Formats available: ebook, paperback, audiobook
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Not Quite, #4
Length: 322 pages
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date Released: November 4, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Romance author Dakota Laurens believes that happily-ever-afters exist only between the covers of her sexy novels. But to her surprise, she finds a real-life hero when she meets a handsome emergency room doctor. The outspoken author feels an instant and intense attraction to Dr. Walt Eddy, and the feeling is mutual. When the globetrotting doctor pulls a disappearing act on Dakota, she’s prepared to write him off…until fate brings a blindsiding twist to her story.
Still scarred from a past tragedy, Walt may have disappeared on Dakota, but now he’s determined to win her back. For the first time in years, he knows he’s ready for a new chance at love. Yet between Dakota’s doubts and two sets of meddling parents, can the once-blissful couple finally create the bright, loving future they desperately want?
I just plain liked this book. Sometimes that happens, you read a book and there isn’t any great message or anything, but it makes for an incredibly lovely time with some really nice people. Not Quite Forever is one of those books. I had fun, I loved watching these two people get together, and I finished the last page with a smile on my face.
My one regret is that I haven’t read the rest of the Not Quite series, but I can fix that.
Why did I like it so much?
First, there are the characters. Dakota Laurens is a romance author with a quick wit and a smart mouth. (I wonder if she’s modeled on the author or a romance writer that she knows?) Lauren writes just the kind of books that I like to read; sexy contemporaries where the characters have issues to resolve that will take some effort, and a happy ending that feels right and not forced.
Notice I said sexy contemporaries? Dakota has become a best-selling author, but her mother can’t manage to get the stick out of her ass (not in a good way) to read her daughter’s books. She refers to them as porn and worries about what her social circle will think instead of supporting her daughter.
Dr. Walt Eddy is in some similar familial hot water. His parents don’t support his decision to go into emergency medicine, or his work with the fictional equivalent of Doctors Without Borders. Unless he goes into cardiology and takes over his dad’s practice, his dad is silent and his mother is openly disapproving. Most parents would think he was close to an ideal son, but not her.
Their meeting at a conference mix-up is very much a meet cute. His emergency medicine conference is in the same hotel as her romance readers conference, but with considerably less attendance. His presentation is accidentally assigned to her room, and sparks fly as they tease each other over the hotel person’s head.
They have all the chemistry they need, but can’t seem to catch a moment alone to explore it. The first time they really get to be alone together, it’s during a weekend at his parents home in Colorado. And it’s a rescue date where she’s helping him to avoid his mother’s blatant and unwelcome matchmaking.
Like so much of their relationship, Walt starts out by definitely leaving Dakota that it’s all temporary and for slightly ulterior motives. She’s falling, and it seems like he’s doing everything he can to keep them from meaning too much to each other.
And its a disastrous pattern that he keeps repeating until he ends up with his foot so far down his throat that he can’t manage to admit to himself what he really feels, let alone reveal himself to Dakota.
He pushes her away, and she does what any intelligent woman would do; she leaves him to wallow in his own stupidity, no matter how much it hurts. When Walt finally is willing to admit what a complete ass he’s been, he discovers that he’s on the way to losing more than he ever imagined.
Escape Rating B+: This is one of those stories that I just plain liked. I think because I really liked (and possibly identified with) Dakota. She was funny and smart and had made a terrific life for herself doing something that she loved.
Walt was a candidate for icing on the cake that she had already made herself. He just had to deal with his own issues first. If he hadn’t screwed up big time, he might have come off just a shade too perfect. But he really screwed up, so not perfect.
It was interesting that they came from surprisingly similar family dynamics; an overbearing and disapproving mother and a silently approving father. They were both successful, but their parents were unsupportive. And they both had sisters who were extremely supportive.
I don’t normally like the “accidental pregnancy” trope, but it works in this story between these people. It helps that Dakota doesn’t need anyone to rescue her, except a bit in the emotional sense. She can afford to be a single mother, and doesn’t need Walt to take care of her financially. Emotionally, they need each other.
If you’re looking for a contemporary romance featuring grown up protagonists, Not Quite Forever is a fun one. I’m going back to read the rest of the series. While this story stands alone, I quite liked the people who are clearly the heroes/heroines of the earlier stories, and I want to find out how they found each other!
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