I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wrecked by Sherilee Gray
Series: Axle Alley Vipers #3
Published by Entangled: Indulgence on February 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing, Netgalley
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
He's driving her crazy...
Piper West is finally on her own, and it's time to get crazy. Except that her overprotective big bro has enlisted his ex-cop best friend to keep an eye on his baby sister. With every move monitored and reported back, Piper's life has gone from "going crazy" to "being driven crazy." But a searing-hot kiss with her sexy and scarred watchdog is just the game-changer she needs...
Cole Black owes Piper's brother big-time, but there's nothing easy about his new assignment. Piper is all feisty sexiness and curves meant to tempt a man beyond reason, and Cole can't stop himself. Now he's caught up in a hunger like nothing he's ever known, and he can't get enough...
Even if Piper's the one girl he's not allowed to have.
This was a fun series overall, but this book wasn’t my favorite of the series. The setup irritated me; I really can’t stand it when family members or friends, no matter how well-meaning, treat women like children who can’t take care of themselves. Piper’s brother Deke doesn’t like the fact that she lives alone, so he asks his friend, Cole Black, to move into the apartment over her garage and keep an eye on her. Has Piper been having problems with a stalker? No. Is she currently recovering from some sort of attack or trauma? No. Has her house shown a weird tendency to be burglarized or vandalized? No. Was this secretly Deke’s way of keeping Cole in sight and helping him recover from a trauma? No, even though that would have been more understandable. Is Piper a grown woman who owns her own business, owns her own home, generally takes care of her own shit, and is enjoying living on her own for the first time? Yes. Yes, she is, so this request of Deke’s really pissed me off.
Cole and Piper are well acquainted. They’d grown up together, Cole being best friends with Deke since they were all teenagers, and both of them liked the other, but neither of them spoke up and said so. Then Cole moved away, became a cop, and was injured in an accident, effectively ending his career. He moved back, still having feelings for Piper, but now feeling that his scars and general unworthinesss have meant the end to any possibility of a relationship between them. I will say that I appreciated that from the beginning of this story, the fact that Deke was Cole’s best friend meant fuck-all to Cole. He had been planning on moving back to Miami to be with Piper and telling Cole about it. He wasn’t going to let his friendship with Deke get in the way of the relationship.
The annoying set up aside, and even though it wasn’t my favorite of the series, I liked this book. Cole and Piper have some fantastic chemistry. I love relationships with history, and this story had it. There were a lot of assumptions on both of their parts, however, and several misunderstandings that could have been solved with a quick conversation. Piper assuming Cole doesn’t have feelings for her and never has, Cole assuming Piper used to have feelings for him, but couldn’t possibly now that he has scars and some leftover physical complications from the accident. Neither of them actually talk about it, however, so the misunderstandings go on longer than they should.
However, once Piper decides she’s had enough of Cole’s avoidance crap and she’s going to go after him, she goes after him. I laughed several times seeing her do her best to tempt Cole into admitting his feelings for her. She was a great heroine – smart, tough, a smartass who refused to take shit from anyone, especially Cole. She went after what she wanted until she got it. Cole never stood a chance. Cole was a little more difficult for me to like, mainly because of his tendency to think he knew what everyone was thinking, and always assuming the worst of all of it. When Piper told him “I don’t want you to drive me home.”, which meant she was having a good time and wanted to stay, he managed to hear “You had a car accident where your partner died, so I’m pretty sure you’ll kill me, too, and I don’t want to be in a car with you driving.” and stalk off. Piper, seeing him stalk off, assumes he doesn’t want to be around her, so goes back to her friends, etc, etc, etc. A lot of assumptions and miscommunication. That sort of thing had me rolling my eyes at Cole more than I would have liked, but he eventually came around and mellowed out. A little. A very little bit.
There was a little bit of suspense toward the end, though the mystery of who was behind it was fairly clear. And, obviously, just validated Deke’s decision to treat Piper like a child and move Cole into close proximity, which was annoying. I liked Sherilee Gray’s writing a lot, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she comes up with.