goodreads)
TW: Abusive relationship, on page sex, mention of the death of a sibling
*I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review*
(Spoilers are hidden)
I’m so sad. When I was approached to review this book I was SO excited, a romance with a mainly black cast, fake engagement, both ambitious and career oriented hero and heroine, it all sounds right up my alley. And for the most part this book did get the job done, it was a quick read with a cutesy romance but a few things in it unfortunately did not work for me so I ended up not enjoying it as much as I hoped.
My first issue with the book was the writing, it was not the kind I enjoy. To me, it read awkward a lot of the time, it needed it to be more polished and some sentences were redundant, for example, here’s a quote directly from the book, that uses two successive sentences to mean the exact same thing:
“Maxwell, on the other hand, didn’t look very happy. “Bryan, I know you better quit looking at my baby sister like that.” Maxwell appeared less than pleased.
Moreover, when reading smutty scenes…I do not like them to be overly flowery because that usually ends up sounding quite ridiculous, sex doesn’t need to sound poetic, and that unfortunately was the case here and sentences like “Surrendering to the glory of the lovemaking, she cried out as orgasm flung her soul skyward” and “His body stirred, and the temptation to awaken her rose along with that part of his anatomy. She’s given him access to her private paradise, and he was hooked” just made me cringe. The whole book isn’t definitely like this but there was a lot more of this than I would like.
Like I said Couldn’t Ask for More has some tropes I enjoy immensely, especially the fake engagement, I just live for when fake relationships turn real. What made me enjoy it even more in this book’s case is that they never hid their attraction to each other, they were always straightforward with each other sharing whatever they and whatever they feel with each other which means that the conflict was never based on miscommunication, which is something that infuriates me and is often associated with this trope. So I was actually happy and relieved when it wasn’t the case here. They talk to each other, open up to each other and their chemistry was just there. Eventhough I would’ve liked it to be a bit more showing not telling but it didn’t bothered me much.
Our heroine is Alexis, a very driven fashion designer who’s honest, confident and just gives off girl boss vibes. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I loved how eventhough she was a very career driven woman, she was also family oriented, she’s very close with her parents and siblings. Then we have the hero, Bryan, who works at his family textile company and is very passionate about his work as well as helping the troubled teens of his community, which is something I really liked about him, he’s sweet and charming and would do anything to make Alexis happy.
The fact that they communicate with each other and don’t really have any issues with each other must mean that the book is low on angst, right? Well, almost. The romance is very easy going, has all the happy feels for 80 or 85% of the book and then everything goes up in flames, there’s a conflict that starts out of nothing just for the sake of drama and that pretty much ruined the book for me. <Spoiler> A picture of Bryan kissing another woman leaks in the media before he gets a chance to talk to Alexis, she confronts him about it and he explains to her that the woman is the one who kissed him. She believes him but then proceeds to be mad about him having a past as a “womanizer” knowing that when they first met HE TOLD HER HE NEVER HAD A SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP, like? Why be mad about that now? <End of Spoiler>
All in all, Couldn’t Ask for More has a lot of strengths that were ultimately overshadowed by its weaknesses for me.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Couldn’t Ask for More ? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.