ARC Review – One Week to Score by Kate Meader

Posted July 11, 2016 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, Reviews / 0 Comments

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.

ARC Review – One Week to Score by Kate MeaderOne Week to Score by Kate Meader
Series: ,
on July 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 195
Format: eARC
Source: Entangled Publishing, Netgalley
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A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint . . .
He’s the man she loves to hate . . .
Olivia Kane’s wedding day has just imploded spectacularly. Shots lined up at the bar? Bring it. Hot stranger on the hook? Come on down. What this party does not need is six feet and change of home-grown Texas cockiness in the form of her brother’s best friend, the man who broke her heart seven years ago.
She’s the woman he has to have . . .
Flynn Cross won’t stand by while Liv finds sensual solace in the arms of a stranger, not when his own hard-for-her body is more than up for the task. For one week, he’ll make her honeymoon-for-one a sizzling party for two.
Breaking the rules, one steamy night at a time . . .
But the taboo they’re breaking is only the beginning . . . and Flynn’s part in Liv’s wedding debacle could bring about their end.

Olivia Kane is having a pretty shitty day. It was supposed to be a great day. But catching her groom getting a blow job from the maid of honor twenty minutes before the ceremony put a damper on it. I guess she should be grateful it happened before the ceremony, not after. All she wants to do is drown her sorrows in some bourbon and a willing, anonymous man, but that doesn’t happen. Instead her childhood crush and brother’s current best friend, Flynn Cross, shows up and gets her out of there.

Which… Look. Olivia is an adult. Who had ingested three shot of bourbon. Three shots. Not three bottles. And by her own and Flynn’s admission, Olivia is used to drinking. She may have had a light buzz, but she was not drunk at that point. I’m getting really tired of this trope (is it a trope? Just an inciting incident?) where the man swoops in to “save” the woman from this disastrous decision she’s about to make. The disastrous decision being having a one-night stand with a stranger. Especially when it’s coming, as this was, from a man who’s had sex with half the population of Chicago and Houston. It’s always disguised as “I’m saving you from regretting this, and I’m saving you from this horrible thing you’re about to do”, but let’s be honest. It’s actually “I know better than you do what you’re thinking, and I know you’ll hate yourself tomorrow even if you don’t think you will, because I know better than you, and also, None Other But Mine Own Eyes shall fall upon your skin from this moment forward.” Even if it were true and she’d regret it in the morning, so what? A little “I probably shouldn’t have slept with that guy” never killed anyone. (Unless the sex actually killed someone.) I don’t think Olivia’s age is explicitly stated, but doing the math, she’s in her early thirties. She’s perfectly capable of making decisions for herself. If she wants to recover from her horrendous non-wedding with a one-night stand with a stranger, who is Flynn to stop her? She made that decision sober, then went to the bar to find someone. She didn’t drunkenly stumble around falling onto the first dick she saw.

Anyway. Off that soapbox. Nothing happens after Flynn gets Olivia out of the bar and back to her honeymoon suite. But when she wakes up in the morning, she thinks something did, so she runs. And he chases her. He chases all the way to the first-class cabin on her flight to Mexico, where she’s decided to go on her honeymoon alone to find the sex-fueled revenge affair she planned to indulge in. Except not, because Flynn has gotten onto her flight, in the seat next to her in fact, and finagled the hotel staff into putting her in his villa.

Flynn is just so manipulative that I had a really hard time rooting for him. I believe he genuinely cared for Olivia, but his ways of getting her to see that and to come around were just so sneaky. He’s possessive when he doesn’t really have a right to be, he keeps facts from her so that he doesn’t look bad, lies to her brother about where he is so that Brody doesn’t get pissed that Flynn is having sex with his sister. Which, don’t even get me started on how much I hate that trope. Even seven years ago, he made the decision to cut her out of his life after his military career ended with no explanation. She finally forces him to talk to her about it, and it turns out it was because he was so angry at the world he lost his sex drive, then when it came back, just before he came home and would have seen Olivia, it came roaring back, and he knew that if he had sex with her he’d hurt her. Seriously. Think about that. He refused to speak to her because “…God help the first woman I fucked when I was back on U.S. soil. I wouldn’t be able to control myself. I wouldn’t be able to hold back from taking her so hard I’d split her in half.” So Olivia was too good and pure for his angry sex, but, since he’s had plenty of sex since coming back to the U.S., presumably some other woman was more deserving of angry splitting-in-half sex? He further explains “I would have hurt you. Used you.” Again, someone was deemed worthy of this treatment, it just wasn’t Olivia.

Olivia was hard for me to understand as well. I liked their banter, I liked her refusal to take crap from him, but she also jumped to a lot of conclusions and made some pretty insulting assumptions about Flynn. I loved her in Brody’s book, but here she fell a little flat for me. And it also made me wonder how well Flynn really knew her, even as much as he claimed to love her. She was smart, and quick, and really, really funny. She gave no indication that she needed or wanted to be coddled and protected and have someone else make decisions for her.

I wish I’d liked this one more. I usually love Kate Meader, but this just didn’t work for me. Which is a shame. I generally love second chance love and enemies-to-lovers, so I thought this one was a given. I just couldn’t get past how manipulative Flynn was to someone he proclaimed to love so much.

About Kate Meader

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.