Author: Nina Crespo

Forget You by Nina Crespo

Forget You by Nina CrespoForget You by Nina Crespo
Series: The Kingman Brothers #1
Published by Pocket Star on April 16th 2018
Pages: 200
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one-star

Sophie Jordan dreams about hooking up with Nicolas “King” Kingman—the gorgeous CEO of her company—but as her boss, he’ll always remain out of reach. King knows he isn’t built for happily-ever-afters and only indulges in brief romantic encounters. But when Sophie agrees to fill in as his last-minute date to a charity gala, an unexpected discovery quickly escalates their platonic relationship to one of passion.

King is determined to ignore their attraction and, feeling betrayed, Sophie severs ties with him and the company. Everything changes, however, when he’s injured in an accident, and Sophie agrees to help until he closes a major deal. Unfortunately, he’s developed amnesia, and although he doesn’t remember their night together, desire binds them in ways they can’t resist.

Time is running out on closing the deal, as well as Sophie moving on to her new career. Will King deny love in favor of winning and lose Sophie forever?

I’d expected a romcom going into this, because a disgruntled assistant being forced to stay on in her job after a one-nighter with the boss gone wrong…sounded like a fantastic premise that promised lots of laughs. That alone made me want to know how Sophie got on with a difficult boss who’d conveniently forgotten he’d been an arse.

Unfortunately, ‘Forget You’ was the kind of read that worked me up into a fit and that mostly had to do with the main characters who not only needed to grow some sense, but conformed to the stereotypical H/hr in contemporary romance that I couldn’t do anything but roll my eyes at every turn.

I couldn’t warm up to King, who seemed like the usual arse of the rich businessman who thought that commitment wasn’t in his DNA as the perfect excuse for the way he lived his philandering life while becoming a clone of his womanising father. Scheduling another hookup straight after his one-night stand with Sophie however, made him a special breed of bastard.

There have been sufficient rants in my reviews throughout the years about numerous stock characters like King who take the easy way out, so lighting into King is probably a useless endeavour. Or perhaps my frustration has to do with the writing of characters that don’t go beyond this stereotype to explore the grey areas of people who have had bad examples of commitment in their childhood. Of course this colours King’s entire life as he easily uses it as an excuse to stack women back to back without even evaluating why. In this same manner, Sophie joined the ranks of other numerous female protagonists who know exactly what they aren’t being offered, yet go in laughingly believing they could enjoy themselves and settle for what they can get. Of course, it never works out that way. Of course they can’t call this short-term fling as just sex anymore. And of course they end up getting hurt.

Apart from having expected too much of King and Sophie—my own big mistake—I think the other big issue was that I just couldn’t find any hilarity in this, unless I really missed something here.

Simply put, ‘Forget You’ started out and continued with angsty drama rather than the humour I was expecting. I wavered between feeling sorry for the delusional Sophie, who really thought that King would have given her more than he would, and rolling my eyes at her delusional state for seriously believing that she was going to be more than another notch on his bedpost, then behaving hurt and pissed when he didn’t. Her willingness to bend over backwards for him post-accident was nonetheless inexplicable; her listening to someone else to enjoy the ride (pun intended) on her own terms just made it seem sillier when she went against her own good sense to move on instead of playing with fire and getting burned.

The final grovelling scene didn’t match the crime as well—a few pages of mere words didn’t seem to fit what King had done to Sophie, untested as King was as a newly minted committed guy—and I had a hard time believing that this was a pairing that could go beyond a happy-for-now ending. That it had to take a bad accident and amnesia for King to change his outlook just felt like a last ditch effort in reforming an unrepentant womaniser which simply didn’t feel like an achievement to crow about.

I wished I could have liked this better, but seeing as how I finished the story having lost every bit of zen I had, it’s pretty obvious ‘Forget You’ isn’t my kind of read.

one-star

Naughty Little Wishes by Nina Crespo

Naughty Little Wishes by Nina CrespoNaughty Little Wishes by Nina Crespo
Series: Birthday Dare #2
Published by Entangled: Brazen on January 5th 2015
Pages: 177
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two-stars

There's nothing personal stylist Tabitha Drake loves more than pissing off Andrew Bode. He's uptight, he refuses to agree with her on anything, and she loathes the hideous brown suits and red power ties he wears. The man even hates ice cream. How can her best friend work for a man who hates ice cream? But the absolute worst thing about Drew? He's sexy as hell, and she's totally and ridiculously attracted to him.
Andrew Bode, CEO of the Bode-Wynn military contracting firm, is convinced he and Tab will never get along. Unfortunately, the infuriating—and sinfully tempting—stylist is his ticket to a major account. The only way to get what he wants is to agree to Tab's terms: a style makeover. However, Drew has a few terms of his own, most of which involve her naked in his bed. But neither of them are prepared when their lust-fueled hostility turns into something altogether unexpected...

I’d assumed the enemies to lovers trope would have made this book a fun, rollicking ride and Tabitha and Andrew certainly seemed to be the couple to get me high on this favourite trope. Tight and fully buttoned up – with so many delicious control issues to explore, Andrew could have been the perfect male specimen to unravel, both in the bedroom and out of it. Tabitha’s own past could have made her a model of psychiatrists and profilers and her own control issues were just screaming to be dealt with.

The reality, as I dug in, was a painful kick in the arse because none of the above happened enough for me to get a good grip on the characters at all. I see the exteriors very well – lacquered over and shiny, but not enough of the shit that both Andrew and Tabitha deal with and how both come to a sufficient understanding of themselves and each other. There wasn’t sufficient build-up and exploding tension that tend to make this enemies-lovers trope so enjoyable and the constant snarky sniping simply needed to give way later in the book – which I thought it didn’t do so enough.

The writing and the voice here also feel incredibly different from the first book and while I did like some witty turn-of-phrases, the narrative appeared disjointed when it came to the progression of time – as well as their relationship. I did feel that tighter editing (lengthening the dialogue as they hashed out their pasts for instance, and cutting out some superfluous bits) would have made the story flow more smoothly.

two-stars