by Olivia Dade
Series: Lovestruck Librarians #5
Published by Lyrical Shine on January 17, 2017
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
IF THE BOOKMOBILE’S ROCKING . . .
Constance Chen is not the demure kind of librarian. Sure, her high-horsepower ride is Big Bertha the Bookmobile, but Con swears a blue streak, does her own home improvement, and wears steel-toed boots. She has a tight circle of friends, a demanding, beloved sprawl of a Chinese-American family, and a strict hookups-only policy when it comes to men. Her life is just how she wants it. Except for one maddeningly sexy footnote.
Sam Wolcott, her friend’s baby brother and the library’s IT star, has been throwing sparks with Con since he moved to town. To everybody else, he’s a thoughtful, sensitive sweetheart. To Con, he’s a cantankerous pedant, because if they don’t fight nonstop their clothes will spontaneously combust. Sam needs a commitment Con won’t—can’t—give. And neither of them will chance their hard-won bonds for pure lust.
Too bad Con and Sam have a whole week in a very tiny, very private space to sustain their dumb arguments. Alone. What happens in the Bookmobile might take their resistance right out of circulation . . .
I. Love. This. Book. So. Much.
Driven to Distraction is book #5 in Olivia Dade’s Lovestruck Librarians series, which gets better and better with each book. This story features Constance Chen, Bookmobile manager and all-around badass, and her enemies-to-lovers relationship with Sam Wolcott, resident geek and sexy lumberjack-esque IT guru.
Throughout the series, Constance (aka Con) and Sam have typically been at each other’s throats. They bicker constantly, but more in a sexually tense kind of way rather than an actual hateful manner. In this book, that tension comes to a head when they decide to call a truce and acknowledge their mutual attraction.
Along with managing Big Bertha the Bookmobile and its staff, Con acts as a type of stand-in mother to her siblings. Growing up, their parents worked constantly, so the brunt of the child-rearing fell on Con. Even though her siblings are now grown adults, they still flock to her every day for help, both in times of crisis as well as mundane matters that they should be able to take care of themselves.
In addition to the demands of her family, Con spends a lot of time with her friends from the Niceville library system (who we’ve met in the previous books in the series). She’s a loyal, dedicated friend who’s always there when her buddies need her.
Needless to say, with her busy life at work and at home, Con doesn’t have much time left for herself, much less a relationship. So when it comes to men, her rule of thumb is simple: hookups only and nothing more. Con doesn’t have a desire for a lasting commitment, so she’s happy to be the Booty Call Queen…for the time being.
Meanwhile, Sam’s upbringing couldn’t have been more different from Con’s. He lacked the closeness of family, thanks to an absent mother. His father passed away recently, so his only family connection left is his half-sister Penny (from book #1, Broken Resolutions). For Sam, family is everything and he doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize his relationship with Penny, the only relative he has left.
When Con and Sam first give in to their attraction, they agree to a no strings attached arrangement. But soon, that’s not enough for Sam, who realizes that he’s falling pretty hard for commitment-phobe Con. Sam is determined to woo her and show her how much he cares about her–that he doesn’t want to add to her burdens, but rather make her life easier.
Con and Sam have crazy sexual chemistry. This is Olivia Dade’s sexiest book to date. I loved how confident and unapologetic Con is regarding her sexuality. There are moments when I think Con and Sam are battling to see who can out-dirty talk the other.
Con is also one of my favorite heroines from the series, mostly because she’s such an unconventional romance heroine. She’s fiercely independent, capable, and at times brash. She’s not demure or innocent. She swears like a sailor and could probably kick your ass if you crossed her. I also loved the fact that she’s Chinese-American and sometimes finds herself the recipient of several ill-advised comments on her ethnicity. Seriously, I found myself nodding along and sympathizing with her during those moments.
As for Sam, he’s pretty unconventional in his own right: that is, he’s not an alphahole jerk. For the most part, Sam is kind of a dream man. He’s sexy and smart, but also nurturing and considerate. When he sets his mind on wooing Con and showing her how he truly cares for her, he scored major points in my book.
Having said all this, neither Sam nor Con are perfect characters and their romance isn’t all sunshine and rainbows once they get together. In fact, they find themselves at an impasse when it comes to a crucial issue in their relationship. But how they work through that conflict is a testament to their devotion to each other and how far they’re each willing to go for love. For me, that conflict is resolved maturely and with mutual respect. I absolutely loved how this book does not have a stereotypical ending.
Once again, Olivia Dade brought all the feels for me with Driven to Distraction. Its signature humor, emotion, and super hot sexy times made me so happy. I highly recommend this awesome addition to the Lovestruck Librarians series.
Rating: 5 stars