Big spoilers below so beware.
This one was a fun one. Some angry/angsty moments with multiple OW flitting left and right, including the h's beloved niece (who is only five years younger at age 17 to the h's 22).
We open with the h, her niece and friend vacationing on some small, low populous Italian island when, lo and behold! the h's long lost love, who she knew before in South Africa
(it’s a small world, after all), shows up to wet her knickers once again. And what a coincidence! She just
told her niece all about him that very morning!
What are the chances?
Of course, our H is a hawt manwhore (so says the h), who is accompanied by a lovely, possessive blond who keeps giving our three musketeers the stink eye (He belongs to her
, you skanks!). However, every time the h addresses “his girlfriend”, our irresistible package of throbbing testosterone denies he’s anything but friends (the h is supposed to ignore the frequent dates, the “daaawlings”, and the handholding.)
There was some slow unfolding through flashbacks of what occurred to make the h hit the road. Apparently, just on the verge of becoming engaged, the h returned early from a performance (she’s a ballerina) and walked in on the H locking lips with a luscious vixen, coupled with a sultry suggestion by the OW that they share the delectable stud muffin. Since there was no denial on the H’s part, the h said she’d rather focus on her career anyway and told him to take a hike. She was then privy to some juicy gossip that the H and OW went off on safari together, despite her heartfelt letter begging the cheating whoredog to take her back. So love would have conquered the pain of living with a skirt-chasing scumbag, but unfortunately, there was no response.
The h’s niece spends most of the book giving Mr. McHottie the goo-goo eyes and defiantly going off on adventures with the H despite her aunt's warnings. The h tries to thwart any coupling by chaperoning any outings (during which the H accosts a napping h with amorous make out sessions) but the nimble niece always outmaneuvers her. When the h brings an OM into the mix and reluctantly gets engaged to some haughty asshat, the niece ends up engaged to the H herself. The h is certain it’s true love for the niece…even after she arranges for the H&h to spend a romantic night in a gothic Italian village (definitely a moment which earns this beauty a spot on the heroine-has-a-case-of-the-stupids shelf). The h sacrifices her own happiness for the niece and extracts a promise from the H to marry her little protégé, even though he has sworn to love only the h forever and ever (Oh, the angst!). Of course, the niece does a big eye-roll (along with the readers) that the h could be so dense.
The book ends with our couple making nice after the mouthwatering piece of man meat convinces her that women keep throwing themselves at him with no provocation, and he couldn’t help it when Ms. Luscious Vixen (from the flashback) attached herself to his face just mere seconds before the h walked in and caught the tawdry little scene. Aww,
he was just misunderstood all along. Too bad he didn’t explain all and express his undying love to the h like he did with her niece (regarding her heroine), but a man has his pride. Who wants to be thrown over for a woman's career. He never suspected for one minute
that she might be reacting to seeing him love up to some other woman (maybe he deserves a spot on that stupid shelf).
Oh, and don’t worry about the fiancé feeling thrown over. The niece saw him ask some equally uptight OW for her address before he left. Can’t have any loose ends, right?