Parker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she’s come to Texas to restore, isn’t the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it’s merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.
When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he’s gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.
Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won’t be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’ve really enjoyed Gail’s writing in the past, so this new contemporary romance book really grabbed at my attention.
Chandler’s family was one of the founders of his small town, and after his family mansion burned down, he realizes just how proud of his heritage he really is. Getting a world-renowned architect to come in and re-build his family’s legacy is just what he needs. The sexual chemistry that is threatening to blow the town completely out of Texas isn’t.
Parker loves her life on the road, constantly traveling around the world from project to project, restoring a little bit of history everywhere she goes. The mansion in Texas is a bit of an enigma to her, and getting to work on the project is everything she hoped it’d be. Add in the sexy client and Texas is turning out to provide Parker with more than just a job, it has the potential to be her future.
I really wanted to love this story, because I thought the set up was super adorable, however I found that I struggled to connect to the story. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the “I love yous” came a little too quickly for me, or if I just didn’t find myself connecting with the romance the way I have with Gail’s other books. Either way, I had a hard time falling in love with this book like I have Gail’s recent contemporary romance books.
That being said, I did really like both Parker and Chandler as individual characters. I loved the way Chandler was so laid back and easygoing. He never really let anything get him down, except for the ridiculous Mayor. And yet, every time he dealt with her, he did so in a manner that was calm and collected. He just had this “too cool” attitude about him that I actually loved.
Likewise, Parker was a fun character as well. She was strong and assertive, and her love of history put a huge smile on my face. I enjoyed seeing a more nerdy heroine, and her passion for history and buildings really came through to me. I would have loved to see even more of her desire and drive, because for some reason I felt as if there wasn’t enough of that in the book.
While the romance developed at a pretty rapid pace, to me it felt very physical and not as heavy emotionally. The sex was hot, Hot, HOT between these two, but it was also frequent enough that I didn’t feel like we really got a chance to see the rest of their relationship develop. I would have liked to see more of them spending time together clothed and working on the emotional aspections of their romance, especially since their communication skills were almost non-existent. 🙁
All in all, Gail continues to amaze me with her ability to write engaging contemporary romance books. The plot lines are all unique and fun and different, and something that usually brings a smile to my face. While the romance fell short for me, I think a lot of people will enjoy this story.
I give One Hot Second a C+