Brynn Ahearn is gorgeous, fun, and not just a sports nut but an NBA camera woman whose work takes her all over the country. In other words, she’s a walking male fantasy—or at least, she would be if she weren’t so busy keeping the guys at bay. The fact is, with Brynn’s con-man father fresh out of jail and back in her life, dating is just too risky. Haunted by memories of her past, she couldn’t ask any man to gamble with his life for love—even one as addictive as Ford Meyers.
Ford can’t believe his luck when he walks into a bar in Chicago’s Wicker Park and gets an eyeful of Brynn, the one that got away. After the gorgeous redhead blew him off in college, Ford got on with his life and made his fortune as a bestselling game designer, but he’s never found a woman who compared to Brynn. No stranger to success, Ford is used to getting what he wants—and after a scorching stolen kiss, what he wants is a second shot with his first love. To get it, he just has to convince her that he’s man enough to take on the past she can’t leave behind.
Now and Then, the third book in the Dare to Love series, is a sweet and sexy second chance romance. I absolutely loved Ford Meyers, right down to his geeky but endearing weakness for vintage gaming t-shirts. It’s the Ms. Pac-Man t-shirt that first attracts his attention when he meets Brynn for the second time–you’ve got to respect a guy who can appreciate the classics. 😉
Though I didn’t *quite* love it as much as I did book 2 in the series (Touch & Go), Now and Then was an enjoyable read, if a bit uneven. The first third or so was great–their reconnection was so much fun to read, all swoony with sweep-Brynn-off-her-feet moments galore. (And plenty of steam. Ford’s apparently one buff game designer with some stellar…skills.) I really did have to wonder–as did Brynn’s bestie, Jet–how exactly she could possibly delude herself into thinking that their relationship was just going to be a temporary thing, though. It so clearly wasn’t for either or them, no matter what they had agreed to ahead of time.
And then Brynn’s secret past reared its ugly head…
I don’t blame her for being afraid, or even for dumping Ford ten years earlier because of it. But ten years have passed, and it 1) took her way too long to have that conversation with him this time around and 2) the way she leaves him a second time was just rotten. Yeah, she had a bad experience (again, more than ten years ago!) with another guy who tried to help her with the situation, but to not even have a conversation with Ford about possible options, listening to his ideas about backing up his promises? Not. Cool.
(Slight (view spoiler)[Ford does manage to resolve her crisis for her–it came off seeming way too easy, though I did like his solution–maybe giving it more page time and us more details would lend it more credibility?–but then goes off on her in what I thought was a much-deserved rant about trust and sticking with someone you love through the difficult bits of life. And then he leaves her, which I was actually on board with at that moment, because–yeah. He had some very valid points. (hide spoiler)])
Better communication was definitely the buzzword of the day for our hero and heroine in the last portion of the book–they both were a tad too mopey when they should have gone out and had a conversation or two instead. Still, their reconciliation was cute and the epilogue was freaking adorable, making up for many of the frustrating bits that came before…
And did I mention I loved
Fred MasonFord Meyers? 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.