Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: Out now
Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately, Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.
A.J. admits it — Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
Like my fellow bookpusher, MinnChica, stated in her review, The Animal Magnetism series by Jill Shalvis is also one of my favourite contemporary romance series. It’s like the bestest romance series eva with super sexy heroes, sexy confident heroines, and adorable animals (doggies <3) that push all of my happy buttons until I want to roll around on the floor surrounded by fluffy puppies. I missed last year’s release so Darcy and AJ were new-to-me characters, but what’s great about this series is that you can read the titles as standalones. I adored both Darcy and AJ. Both of them pushed each other but despite their prickly bantering, there was a deep bond between them from when AJ worked as her physical therapist. Thanks to a screwed up childhood from her negligent parents, Darcy believes she will always be rejected and people will leave her. She deeply loves her brother and sister but it’s a fear that won’t go away. This is one of the conflicts throughout the book, but AJ was also hesitant after a very bitter and tragic breakdown with his ex-fiancee who also went through a very traumatic injury. Usually it’s either the hero or heroine pushing the other away but in this novel it was a little of both. I loved Darcy and I related to her a little. Chronic pain is awful and chronic lack of sleep really can make you short on temper and very irritable. It wears you down and I understood her reactions and her behaviour. But I loved that she allowed herself to get close to AJ and I adored their funny banter and their hot smexy times in the hotel. Despite both being wary they had deep conversations and their emotional and physical attraction grew stronger and stronger as the book progressed. Shalvis always writes amazing heroes and heroines and while AJ is not my favourite hero of hers, I loved that Darcy was always on his mind and how he protected her but also pushed her for her own independence without any pity parties. The ending did get somewhat repetitive with Darcy pushing AJ away, and I wasn’t keen on the misunderstanding. But it was still a lovely ending with Darcy finally realising that she was the one pushing people away and finally accepted AJ’s love for her. All in all, I really liked this installment and can’t wait for Zoe’s story. B+