Published by Jamie Hollins on February 7th 2017
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It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend. Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a shy ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no.
Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints.
When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.
This is a hard review to write. Unrequited stories have always been angst-fests and they do attract me for some reason, yet only if the conditions are right—and I’m going to state right now that this review is clearly coloured by my own narrative prejudices and the hard limits I seemed to have developed after going through tons of books in the past couple of years.
Sometimes I think a pairing can’t be forced and ‘Not in my Wildest Dreams’ comes close to affirming this. It’s difficult to recommend a manwhore/virgin story, particularly one where unrequited love is involved, and most of the book is spent waiting for the idiotic ‘hero’ to play catchup with his feelings.
I didn’t exactly like Darcy pining after a man who didn’t notice her—for 13 years no less!—but somehow obliviously flirted with every other ‘hot’ woman in sight for a fair bit of the book, then hated it even more that her unrequited love declaration came because of a prank Sean played on her instead of a situation where the male lead actually gets his head out of his arse on his own.
In short, this felt very much like an unequal relationship; Sean didn’t ever seem to care beyond wanting to keep his sex life active whether with Darcy or any other woman and I only got the idea that he found her was special only because he couldn’t remember wanting another woman more. He didn’t want Darcy the way she’d loved him, cared only that their friendship wasn’t destroyed after an accidental night of sex, and pretty much didn’t have to fight for something that should have been more precious to him. On the other hand, Darcy was, well, insecurely desperate enough to take everything she could get of him because he’d been her dream for so long, even when he treated her badly.
I wish I could have liked the story more; unfortunately it’s not one that I can think about without wanting to hit something thanks to a character who can be downright distasteful at times.