You know what they say: billionaires do it better . . .
Grayson Lockwood is every girl's fantasy. Fabulously weathy? Check. Dangerous good looks, complete with a titillating tattoo on his rock-hard chest? Check. High-powered CEO? Check. Too bad none of that impressed the only woman he ever loved. Since she walked away from him three years ago, Grayson can't get her out of his mind. To win her back, he'll have to finally open up about the secrets he's been keeping. But first, he may have to use a little deception.
Tired of her comatose love life, Madison O'Reilly spices things up by chatting online with a sexy stranger. All she's really looking for is a hot fling-and BookNerd seems flirtatious and surprisingly attuned to her needs. As their chats become steamier, she begins to wonder just how long she can hold out before she has the real thing. But when he steps out from behind his avatar, Grayson can only hope that Maddie will finally see his true heart . . .
I really liked this book. More than I even thought I was going to, truth be told. The premise intrigued me, and I wanted to see how the author played out the events. It can be tough to make you like a hero or heroine when the story starts out with one or the other lying, hiding things, or generally deceiving the other. In this case, Gray is doing just this...and it isn't even the first time. (You find this out quickly, in some of the blurbs that are posted for the book, or in the book itself...in the first few pages. Totally not a spoiler. I promise). So, from the beginning, I was predisposed to have my doubts about Gray, which puts me firmly in Maddie's camp, as she does too.
Gray is fascinating. So full of depth, so strong and easily hurt at the same time, if you can manage to read this and not fall for him, read it again, you were not paying attention.
It doesn't take long before you start to also see that he is maybe a little insecure, that he thinks the things in his past are bad enough that people will pull away from him in the present. You see someone who was never able to fully be himself, even in intimate moments, as he kept his guard up. And you hurt for him. And you want him to be happy. And, if you are me, you want to hug him...etc...ahem. I digress. Anyway, you like him.
Maddie is so compelling, damaged by something in her past and struggling to put that event behind her, wanting to move forward with Gray, but scared to as well. You can understand where she is coming from, both with the event in her past and with the past she shares with Gray. You can also feel how much she really wants to be with him, how much it hurts that she is not able to be, and how she is struggling to find a way to make it all ok and work.
You can't help but want things to work for both of them, to want to see things be what you can tell they want from the other.
The beauty of the story is how well-written it is. This is my first by J.M. Stewart, but it definitely won't be the last. The writing flows, the dialog is authentic and real. Your heart breaks with some of the things they say and think. The pacing is perfect, moving flawlessly from one point to the next.
This book is just that good. I recommend it, 100% and I am not sure how I am going to wait until 2017 to read the next one!
I enjoyed this book. I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more if I had read the other books in the series, but I will be going back to read them soon.
Let me just say that I'm a sucker for a second chance romance, the one that got away etc. and this book was no different. My heart went out to Maddie several times throughout this story. Her past (which may be a trigger for some) is used as her defense mechanism to guard her heart, and watching Gray break down her walls-again- was immensely satisfying.
Gray has issues of his own from his past (which again may be a trigger) but seeing our strong hero stripped bare emotionally left me gutted. Seeing this couple find their way back to each other after 3 years apart left me with a smile on my face. From flirty texts to heartfelt speeches I was rooting for this couple the entire book. Finishing this book definitely intrigued me enough to check out the rest of the series, and I look forward to the next installment.