Series: Serendipity’s Finest #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Penguin on 30 July 2013
Reading Challenges: 2013 Bachelorette Challenge
Erin Marsden thought she had seen the last of Cole Sanders after their one-night stand. After all, you can’t expect a long lasting relationship from a bad boy, can you? She resigned herself to living out a fairly boring life until she got two massive surprises in a short space of time. Fate had decided to throw her and Cole back together, for the short term at least.
Working undercover, especially for a long time, takes its toll on a person and things are no different for Cole. The lines between his undercover persona and the ‘real’ Cole have blurred to the extent that he doesn’t really know who he is anymore. To top it off, his father is ill. His father might still view him as a good-for-nothing son but Cole has matured since he was the resident bad boy teen of Serendipity. When Erin is shot, he becomes her unofficial bodyguard and is determined to protect her from any harm. He has a lot to offer the right woman but doubts himself, mostly because of his toxic relationship with his father. For all his Alpha male ways, he’s actually quite vulnerable, and tries to keep Erin at arm’s length to protect himself. By spending time with her, he actually opens himself up to other relationships and suddenly finds himself surrounded by friends.
Erin’s life is the exact opposite of Cole’s. She has a very protective family and until her one-night stand, has never done anything to threaten her good girl image. She’s smart, sweet and according to Cole, very sexy. Erin literally wears down Cole’s barriers bit by bit. I think I was most impressed with her when she took on Cole’s father and told him exactly what she thought of him.
There is a secondary plot revolving around Erin’s stalker. It was well executed in the sense that it didn’t overshadow the romance and gave Cole an opportunity to demonstrate his loyalty and strength of affection for Erin. Unfortunately it was very obvious who the baddie was – a few red herrings wouldn’t have gone astray. This novel doesn’t veer too much into romantic suspense territory though as the scary incidents didn’t escalate too much and I never really doubted that Erin would be okay.
The suspense aspect was fairly predictable but the romance worked well. You can read this as a standalone if you want but if you want to pick up on the secondary characters’ relationships, you will need to dive into the other novels in the series.