Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #3
Published by Berkley on May 3rd 2016
“You broke her heart.”
“Yeah, well, she broke mine, too.”
FINAL DECISION: The most emotionally complex story of the series so far, BIG EASY TEMPTATION expands the overarching conspiracy while always keeping the focus of the story on the characters and their relationship.
THE STORY: At their first meeting almost decade ago, Naval Officer Dax Spencer knew that Holland Kirk would be special to him. The two circled around one another for years until 3 years ago. The death of Dax’s father brings the two together as Dax seeks answers to what happened to his father. Holland’s work as a NCIS agent gives her jurisdiction and for a time the two work together and finally begin building a relationship. Then everything falls apart separating the two. Now the two reunite as the conspiracy The Perfect Gentlemen are investigating appears connected to Dax’s father’s death. Dax has questions for Holland about what happened three years ago.
OPINION: I loved the emotional complexity of this story. The narrative is unusual in that the story is divided in two parts. The first part takes place in the past and ends badly with Holland and Dax separated. The second part begins in present time and ultimately brings the two lovers back together. I especially liked that the story takes the time to bring readers into the past and show the entirety of what went wrong with Holland and Dax. Without that context, it would be difficult to understand and forgive the betrayals that tore them apart. By following Dax and Holland through the entirety of their story, the pain they both experience is more immediate, fresher and thus more devastating than a mere exposition of the past would have been.
This is a second chance at love story and I became engrossed in Dax and Holland’s journey and was deeply saddened at the end of the first part of the story and then rejoiced when the two found on another again. The complexity of the story, the characters and the emotional heft of the story matched the increasing complexity of the overarching story.
One thing I especially like about this series is that each of the books in the series is different. This is the not a series with different characters in the same story. Each of the stories, each of the characters, each of the situations and challenges are different. At the same time, each of the novels adds to the overarching story and I love that I get to see all the characters throughout the series.
Both Dax and Holland make many mistakes on their way to finding one another and I like the optimism of that. Even with all their mistakes and misses in getting to their HEA, the do eventually get there.
The most angst filled story so far, this book feels like a pivot point in the series as the third of the five Perfect Gentlemen gets his woman and some of the outlines of the conspiracy are beginning to be revealed. The conspiracy which has ensnared The Perfect Gentlemen is breathtaking in its scope. It also keeps me guessing!
WORTH MENTIONING: This book also reveals the likely pairings for the other Perfect Gentlemen and now I can’t wait for the next book.
CONNECTED BOOKS: BIG EASY TEMPTATION is the third book in The Perfect Gentlemen series. This book should be read as part of the series because the suspense thread is part of an overarching story. The overarching mystery continues past this book as well so be willing to continue to read the series. Not a hardship!
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.