Every Little Thing
Hart's Boardwalk #2
“Not so smart for a smart guy.”
There are stories that are surprisingly hard to rate. While I loved a lot about this book there were some thing I just couldn't get on board with. Let me explain.
Bailey is Hartwell-royalty. She is a descendant of the original founders and well-liked all around. She owns the inn on the boardwalk and is "OK" with her life. Is she happy? That would be an exaggeration. Her boyfriend sports a serious case of commitment phobia which clashes with her yearning for a family. Temptation comes in the body of Vaughn Tremaine, a man she despises and it goes both ways. Or so she thinks.
I was as attractive as a limp noodle to him. And it shouldn’t bother me. The man was a jerk.
Vaughn's feelings for the princess of Hartwell are complicated. He wants her. Bad. But relationships don't work for him so he helps himself to a beautiful woman once in a while. It doesn't satisfy his raging need for the beautiful, vivacious redhead but it takes the edge off it. Too bad that he can't get Bailey out of his mind and it sure doesn't help that they have weirdly gentle encounters when they don't antagonize one another.
“No wonder you’re single.”
I gave him a look that would have made a lesser man’s balls jump back up inside him.
“You’re cold through and through. You haven’t got anything real to offer a woman. Nothing but money. And sooner or later they’ll realize not even money is worth a lifetime of nothing.”
It was harsh. It was horrible. And it was all about me, not him. Immediately I wanted to take the words back, but they were out there. Me and my stupid no brain-to-mouth filter. Like the ice I’d accused him of being, Vaughn’s expression turned an arctic level of cool.
“I’m single because I want to be, Miss Hartwell. Unlike you I’m strong enough to be alone rather than settle for mediocre. But then like attracts like, doesn’t it.”
To say that Vaughn was an ambivalent character is an understatement. He is vulnerable and deep on one hand but also hard and sometimes cold on the outside. He definitely has a tendency to be a jerk. The things he did and said didn't always make sense to me. In once scene, after putting Bailey through an emotional wringer, he is taken aback that Bailey doesn't trust him, when only a couple weeks earlier they were making each other's life hard by being spiteful with one another. On the other hand he has very sweet moments and makes his girl feel special and protected.
“I’m sorry. I have a bad habit of being a bastard to you.”
Bailey’s eyebrows rose at his admission. And then something rueful and mischievous glinted in those beautiful eyes of hers.
“Maybe that’s because I have a bad habit of being a bitch to you.”
Bailey is a firecracker. With her the theme is "what you see is what you get". Censoring her thoughts doesn't work for her. She is confrontational and a straight talker and her nose is pretty much in everybody's business. And while this is true for most of the book she too had a couple of situations in which she acted a bit out of character and not the way I expected her to. The scene when Vaughn comes back from New York in particular. And again, while these are things that didn't add up in my book I still liked her as a person.
There was a lot of love about this story. Especially the detail of the small town descriptions made me feel like I belonged. As if I were right in the middle of it being another of the nosy towns people, watching Bailey and Vaughn standing off.
I loved the secondary characters and I definitely can't wait to get my hands on Emery's and Jack's story. I'd also like to know what happened to Daliah. I want to go back and read Jess' and Cooper's story. I fell in love with them although they were only side characters.
“I want you to watch out for Bailey. I know you do anyway, but I’m specifically talking about this Rex person.” He narrowed his eyes. “I don’t like the sound of him, Lawson.”
His friend took a slow, casual sip of his coffee and studied Vaughn until he was almost squirming.
“Well?” Vaughn snapped.
“I was just wondering.”
“If it’s uncomfortable.”
“If what’s uncomfortable?”
“Having your head that far up your ass.”
Altogether this was an enjoyable read and it made me curious to learn more about the town and the people in it. Samantha Young's spellbinding writing held me interested throughout the story and despite all my reservations it did make for a captivating read.
Bailey Hartwell liked a little dirt in bed. No lily-white princess. Loyal. Fierce. Protective. Kind. Strong. Funny. Sassy. Sexy. And goddamn perfect for him in bed.