“It would be a mistake, you know.”
“To fall for me.”
UNIQUE, FUN, & SEXY!! I absolutely loved this book!!
The banter was awesome and the chemistry was sizzling. It was almost the opposite of a traditional romance — the hero and heroine were both openly set on NOT falling in love. He was all tortured and damaged but also cocky and charming (and loaded with tattoos!!) … Trust me, you want to meet him! 😉
One of the most refreshing things to me is finding a story that defies the norm. It’s like a breath of fresh air, and that is exactly what Darker Water was. It was a contemporary romance twist on the Frog Prince fairy tale. I’m a huge fan of taking a classic story and putting a new spin on it, so this was right up my alley.
The story follows a girl, Laney, who’d been burned one too many times by jerks who claimed to love her, and so she decided that she was done with love. Clearly the whole thing was a myth. A fairy tale.
“Princes don’t exist, happy endings never happen, and love was make believe.”
So she stopped looking for it, stopped believing it would ever happen. And that’s when Carson, her (very unlikely) prince, fell right into her life. Sure, he may have been charming, but his dark, painful past had left him bound and determined to never, ever, under any circumstances fall in love.
“Let me guess,” I said. “You’re different from every other guy, searching for the one woman who will complete you. You’re considerate, caring, and really want a chance to know who I truly am.”
“Not at all,” he said… “Definitely not. Dear god no. That’s not even close.”
But this was perfect for her! She may have sworn off love, but she hadn’t sworn off men, and when he proposed a one-night-stand of amazingness, she decided why not!! He was honest about it — this was sex only. No strings, no commitments, no gooey emotional feelings — just two people having a good time.
“I am one hundered percent screwed up and without a doubt the worst possible man a woman could ever have a relationship with… I’ve never broken anyone’s heart because I don’t stick around long enough to create any of those feelings.”
Their banter was GOLD!!! I was chuckling to myself non-stop and highlighting everything!!!
“You know that ‘Ribbed for her Pleasure’ doesn’t actually mean she’s all taken care of and you don’t have to do anything, right?” I asked.
“No one has put anything in my complaint box since I was fifteen. And I can explain that one — it was just a simple misunderstanding.”
So essentially the commitment-phobic guy who wanted nothing to do with relationships met the girl with a broken heart who no longer believed in love. It was a perfect match. The perfect arrangement. Until, against both of their wills, they slowly began to fall in love…. 😉
“If it could be anyone,” he whispered, “it would be you.”
I totally loved their “non-dating”. See this is why I said it was almost an anti-romance — they were so determined not to fall in love or date or develop feelings or attachments or anything, that nothing about this book followed the typical development of a normal relationship.
“Fuck no! Are you kidding me?”
“No whispering secrets in my ear.”
“Unless it’s something seedy or morally questionable that will make you blush.”
“No getting my jacket for me. Or walking me to my door after.”
“Does that stuff really still happen? In this century?”
“Not as much as I wish it did, actually.”
“I swear I’ll be nothing but rude to you the whole night,” he said. “In fact, I might accidentally forget that I brought you and you’ll have to find your own way home. You should bring some cab money just in case.”
The fun, flirty banter was definitely one of the highlights of the book for me, but I also really appreciated that there was a more serious side to it too. Carson’s past had genuinely damaged him and this got quite a lot of attention in the last half of the book. Oh, and this story was also quite hot!! Not erotic, but I was certainly fanning myself. It was all really just a great mix of everything.
“Carson, we can’t.”
“Shit.” He backed up and adjusted his pants, his clenched jaw expressing everything he was feeling. “Expect me to be inside you about four seconds after you say yes. And don’t make any plans for the rest of that week…
…I don’t want you to regret anything. So until I’m inside you, you’re allowed to change your mind. Even after I’m inside you, you’re allowed, although you might have to used small words and lots of hand gestures to get me to focus.”
This is a standalone with a sweet, happy ending. I do wish it had an epilogue, but since this is first book in a series of standalones, I’m sure we’ll see glimpses of Carson and Laney in the future. The next book will be about Carson’s brother — we got to meet him in this book and I’m very intrigued by his character and his story will be a contemporary twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale. Very exciting!! I’m so glad I discovered this series and now I can’t wait for the next Lauren Stewart book!
Rating: 4.5 stars. Standalone Adult contemporary romance.
SERIES OF STANDALONES
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