Moving on doesn’t always have to mean goodbye.
Widowed makeup artist Jane Sullivan is more comfortable keeping her husband’s memory alive than dating a pool full of sharks. Ella, her 4 year-old daughter, is her whole world. When Jane meets Lucas Oliver, famous cover model, it’s hate at first sight. His playboy persona rubs her the wrong way. Accustomed to every woman fawning over him, Lucas is drawn to the shy, uncompromising single mom and completely melts at the sight of Ella. He is determined to convince Jane that sometimes a second chance can mend a broken heart.
In the years since her husband died, Jane Sullivan has done little beyond survive. She has made her young daughter, Ella her entire world and, the memory of her late husband has become like a second child, something to care for, nurture and, never let out of your sight. Though she has a comfortable income as a make-up artist and generally enjoys her job, Jane’s true passion is writing. Her writing is what has landed Jane at her first writer’s conference where she finds herself the recipient of a writing award/contract and surrounded by a gaggle of male models. Though Jane certainly admires all the make forms around her, the memory of her late husband keeps her from truly appreciating any of them, even Lucas Oliver, the man every woman wants and every man wants to be.
Lucas Oliver has spent his life using his body to make money . . . . as a romance novel cover model, you dirty bird! His body is pure perfection and has graced the covers of more novels than he can count. Needless to say, Lucas is used to being the center of attention and though he has never lacked for female companionship he isn’t quite the playboy his reputation leads one to believe. Lucas isn’t all about the looks either – he is no one’s fool and knows that good looks fade but good business sense doesn’t. Over the years, Lucas has managed to parlay his beauty and brains into a thriving business that is knee-deep in the publishing industry. Lucas Oliver is now a triple threat with the knee-weakening good looks, a thriving business and, charm to melt even the coldest and most closed off of hearts.
Jane and Lucas are like oil and water, the disinterest and dislike is instantaneous. While Lucas doesn’t expect every woman to fall for his charm and good looks, he is rather used to it and Jane just doesn’t play by the rules. Jane has no interest in Lucas Oliver and she makes her intense dislike for him clear from the very beginning. As fate would have it, Lucas isn’t at all put off by a challenge and a mutual acquaintance/employer requires both Jane and Lucas to be in attendance for a job onsite in France for an extended period of time. Turns out, that employer/acquaintance is really wealthy and allows Jane, her daughter and, Lucas to stay in one of the guest homes. Close quarters make for close companions and though Jane tries desperately to ignore Lucas and his attention, it is hard to when he plays dirty and endears himself to Ella.
Ella makes it clear how much she likes Lucas and as the days wear on, even Jane has to admit the once-playboy isn’t all bad. In their down time, Jane and Lucas slowly get to know one another and Jane begins to – for the first time in YEARS!! – relax a bit and accept that maybe she can love someone besides her late husband. At every turn, Lucas proves himself to be true, loyal, caring and, sincere and all seems right with the world until Lucas’s past comes back to bite him firmly on the butt. With little to no hesitation, Jane re-establishes her protective walls and removes herself and Ella from Lucas’s life.
The Bottom Line: Me Tarzan – You Jane is yet another example of a book that I should have absolutely loved but found myself not so in love with by then end. A rich, successful, kind, sexy and, fiercely loyal male model is an excellent way to start a book but when he is paired with a cold, standoffish and, judgmental woman the awesome factor drops significantly. In all honesty, my greatest (and only!) complaint about this read – and the reason I dropped my star rating to three – is because of Jane. Jane is a thoroughly unlikable character and though I have complete sympathy for the fact that she lost her husband that is where my good and generous feelings end. Jane has allowed her feelings for her dead husband to cripple her at nearly every level and uses his memory and her wedding vows to him as an excuse to remain cold and alone. When Lucas walks into her life, Jane has a real chance at happiness but, at every turn, she is criticizing, judging or somehow tearing Lucas down. Yes, Lucas has his flaws but he proves time and again that he is true to his word and sincere in his feelings for Jane and Ella but Jane rejects what is right in front of her. Furthermore, Jane is constantly looking for a reason to doubt Lucas and when his past comes into to play, Jane can’t cut ties fast enough. I WANTED desperately to like Jane, to root for her but her utter lack of loyalty and belief in Lucas is pretty pathetic and sealed the dislike deal for me. I found every other aspect of this read to be agreeable and if it weren’t for Jane, my star rating would certainly be much higher.
I WRITE. I LIVE. I LOVE. I DREAM. I WRITE.
I’m a dreamer. I’m a sinner. I love my books. I conjure hooks. And heroes with good looks. Romance is my guilty pleasure. Taking me to places with new décor. Come join me if you dare. I promise not to bore. If you like to read my stories Pray my husband continues snorin’. For he’s the one who keeps me up at night. When I give my heroes wings and flight.