by Audrey Harte / Published 4/10/13
Annie is desperate to find love. She’s tried the normal routes of dating but after being used and abused she gives online dating a try. She feels skeptical about paying for an online dating service so she decides to post her profile on Craigslist.
She gets multiple emails back but is hesitant and selective. Her first serious date is with Gabe. Theirs was a very sexually oriented relationship. Sizzling, swoon worthy! Hot! But it wasn’t only about that, he was attentive and romantic , went out of his way to make her feel special and just when you thought that he truly was “the one”… he drops a bomb on her. As expected she’s hurt and upset, heartbroken, but this doesn’t deter her from trying again. This time she puts herself in the Casual Encounters category of CL.
This is where we meet Nate, from the get go their emails back and forth are sexually charged. At first she imagined that this was really just a “friends with benefits” type deal. After all the online foreplay, Annie can’t seem to get him in bed fast enough. Surprisingly Nate is hesitant and prefers them becoming friends first. He even goes as far as meeting her gay BFF slash neighbor – Alex. He too is attentive like Gabe, outgoing, sweet and friendly which she really didn’t quite expect since she met him in the Casual Encounters. Just when she thought that this relationship was going somewhere… he just disappears out of her life right after a raunchy tryst in a public restroom. No explanation, no farewell, no goodbye kiss. Nothing. She didn’t even get off. What a jerk, right?
Of course this is another slap in the face. What is it about her where she can’t find a good guy? She’s attractive and beautiful, has a job and is emotionally stable, why can’t she find a man with staying power? Visually upset and sitting in her car on her lunch break after that episode an expected face shows up through her car window. She ends up going out for coffee with this guy – Casey. She decides she likes him enough to share all of her failed relationships with and just like that , they hit it off. They decide that maybe this friendship could evolve into something else but bad timing strikes. Casey has to leave town for awhile because of his job. As soon as he leaves…Nate unexpectedly reappears. Now what? Does she give him the time of day? Or does she ignore him and see where her and Casey’s relationship could go?
I loved the concept of this story. I thought it was raw and gritty. In this day and age, I agree that online dating has its appeal in finding your perfect someone but it has its many drawbacks as well . The anonymity is just too scary, you will never know what dangerous things this could lead to.
I loved that Annie was confident and a go getter. The way she put herself out there was admirable. Never in a million years would I do such a thing. Although, I also thought that Annie was a bit shallow. She was more into the looks and chemistry part of a relationship more than anything. How could you decide by just one picture that a person isn’t for you? She was definitely looking in the wrong place!
And Craigslist really? After reading all that horrible stories about CL why would you even want to meet people over CL. To me, paying a website that is known to have good results in match making shows that you are much more serious in finding your someone. CL to me just screams “hook-up”. So I don’t know why she expected so much more than casual sex.
Besides that I thought for a first novel Ms. Harte did a wonderful job. The story ran smoothly and I thought was well written, the passion between Annie and Gabe was electrifying, I also loved that Annie was half Asian. In all the Indie books you’ve read have you ever read one about an Asian heroine? Never! I also loved the relationship she had with Alex and her besties.
The only thing unsatisfying about this book was the cliffhanger. Most (if not all) series books have major cliffhangers.This one I would rate as “above average cliffy”. I really don’t think that this story was meant to be written that way. In my opinion, the author just had too much good material to fit into one book. Normally this would upset me and I would go on a tireless rant but I think I’m almost desensitized because I’m not as upset as I would be compared to my previous reviews. I also think it will be worth the wait in the end. A good thing is we don’t have to wait too long for the next installment. I say, this is a must read. If you have serious doubts about the cliffhanger, I would suggest waiting to read this one until right before the 2nd installment drops.
I bet you 100% that Gabe and Nate somehow know each other. Or even have a very close relationship… guys that run in the same social circles , distant relatives maybe or drinking buddies?
Maybe Nate is the real father of Gabe’s pseudo baby. And Gabe, being the honorable guy that he is just got trapped into this family life by one scorned woman. Hell, Gabe is the total package, who wouldn’t want to trap him into marriage?
I assume that this is the reason why Nate disappeared, he realizes that this is the same Annie that Gabe is in love with. Perhaps even the love of Gabe’s life. I think that without meaning to Nate is falling for her too.
Before all this started she was lonely and desperate, now… she will have all these men trying to win her affections. Who will end up with the prize? Honestly… I’m rooting for Gabe. Casey maybe a good contender as well. It’s just too soon to predict since we haven’t heard much about him yet. So we shall see!