Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck

Hard Compromise by Samanthe BeckHard Compromise by Samanthe Beck
Series: Compromise Me #2
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 21st 2016
Pages: 183
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Laurie Peterson assumes her impulsive one-night stand with sinfully sexy Sheriff Ethan Booker is the biggest surprise of the year…until her bakery burns down while she’s basking in the afterglow. It looks like her dreams are up in smoke, but then Ethan proposes a deal too tempting to resist.
Ethan has no intention of settling for a one-night stand with Laurie. Nor does he want anything to do with the women his wealthy family wants him to meet. Not when he’s waited ten years for his chance to make his move. His deal might have strings—and Laurie may not know the stakes—but nothing will stop this sexy cop from staking a real claim on her body and her heart.

Laurie Peterson’s first brush with Deputy Ethan Booker at sixteen had already marked her for his, or so he thought. But that only comes into play a decade later, when Laurie has finally long grown up and holds everyone else at arm’s length as Ethan finds ways and means to punch through those walls through any manipulative scheme he can find, be it through sex-with-no-strings or a fake-girlfriend deal. Of course, her livelihood going up in smoke, tragically helps his case.

As the girl from the wrong side of the tracks manipulated by her mother, Laurie constantly struggles with a self-esteem issue especially when it comes to mingling with Ethan Booker’s upper class family. This emerges on a fairly repetitive basis throughout, and builds towards a climax based on Laurie’s small-mindedness and inability to trust Ethan as her mother played her strings. Yet Laurie, in her attempt to stay independent, seemed to have become a carbon-copy of her mother’s actions and most of the time, I felt as though I was reading about a chase that wouldn’t go anywhere unless Ethan kept proving himself over and over that he was trustworthy…until something breaks and he has to walk away before Laurie finally realises what she has lost.

The story is predictable, the pacing decent and Samanthe Beck’s writing is stellar enough to keep the pages turning. My frustrations with the story however, lie clearly with my own issues with reunion or second chance-type plot lines and the emotional pull required to lure me in just wasn’t there at all. The reason I could not feel invested in this couple is the lack of believability of a pairing that waited 10 years to come to fruition because Ethan waited too long (why the bloody wait if he truly had the balls to go for what he wanted?) for Laurie to grow up—as they sampled other people in the meantime—before ‘claiming’ her. It’s too much of a contradiction for me to find any plausibility in it, even with a happy ending that left me in disbelief when the trite-sounding confession of ‘it has always been you’ felt like a weak premise to start a HEA based on lust that was apparently love all along.