Eric Hernandez is the bad boy of every schoolgirl’s fantasies—and every mother’s nightmares. But after serving time for manslaughter, he’s ready to turn his life around. He just needs a chance to prove himself as a professional tattoo artist. The one thing that keeps him going is the memory of the innocent beauty he loved and left behind.
Meghan Young’s world isn’t as perfect as it looks. The preacher’s daughter is living a lie, especially now that Eric is back. Tougher, harder, and sexier than ever, he might be the only person she can trust. But there’s no telling what he’ll do to protect her if he learns the truth, and that’s a risk Meghan won’t let him take. And yet, back in the arms of the troubled boy with the artist’s soul, Meghan can’t help surrendering to the man he’s become.
The premise of the book peaked my interest, I mean who doesn’t love an ink’d up bad boy looking to turn his life around and get the girl he’s always loved? And having never read anything by the author I figured I’d give it a go and possibly find a new author that would rock my world. Unfortunately no rocking occurred and the book just fell flat in a lot of ways for me.
Meghan and Eric just didn’t do it for me as individuals or as a couple. Meghan was nice enough, loved her family, wanted to be a good student, but I didn’t feel a spark from her. There wasn’t much that really had me invested in her as a character, the only descriptive word I can use is bland, and any hope of her changing my mind was shattered about the 40% mark. I empathized with the turmoil she was going through at that time, but considering what she and her friend had been trying to achieve not long before that..I was just done.
Eric, well much like with Meghan I just couldn’t connect with him. I understood that he had just gotten out of prison, wanted to stay on the straight and narrow and actually does a pretty good job of it most of the time, but he doesn’t really evolve in the story. He’s basically in stasis the entire time. The only time I ever felt any sort of passion from him was when it came to art. That’s when he really came alive on the page, but unfortunately it didn’t work it’s way into other parts of his life.
Since I didn’t connect with either Eric or Meghan it comes as no surprise that I felt the same way about their relationship. I kept being told how strongly the felt about each other before Eric got sent to prison and that they still had this huge connection, but never saw it or felt it. There was a part of me that wanted some flashbacks of their time together before he went away that weren’t about sex so I could see why they were drawn to each other. And even in their moments of passion, both physical and emotional, just didn’t do it for me.
This book really had so much potential based on the subject matter that it touched on, but it just never kept my interest because it felt like things were being tossed out there but not fully realized or completed. The secondary characters were decent enough and of the bunch I liked Jenny the best, go figure that she was also the youngest of the bunch. But I will say that Kelsea had me reacting, both in a good way and bad way, more than anyone in the story.
The Bottom Line: I wanted to like this one, but it just didn’t work out for me.
~ ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Jill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen novels, including the Aftershock series with HQN. She lives in the San Diego area with her husband and daughters.