The guy on the train is just Marcia’s type. A face like an angel, a scent like raw honey, treats her like he has a white horse and suit of armor stowed in his messenger bag. Perfect. Too perfect. No guy like that would be interested in prim, awkward Marcia, notorious goody-goody and a twentysomething still clutching her v-card. She’s been following rules her whole life—but somewhere, the game changed. And left her behind. So when she meets Damien, with his rumbling motorbike, gleaming piercings, and wicked imagination, she doesn’t care that he’s the exact opposite of “her type.” Her type would never dare her into such shocking, fiendishly inventive adventures—and she can’t wait to say yes. Yes to whiskey in the middle of a workday. Yes to letting her hands roam over his body from the back of his bike. Yes to a fling full of wild abandon and absolutely no long-term potential. Except Damien’s not just the straightforward bad boy she imagined. And as they burn through Chicago’s nights, Marcia can’t shake the fear that this happiness is just another fairy tale…
**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!**
Holy Hell, I never thought the day would come when I disliked a Jeffe Kennedy book. I have truly never disliked one of her books so this feeling is quite new and uncomfortable for me and I don’t care for it, one bit. But alas, I’m all about the truth in reviewing so here goes . . . .
This is round two of the Missed Connections series and it picks up almost precisely where book one ended, with Charley happily dating her mister and Marcia living in fear of Charley’s revenge for her intervention into Charley’s love life. Marcia is, by far, the sweetest member of the group and often lives in what the others would consider a fairy tale world. Her room is decked out in princess pink and white, she loves the Disney princesses, and she is absolutely certain her own prince charming is out there waiting for her, all they have to do is fortuitously run into one another. Yeah, there’s more than one reason Marcia’s still a virgin and in her mid-twenties.
Over the next several days, Marcia’s life gets absolutely turned upside down. In the first place, she is approached by the single-most-perfect-for-her-man and she outright rejects his advances on the basis, he is an actor and most assuredly sent by Charley to exact revenge on Marcia for her previous actions. The serendipitous nature of the meeting, the perfection of his form and his words, his love of the Missed Connections are just too fairytale and cannot at all be real or anything other than Charley exacting her revenge. Marcia is so convinced of this, she comes barreling into the house and lets Charley have it, full force, the second she is able! Only to be told she is a terrible friend and utterly paranoid for thinking such a thing possible.
As if things weren’t already bad enough, Marcia is also faced with the new and appalling knowledge that her mother, her terminally single mother, now has a boyfriend and won’t be home for Thanksgiving. With her friendships in peril and her only family behaving most unusually, it is no wonder Marcia is all out of sorts. So much so that the very next day she accepts the offer of noontime drink from a total stranger who is, admittedly, quite handsome, but in no way Marcia’s type. Though the initial meeting ends rather badly, Marcia finds she is quite taken with this new, definitely-not-her-type man and conspires to see him again. See him again, she certainly does and no one, not even Marcia can believe how well they are suited to one another. In the wake of all the awful that has recently happened, Marcia delights in her new man and, for the first time in her life, resolves to enjoy the moment rather than obsessing over a happily ever after. Too bad there are factors in play Marcia knows nothing about that will threaten both her immediate and long-term happiness.
The Bottom Line: I have so many issues with this read and most of them revolve around Charley and her atrocious behavior. While I can appreciate Charley being upset by Marcia’s butting into her business, I can’t at all understand the lengths she goes to in order to get back at Marcia. Charley plays on Marcia’s hopes, dreams, and insecurities in the cruelest of ways with little more than an “I’m so sorry” at the end. Even more troubling is Marcia’s response to the whole affair; a few tears, a few pretty words and a hug, and all is forgiven. My final issue with this read is the whole actor playing two roles bit! For the entire read I found myself wondering what happened to the perfect bloke from the train only to find he’s been hiding in plain sight the whole time. Really? In all, I found much of this book to be somewhat ridiculous and not at all what I have come to expect from Jeffe Kennedy. With all that being said, I am not giving up on this series as the two most objectionable characters have had their say and there are three other far more likeable girls waiting to have their stories told. Additionally, this is Jeffe Kennedy we’re talking about and this is literally the first book of hers I have disliked.
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook. Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under, followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.