Blood Is Thicker Than Ink. . .
Norah O'Malley has been alone for a long time. It's been ten years since her father and four brothers shipped her off to be raised by her aunt. Seven months since she's seen the guy who got her pregnant--who still doesn't know. And it's two weeks since she came home to Chicago and discovered none of her family wants to talk--or listen.
She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop seven months pregnant and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. She can't even see her socks. But Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and if he has a past, well, so does she. Even more, Kai knows how to listen so that Norah feels just a little less alone . . .
All the chemistry in the world can't help Norah make her decisions. And no sizzle of desire will make Kai believe in happy endings. But a little time with someone who understands might just change everything . . .
In the middling first entry in Schroeder's For Your Love series, 22-year-old Norah O'Malley is pregnant and back home in Chicago after 10 years away. Although she still hasn't told her ex-boyfriend that she's pregnant, she's immediately attracted to someone new: Kai, a quiet but strong ex-con who owns a tattoo shop. Kai tries to deflect Norah's attention, even though he feels the sizzling chemistry between them, but Norah won't give up, especially once he offers her a much-needed job as a caretaker for his mom. Meanwhile, Norah needs to decide whether she wants to place her baby for adoption. Kai's small gestures of kindness convince Norah that there is more to him than his gruff exterior, but her obsession with him, a selfish, no-nonsense, and sometimes nasty man, is difficult to comprehend. Furthermore, despite her pronouncements of independence, Norah comes across as passive and immature. Steamy sex scenes may appease some readers, but this lackluster entry is far from satisfying.
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A more unlikely pair could not be imagined.
⭐ ⭐ Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ⭐ ⭐
Judging a Book by it's Cover:
With foreheads touching, the models seem to portray an intimate desperation. Background muddies up the composition slightly, Font choices are fine, title has a subtle pop. I chose this book due to previous books read and enjoyed from this author, hoping I'd like it as much.
Kai was very difficult to like at first and it really took me quite a while to warm up to him. He has a past which haunts him, enough luggage to bring down a commuter jet, socialization issues, and lacks a strong verbal presence. He likes his space and all aspects of his life should remain separate from the others. His quiet and peace is shattered when he has to move his mother in while she recovers from having a knee replacement. But with his busy and crazy work schedule, he needs help taking care of his mom.
Norah is pushy and bossy, but not always in a bad way. After being away from her family for ten years, she returns... very pregnant. Not outing the absent baby-daddy causes a ton of tension in the family home between her and the men (her four older brothers and dad). Needing an out, she tries to find a job, even in her condition. These two slowly develop a relationship, albeit grudgingly on his part. It was fun to read as she would wiggle closer and he'd just freeze up, unsure what to do next. Lani was a fun, charismatic character. Many of the secondary characters were enjoyable. Dialogue was good. The cast interaction was entertaining. The plot had plenty dimension, moderate dynamics, and just enough depth. There were a few emotional points in it - but as an adoptee (closed adoption) and a birth mother of an adoptee (open adoption), parts of the process and aftermath as written got to me more than it might others. There was not a lot of conflict to overcome, mostly self-inflicted issues that could have / should have been taken care of long ago. The sex scenes were very "Dick and Jane" feeling in their narration, no warmth or emotion was conveyed to make it feel real. There was very little predictability. In fact, throughout the book I'd expected certain things to happen when, in fact, nothing ever did. There were a scant few minor surprises however. The ending felt awful sudden and rushed, but it at least provided an implied HEA and sneak-peek into the following O'Malley's book.
Overall, I'm still a bit on the fence over this one, but think I'd recommend it to others.
Rating: [PG13+/R-] ~ Score: 3.9 ~ Stars: 4