by Ellis Leigh
Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2016
At the end of Hudson’s story, I wasn’t too happy with Miss Stacy, but I tried to clear the negative clutter from my mind so I could enjoy this read, and watch the last two of the group get their HEA.
Both Maverick and Stacy harbor inner pain they’re afraid to let anyone see. He, because of the loss of his world and everything he knew. She, because of the loss of control of her own life caused by the devastation of illness and subsequent recovery. Grumpiness, sarcasm and caustic remarks are their shields. Sometimes, it’s understandable. Sometimes, it’s just entirely too mean-spirited.
When Stacy sets out to fix the mess she’s created before even actually “meeting” Maverick, she pushed my buttons. It was more like some reality show challenge quest she had to win. Meh. All she had to do was find the man and talk it out, but she instead found fault with him misunderstanding her remark and storming out. In Maverick’s defense, how was he to know her careless offhand remark was a covering lie? He didn’t even KNOW her. She bounded into the apartment talking a mile a minute, not giving anyone else a chance to complete a sentence. Double Meh.
Still trying to see Stacy in a positive light though. Just when I thought she’d won me over with the easy acceptance of Maverick’s origins, and admitting her own fears, Stacy lets me down by allowing the insipid remarks of a gossipy co-worker, and a cheating, lying ex-boyfriend to mess with her self-esteem. How? WHY? This opens a whole new can of ready-made drama and Stacy gets to sabotage the relationship while swan diving into a big old vat of self-pity (and perhaps a bit of self-loathing?) Had she always felt second best to the sister who put her first and would do anything for her? Misunderstanding a conversation between Hudson and Maverick leads Stacy to create a scene, then storm off. (Um, wait a sec. What did she accuse Maverick of doing?) Ten seconds of allowing anyone else to complete a sentence would have resolved the “problem.”
Much like with Cutlass and Chloe, I’m glad Maverick got the ending he wanted. For me, Stacy is an afterthought. She acted more like a twin to Chloe than to Macy, more consumed with Maverick’s appearance and sex with him than anything else. (Romance waves from the bench. “Put me in, coach!”)
I have never had a problem reading anything by this author, but this one brought me far too close to the DNF zone. Stacy turned off my sympathy from the beginning, and was wearing my empathy down fast. I needed her to pick a personality and stay with it. Hopefully, one I could tolerate. Contrary to popular trends, “sassy” and “feisty” are not always positive things, but Maverick was happy, and that was enough for me.