Series: Happy Endings Book Club, #2
Published by Extra Fancy Books on January 10th 2017
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Madison Campbell has worshipped her older brother’s best friend Parker Shaw for as long as she can remember. So the night before he leaves for the Air Force, she decides he’s leaving town with her virginity. All she has to do is transform her tomboy self into a sexy woman with a bit of borrowed makeup and some creative fashion choices. The results? One drunken kiss that Park doesn’t even remember.
Ten years later, no man has ever gotten close to her heart the way Park did. And now that he’s back, the very unfeminine Madison refuses to blow her second chance. But when her bold attempts to snag his attention (“Oops! Dropped my towel.”) fail miserably, she does something completely insane—she caves to a makeover from the meddling matchmaker in charge of The Happy Endings Book Club. Hey, Park, you want some of this? Madison is about to find out.
‘Inviting Trouble’ should have been a fun read, and as a sucker for most unrequited love tales, I waited impatiently to see how two people would finally level out their emotions to find themselves on common ground by the end of it.
The bottom line is I’m not too sure what I feel about the story at all, because there didn’t seem to be too much of a growing process beyond the reiteration of how much Mad wanted Parker – as the guy who’d always defended her but saw her as his little sister to protect – to see her as the grown up woman whom he should be wanting. But a decade of very limited interaction had hindered this process and much of the book felt like a concerted effort to corral Parker into something he had to be ‘taught’ how to feel.
I alternated between grimacing at Mad’s desperation to get Parker to notice her and applauding her determination to do so. Yet it was so difficult to like a heroine who mostly behaved like the abrasively childish, petulant and brash teenager she wasn’t and all too often I wondered if she’d really grown past the angsty stage that she’d carried with her all into adulthood. Through sheer persistence then, Mad turns Parker’s head finally, but it merely left me asking if he’d only done so because of her efforts or whether he would have had done anything on his own. Needless to say, the declarations of love felt rather forced to me as Parker played catch up by the end of it, let alone the quick proposal that left me wide-eyed with surprised disbelief.
Somehow I feel as though a disclaimer should be put right at the end of this review: it’s by no means a bad book though, only one that I couldn’t quite get engrossed because of my own healthy dose of scepticism about the characters and their compatibility.