Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…
Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.
And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?
Stats for my copy: Kindle Edition, Choc Lit, 2015
How acquired: NetGalley.
My thoughts: Sienna and her friend Lauren are renting a cottage overlooking the docks. One day Sienna's elderly arthritic dog, who can't swim, slips out the door to go exploring, and falls into the water. Adam, who lives on his boat, dives into the icy water and rescues the dog. How could I not fall in love with him after that? Despite the fact that he promptly yells at Sienna for letting a dog who can't swim roam around the docks without a life jacket.
I had mixed emotions about this book. For the most part I enjoyed it. Sienna is fairly young, and is doing rewrites to her screenplay. Her editor has told her she needs to sex it up a little, but Sienna has no sexual experience, other than an ex who aggressively groped her, leading to their breakup. Enter Adam.
Sienna has dubbed Adam “Lothario” in her head due to the string of women in his wake. Adam is running from life. His ex-fiance's ghost is silently following him around, their baby – or is it actually his brother's baby? - is being raised by her sister and Adam never sees her. He exists on odd jobs mowing lawns and such, and just wants to get his boat in running shape and sail around alone, having quick meet and greets with women along the way. He doesn't see why sleeping with married women is an issue, as long as it's strictly sex and not a relationship. And then he meets Sienna.
With Adam, we have a character who learns from his mistaken behavior, who grows as the book progresses, who redeems himself. Sienna, not so much. She was pretty much the same character at the end as she was at the beginning. Not that I didn't like her. I did, and I appreciated her loyalty to Adam and coming to his defense when her father and her roommate put him down.
Her father. He was the character who gave me the mixed emotions. At a pivotal point in the book, he shows up at the cottage and moves in for two weeks. Because he apparently did not trust Sienna to deal with her own messy relationship. At the point where Adam needs to man up, Daddy comes in and becomes his daughter's guardian, practically stalking Adam and watching every move he makes with a glare in his eyes. It was as if Sienna and Adam were a couple of fifteen-year-olds, and I just found the whole situation ridiculous. I wanted to shout at Daddy to butt out and go home.
Interfering fathers aside, this was a sweet and amusing romance, with some tense and gripping moments toward the end.