tl;dr: bland romance about superhero-loving butt-kicking girl and doctor with a secret
Sometimes you read books that are just…fine. There’s nothing particularly amazing about them, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why you aren’t fangirling over them because there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. It just…is. And that was this book.
I wanted to love it, I really did. Former cop Maya Goodwin runs a superhero fitness class that incorporates some weapons and martial arts to increase kids’ self-esteem. She loves comic books and superheroes and has a giant poster of Captain America in her bedroom.
Alex Nolan, pediatrician and hemophiliac, sees her mall demonstration and wants to incorporate some of her class stuff with his daughter, Charli, who he didn’t know existed until recently. She also has symptoms of hemophilia, and he needs to make adjustments for her. They have lust at first sight and start to fall for each other. Maya is messy and pushy and Alex is more reserved.
While the smut scenes were incredibly great, the story itself dragged for me. I don’t know if it’s because the characters didn’t come alive for me, or if the story was missing that extra something. At first, I thought it was because it was too ‘fluffy’, a term we use in fanfiction to mean light and angst-free. While it was that, I’ve read some lighter romances that still have an interesting enough premise to keep me hooked. I didn’t feel like the tension between the characters was enough to hook me, although there wasn’t anything technically wrong with it.
This book suffered greatly from telling without showing. Maya was supposed to be a pushy, kick-butt kind of person, and that really doesn’t come across as well as the author hopes that it does. There is another book before this one, involving two friends that make an appearance here, and perhaps the building blocks for her character are started there. It did not transfer here, and I felt like I was being told more about Maya than I was seeing in the storyline.
The conflict and resolution did seem organic and not contrived, which is good. Maya shows up at his house when he had Rachel and Charli over for her birthday, uninvited, and Alex is compartmentalizing and she feels hurt over her exclusion. The near-end conflict in a romance novel is sometimes hard to get right, and it’s good here. In fact, the last 50 pages or so of the book are probably the best part.
This book is fine. I think in this case it was just a poor mismatch between reader and book, kind of like a non-starter of a relationship. We went on the date and we just didn’t click.
Find it at your local library!
Do you like single dads? Karen Templeton’s Back in the Saddle features a single dad of two boys.