Series: Fishing for Trouble, #2
Published by Loveswept on September 27th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Seasick. That’s how Jessie Todd feels when her best friend and boss, Finn O’Donnell, tells her that the Buoys will be featured on a popular fishing program—which just so happens to be hosted by a guy she used to date. She’s still friendly with her ex, but her new feelings for Finn are making things . . . complicated. His life is out on the sea, and though Jessie works at the resort, her paralyzing phobia of water keeps her on land, where she’s safe. To take a shot with Finn, she’ll need to face her fears—and her innermost desires—head-on.
Finn has been nursing a crush on Jess for a long time, so when she suddenly asks for swimming lessons, he dives right in. Holding her shaking hand as she steps into the ocean makes his heart swell—despite the sinking feeling that she’s just doing it to impress that smarmy TV host. Finn doesn’t trust anyone with his bruised and battered heart, but he’ll be forced to lay it all on the line to keep Jess from being the one that got away.
The exact details of ‘Off the Hook’ have long blurred in my memory because it has been a while, but getting straight back Laura Drewry’s fishing series is no hardship at all in this friends-to-lovers romance amidst cabins and seas in a remote part of British Columbia. If Drewry’s first book in the series had managed to remain one of those books that I liked very much, the second isn’t any different, as ‘Lured In’ lured me into this seductive, sultry trap of a slow-burn story between two people who’d practically known each other for a huge portion of their lives.
‘Lured In’ is Finn’s and Jess’s story, set up such that their heart-breaking personal histories prove to be the largest stumbling block causing the familial sheen of their friendship to morph into something else they don’t quite want to give voice to. Throw in some interested third parties, terrible ghosts to exorcise and what’s simmering below the surface simply needs to boil over…and boil over it does, in sizzling fashion.
My long-standing issue with the friends to lovers trope as I’ve mentioned numerous times in my reviews, is the number of reasons given the cause for that particular switch flipping. Many of these authorial explanations range from entirely ludicrous to sort-of believable, consequently affecting my personal ability to buy into the story. Here at least, I’m gratified to learn that Drewry managed this transition rather well; Finn and Jess’s own painful back-stories provide the impetus for this shift, their awkward but inevitable opening up to each other happening only when Jess approaches Finn for lessons on swimming and inadvertently sets the latent attraction alight in the cool waters of a lake – but not without some big time denial and constant commentary from secondary characters that actually helped alleviate the emotional, grief-filled moments between them.
Individually and together, Finn/Jess are entirely relatable main characters: flawed, struggling in some form or another and never quite having it all together. Through both of them, Drewry beautifully underscores the point that trust takes several forms, but none more convincing than the one who has your back when the waters cover your head.