Sunday, May 28, 2017

seriously romantic: all i ask by nicole mclaughlin

book one in the man enough series, all i ask, introduces us to a team of ex-military men who are now national guard members. reeve miller is building a landscape business now that he's rejoined civilian life. his national guard drills let him maintain the sense of order and brotherhood that is so important to him. especially considering his upbringing. his mother has a severe mental illness, she's a hoarder and there is no rehab or therapy that will fix her. so reeve has found ways to deal with this.

one of them happens to be blowing off steam at the local bar. one evening a bachelorette party is there, and he is fascinated by one of the single ladies. and when he gets close to her he is mindlessly attracted to her too.

emily phillips isn't the kind of woman who picks up guys in bars. but she's been accused one time to many of being a workaholic, and something about this guy makes her want to break character. she expects this to be a simple one night stand. and so she lies about her name and she runs away in the middle of the night never expecting to see him again.

but it turns out that reeve is the landscaper in charge of the design project on the building she owns. she's a multimillion dollar ceo of a theater chain. its a business she inherited from her grandfather, a business her father never had a chance to run because he died when she was nine years old. her stepfather was ex-military and always a jerk so she's been leery of military men ever since. especially since non-military men already have a problem with her success as a business owner.

when she can't deny her attraction from reeve, she lets herself fall into a relationship with him. but she doesn't share all of herself with him. she hides her success from him. and he makes it easy for her. he recognizes that she doesn't want to talk about certain things, and since he doesn't want to talk about his mother he respects her boundaries. because she is respecting his.

but this means that they are keeping each other at arm's length even as they are falling head over heels for each other. this is a push–pull that will eventually backfire. and it does. because at the end of the day, when you don't share those pieces of yourself with someone who loves you, you aren't really trusting them with your heart. and this is the most important thing to do when you love. is trust that no matter what this person will have your back.

reeve and emily have a lot of baggage and abandonment and trust issues to work out. there are a lot of past hurts that require healing. they do get there, and reading about it is well-worth it.

**all i ask will publish on may 30, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press (swerve) in exchange for my honest review.

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