Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reforming the Playboy by Inara Scott

The Basics:
Reforming the Playboy by Inara Scott
Entangled Publishing : Indulgence
A Passion Creek Romance
Published December 17, 2013
Amazon.ca  Kobo.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Five years ago, she left without a word…

Internationally-renowned artist Max Estin is as well known for his million dollar commissions as he is his partying and clubbing. But Max is hiding a secret—for almost a year he’s been completely blocked. Unable to paint. And to unlock his art, and save his career, he’s going to need the one woman he never wanted to see again.

Now, he’s determined to make her pay…

Kira Estin never told Max exactly why she left, or what secrets forced her to return home to Passion Creek so abruptly. So when a chance reunion turns to seduction, Kira is more than a little suspicious. She knows better than to trust Max, but can’t fight the fire that he lights in her body—or her heart. But when everyone is hiding a secret, can even the hottest passion survive?

Why I picked up this book:

I like the idea of two people who were once in love coming back together again. 

My thoughts:

Up front, I have to confess that I couldn't read this one linearly: So, Kira's aunt, who was her guardian, has passed away before the book starts, and she puts Kira into this awful position wherein some very revealing drawings of her, done by her former lover Max, are going to be made public if Max and Kira don't reconnect in person to exchange the images. This premise made me SO UNCOMFORTABLE. That Kira's aunt would first, create even the possibility of the images going public, and second, have the other option be handing the images over to Kira's ex.... The whole scenario made me cringe. I have no problem with the sharing of nude and/or erotic images, but to share them with other people when the subject of them is so strongly against it.  Nope.

I ended up skipping to near the end of the book, reading the climax and conclusion, skipping earlier again, and then starting over to read through until what I'd already read and them skim through the end.

Some people read books like this all the time, which is why I decided not to pass on writing a review. My discomfort was obviously an issue, and it coloured my reading of the book.  

Okay, so moving beyond the start, which I really didn't like.... The rest of the book is okay?  The threat of the pictures is always looming, particularly as Max holds onto his desire for revenge, and then his creative issues. I had a really hard time getting on board. 

I liked Kira's efforts to help Max and the way their past together was sort of superimposed on to the events of the present. This emphasized their emotional states and made the romance more plausible.

Overall, the story itself was adequate. There's a mystery around why Kira left Max in the first place, which worked for me only when factoring in these particular characters, with their personalities and backgrounds.

Bottom line:

If the premise doesn't put you off, then this is a solid romance. I suspect many people wouldn't fixate on this detail as strongly as I did (and my focus on it reminds me of the many reviews I've read where the reviewer emphasized things that I hardly noticed when I read the book myself). So this is one review where I'll underline a few extra times the "To Each Their Own" part of this blog's title.

3 stars
For fans of contemporary romance, Inara Scott.

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