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After ten years as an active duty Marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler’s had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he’s going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes.
Instead of the arrogant, over-privileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, lonely twenty-three-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend, to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him before Tyler’s carefully constructed façade turns to ash.
One thing, the blurb totally sold me – which was why I requested for the ARC. What can I say, the idea of a Marine who falls for a lonely 23-year-old was just too good to pass up.
And for the most part, I enjoyed this. Ram had a humorous tone to his narration and it was such a delight to read his determination not to fall for Tyler – which of course, simply failed. Spectacularly. Tyler was lovely and vulnerable and raised the protective side from Ram. If Tyler looked sad or like ‘a-kicked-puppy’, that just did things to Ram’s inside. It just made me smile. It was a nice balance because you could feel the angst pouring from Tyler.
The ending though … now THAT can be either the ‘break it’ or ‘make it’ for readers. The truth was, the ending was very abrupt. There were things left unanswered and it was at-most a HFN ending, which made the story feel, well, unfinished. I think it will definitely frustrate readers who prefer closure.
HOWEVER, Ms. Douglas also added this “sort-of-epilogue” titled “Author’s Note”, in which she explained her reasons and provided the ‘supposedly-real-ending’ to justify her decision. On one hand, I didn’t think it would give much satisfaction (it would seem like she was having a problem tying up her story and decided to take a short cut). On the other hand, I thought it was kind of a cheeky move to do, and well, it was a nice ‘real’ ending.
So your reading experience will highly be decided by how you took the ending. As for me, I was in a good mood when reading this. I ended up liking the cheeky move. It will probably be the most memorable thing when people ask me about this story in the future…