Being the only girl in a family is never easy, being the only girl in a family of 6 brothers is impossible. Amanda has never had a relationship,never had a proper date and never had sex. No man will come within a 100 yards of her, and face the wrath of her multitude of brothers, leaving her the Town Virgin.
Though her overprotective brothers are the reason her life is on hold, they aren’t willing to let her face her future alone. They decide the only way to make sure this never happens is to take matters into their own hands and find her a husband. The unwitting victim of their scheme is long time family friend Cole, who also happens to be the star of Amanda’s sexually frustrated dreams. The only problem with this scheme is that Cole is a long-time commitment-phobe who has vowed off relationships, never mind marriage!
Cole is horrified by the proposition/order laid down to him by Amanda’s brothers. He doesn’t want her hand in marriage, nor does her want her to face being the towns laughing stock when they offer up to the next available man if he says no to their proposal. He starts to date her,determined to tell her the truth when he gets the opportunity. He never bet on falling for the determined little madam, leaving him hesitant to tell her of his true intentions.
Amanda knows her brothers have to interfere with every aspect of her life, but she couldn’t quite believe they’d go this far until she overheard it with her own ears. Refusing to allow them the satisfaction of knowing they’ve upset her, she goes along with their plot and allows Cole to take her out. He never suspects that she knows about the plan until he overhears her revenge plan to sleep with him and dump him, proving to her brothers that she is old enough to make her own decisions whilst getting rid of that pesky virginity. Letting her go through with it seems the right thing to do, well, that and playing her at her own game.
With two not-so-secret plots being played out, it’s not a complete shock that things don’t go as smoothly as either party expects. With teenaged peeping toms, accidental handcuffing and a woman who is as stubborn as a mule, this was never going to be a boring ride.
Well, It may seem like I’ve given away loads of the plot but I actually haven’t gone beyond about 35% of the novel. All this is set up for the main event, a precursor to a tale filled with hidden intentions and desires. I haven’t read the first three in the series and, although that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this tale, I will be reading them now ‘cos I enjoyed the heck out of this book.
Amanda was a bit of a stubborn idiot at times but on the whole I liked her. She was trying to break out of the protective barriers created by her elder brothers but there was something inside telling her she wasn’t good enough to make it on her own. Never really having seen the “I will kill you painfully and they will never find the body” side of her eldest brother, she never really understood the barrier that other men faced. She just assumed that she wasn’t worth fighting for, that she was destined for a life in the shadows.When Cole asks her out, she doesn’t believe it’s anything other than a joke.When she hears about the plan, it all makes sense her head. Yes, she’s hurt by her brother’s actions but also it’s a way to get rid of the virginity she doesn’t think she’ll ever get rid of otherwise. She really was a woman with issues and I felt so much pity for that. Unfortunately, there were also points I wanted to slap her upside the head. Her stubbornness was cute, but over the top. I loved that she traded skills for life skills (i.e. cooking lessons for electrical safety lessons) but her reasoning pissed me off. Being self sufficient is one thing; learning these skills to prove a point and never having to ask your brother? Bit much. She was likeable but a little childish in her reasoning.
Cole I adored. Cole didn’t want to be married because his parents had had a terrible one, but he forgot about that soon enough. What I loved throughout this tale was the total devotion he had to Amanda. He didn’t stifle her,didn’t control her; he tried to enable her to make her own way. He arranged for her to learn car maintenance, tried to romance her even though she was a sure thing and he never let up trying to show her she was a person worth knowing. He had some of the best lines in this entire book and I fell for him hook, line and sinker. The scene where he found out about the catalogue was the best in the book for me; that firm control snapped and we got some seriously pissed off man… *swoon*. Of course the fact that he knew Elfish and Klingon only cemented my love of him…I love secret nerds 😀
“There’s more to sex than just going at it.” He pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth, then another along her cheek. She turned her head to give him more room. “There’s not much satisfaction in that. You should have build-up. Anticipation. Temptation. Seduction.”
The side characters of this tale made it even better. A special mention must go out to Locke… I cannot wait for his book! He was a complete caveman for the majority of the book, but the scene where he explains how much he gave up to bring them all up made me tear up; there are many hidden layers to that man, I can’t wait for his story (especially with the big massive clue Dee throws our way in the Epilogue :D)
This is a contemporary with angst, humour and sexual tension throughout. With a Hero that made me swoon and a side character that made me cry, I don’t think I could ask for anything more. Read it for Cole if nothing else…. he named his motorbike “friend” in Elfish.