Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
This is the second novella in the Under the Hood series. I love that these books center around independent women who work in nontraditional jobs, doing for themselves AND other women. It's a great bit of female empowerment in a fun way.
This time, the story focuses on Melody Swan, a woman who comes with a plane full of baggage. Her nickname is "Ice Queen" and it is an apt moniker. That iciness made it truly hard to warm up to her as a character. Instead, I felt more for Heath Starr, the Ladyslayer. Player or not, he was a far warmer and far more sympathetic character. He is also the brother of Alice, one of Melody's best friends and co-owner of their garage.
To say that Melody has issues with men, relationships, and sex would be an understatement. The entire thought of intimacy leaves her icily cold to the point of revulsion. This is completely at odds with her deep desire to have a lifetime relationship with a man. In a perfect world, that would mean nothing more than a deep connection and no intimacy. She was so cold and so aloof about what makes her that way that it was hard to connect with her. It felt like Heath was putting it all on the line for her, and she was not giving of herself much at all. Later we find out why she is the way she is, and it makes a little more sense. But it still seemed like an extreme overreaction to the situation.
In the end, however, the story became as romantic and sweet as the first book. It has the perfect happy ending!
Things to love...
--The ending. I hate an HEA in which someone has to give up something just to be together. Heath stood to be the one to make that sacrifice and he didn't. Excellent.
--Heath. In many ways, the book was more about him than Melody. She transformed, but he was more sympathetic.
Things I wanted more/less of...
--Man hating. The sheer amount of man hating from some of the characters (no names/no specifics=no spoilers) seemed too be a bit much.
My Recommendation: This is a fun read with a great ending and even a few twists!