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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Ask Me Nicely by Amy Andrews

I felt like I've been waiting for this book forever! Since falling hard for No More Mr. Nice Guy, I've been dying to know more about Sal and for her to get her happy ending.

Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Entangled - Brazen
Release Date: March 3, 2015

Veterinarian Sal Kennedy’s lost her mojo and is desperate to get it back. In fact, as the anniversary of the tragedy that destroyed her life looms large, she’ll do anything to erase the painful memories, including overdoing the tequila and making a pass at the most annoyingly inappropriate man on the planet. Fellow veterinarian Doyle Jackson is her flatmate and her employee and therefore strictly off-limits. Unfortunately, Doyle knows how to bring the goods and make her mojo sit up and beg.

Doyle is only too happy to oblige Sal in her hour of need, but then she demands more, and she’s perfectly happy playing dirty to get it. He wants more, too—more than just sex, that is, and it’s something Sal’s not willing to give. But Doyle is in this for the long haul now, and he’s prepared to fight even dirtier to get what he wants. Even if that means they both keep losing all their clothes in the process…

Having an emotionally damaged character can make or break a romance. Too much baggage and they can tire a reader out, too little and the reader won’t believe in their journey.

Sal Kennedy broke my heart in No More Mr. Nice Guy. As tough as she tried to come across, I knew she was hurting badly on the inside and I was right. Her story isn’t as plucky and happy go lucky as her brother’s. Sal carries the grief of losing her young family in one night. That event has changed her drastically and has given her some major phobias, but she still remains a woman worth fighting for and that’s what worked for me. She was enough of a challenge for Doyle without being over the top and not worth the effort. Sal needed to move past the tragedy that consumed her so that she could find some kind of happiness.

Doyle was the right mix of alpha male, caretaker and stubborn ox. His attraction to Sal was always more than just physical and I loved watching him take on the challenge of winning her over and helping her overcome her trauma. He was observant and considerate of her even before he knew her reasons for not wanting a relationship. I loved that as a man, he was comfortable with being the one who wanted “more” from Sal, and that he was confident in his own emotions. He wasn’t trying to play the “macho” card and deny that he wanted more from Sal. He was a solid hero, emotionally strong when Sal was an emotional wreck. I loved that balance between the two.

The mood in Ask Me Nicely alternated from upbeat and light to broody and dark, the latter coming mostly from Sal herself. For me, this kept the book from becoming to monotonous or stale. Sal had plenty of demons she had to face and while they were present, the story never wallowed in it. There were plenty of sexy scenes between Doyle and Sal, their chemistry was fierce but humorous at the same time.

Though not as light hearted as its predecessor, Ask Me Nicely stands on its own as a more somber story about loving, losing and moving on but at the same time it’s passionate, funny and entertaining. Sal may be standoffish but she’s a caring individual who doesn’t mind helping others but balks at anyone trying to help her, much less love her. She was complicated without being unlikable. Doyle was the emotional strength in this book which is a departure from the typical stoic male who is the one in need of love. I enjoyed it immensely.

Final Verdict: Not as light as the previous book but it's no less of a great read.

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