When it comes to the wolves of Wall Street, Ryan Hamilton is the leader of the pack. But his bravado is all bluff. The bank he works for is up to it’s assets in fraud and shady deals. And thanks to pressure from the NYPD and FBI, Ryan is working as both a trader and a whistleblower. His only respite from the tension is when he parades his latest arm candy at a fancy lingerie shop.
Simone Demarchelier owns Irresistible, crafting custom high-end lingerie. So she’s more than happy that Ryan is spending a fortune on his women. But she senses that behind the hotshot facade there is something more. Something tortured and sad. And when he flies her out to the Hamptons in the shadow of a summer thunderstorm in order to fix one of her designs, she instead finds herself stuck in the opulent home with a distraught Ryan.
Is Simone the one person who can mend Ryan’s heart and soul?
I’m so torn. I love Anne Calhoun’s writing style and character driven stories, and this book is the epitome of character driven. But…there’s something missing for me when it came to this book.
Ryan Hamilton is a Wall Street golden boy. He works hard and plays even harder. Simone is a couturier who specializes in undergarments. Ryan and Simone met when he took one of his paramours to Irresistible, the shop that Simone owns. The attraction between Simone and Ryan was instantaneous but since he’s a client and obviously with someone else, Simone resisted the pull between them. For Ryan, it’s much more complicated. He’s in the middle of a financial storm and he needs his wits about him, so he cannot allow Simone to get close.
Normally, I wouldn’t be bothered by this. I love slow burning, slow building romances. The more the MCs resist, the better. But it didn’t quite work this time. For one, I couldn’t connect with the characters. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them. There’s nothing annoying (at least for me) about them, which was usually the case for me. I just felt blah towards Simone and Ryan, both as individuals and as a couple.
Second, it didn’t help that they spent more than half of the book just talking. Specifically talking about Ryan’s exploits with other women. One of their ritual was to sit outside Simone’s stoop and Ryan would tell Simone a story about the women he brought to her shop. The stories are sexual in nature and while I’m still confused as to whether they were true or not (I say it’s true and those exploits really happened), I found it weird that they chose to bond this way. I suppose it was supposed to show readers that Simone is a voyeur and although she felt some jealousy, she’s fascinated by it and is turned on by it. Again, I don’t get it. Yes, there’s an explanation as to why she felt this way but I found it really tedious and boring and frankly, I just didn’t buy it.
One thing I did like was Ryan’s backstory and the sub-plot concerning his job. I found that to be fascinating and I wish the book had more of it. Other than their talking session, Simone and Ryan spends little time with each other. I say this because even in their time together, most of it are spent talking about Ryan’s time with his women.
So as much as I love Anne Calhoun and her stories, this fell flat for me. I wish I could like it more.