by Chelle Bliss, Meredith Wild
Series: Misadventures #1
Published by WaterHouse Press on September 12, 2017
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Military
Source: Audible Romance Package
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Fresh off a divorce from a Hollywood hotshot, Madison Atwood needs an escape. With the paparazzi fresh on her heels and her love life splashed on every tabloid, she runs away to a swanky retreat in Northern California. Avalon Springs is the mountainside haven she needs to find herself again.
Luke Dawson lives off the grid, preferring solitude to society. When he finds a beautiful woman soaking in the hot springs on his property, he can't stop himself from watching her. She captures his attention, but she's just a city girl--a beautiful distraction disturbing the peace he's settled here to find.
When Madison discovers Luke's secluded cabin, he can't turn her away again. They make no promises. Madison needs to feel wanted again, and Luke misses the touch of a woman. But when mother nature has other plans, they're forced to spend more than a night of passion together. Can Luke say goodbye to the only woman who's made him feeling anything in years, and can Madison leave behind the man who brought her back to life?
Misadventures of a City Girl by Meredith Wild and Chelle Bliss is the first book in the Misadventures series, which features multiple authors in a project spearheaded by author Meredith Wild. Each book is a standalone story.
Makeup artist Madison (Maddie) has just finalized her divorce from her cheating ex. Needing to get away from the scrutiny of Los Angeles and wanting to get her head sorted out, she books a retreat at a resort in the mountains. But being a city girl, she wanders off on her own instead of heading to orientation and ends up crosses paths with mountain man Luke.
Former Navy SEAL Luke has lived as a hermit for the past several years. This existence suits him best, away from the noise and static of civilian life. When he meets the mysterious and sexy woman who literally walks through his door, for the first time in a long time, he craves human connection. And he wants Madison more than anything.
There’s a definite insta-lust, which required me to suspend my disbelief quite early in the story. I had no trouble believing that two strangers could be so attracted to each other, but I did have trouble believing that a former SEAL with PTSD would be so willing to trust a complete stranger. There’s a bit of magical vagina syndrome happening in this book, without mention of actual therapy or treatment with regard to Luke’s issues.
There’s also LOTS of sex—possibly too much, considering that there’s not enough emotion at first to establish an emotional intimacy. That happens later. The romance itself moves VERY quickly…characters are dropping the l-word within days, which was too fast for me.
Maddie’s ex makes an appearance late in the book, which results in unexpected family drama. I felt that this shift knocked the romance storyline off kilter. There’s enough conflict while Maddie and Luke figure out the logistics of if and how they can be together; the inclusion of her ex just complicated things needlessly.
Overall, I really enjoyed some parts of the story—the beginning more so, because it has a more fun vibe while still addressing serious issues. As the story progresses, the tone shifts pretty dramatically and never quite finds a happy medium. But I liked the book well enough and will continue with the series.
Rating: 3.5 stars