Natalie had a wild wild youth, but she has put all of that behind her, and settled in to a happy and fun life in Hood River. She has the tattoos and the memories but nowadays she is happier to forget just how out of control her life used to be, so much so that when she runs into Paddy Hurley she tries very hard to pretend she doesn’t remember him. Even if Paddy is the absolutely delectable lead singer for Sweet Hollow Ranch, and once her former lover. Paddy has very good memories about Natalie and the couple of weeks they spent together as teenagers right before his band made it big. He doesn’t understand why she would brush him off the way she did, and can’t stop thinking about her.
This books made me so happy. I was gleeful at poor Natalie’s dismay when she realizes that Paddy has taken her brushoff as a challenge. I loved the good natured ribbing Paddy gets from his brothers and family for sudden focus on catching Natalie’s attention. But most of all I love their banter and chemistry.
But Natalie has very personal reasons for not wanting to be involved with a Rock God, beyond keeping her past in her past and most of them have nothing to do with Paddy. I really liked the internal conflict this provided for Natalie. Natalie is passionate and successful in her career (Public Librarian), she is active in her community, and has a close and loving circle of friends. She is also an incredibly private person, and she knows inviting Paddy into her life is not something she would be able to contain. Paddy has big personality, fame and she knows she won’t be able to compartmentalize her feelings and just enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Paddy, a serial dater and hedonist is attracted to Natalie beyond the challenge of bedding her again. He finds himself wanting to understand her and is sure quite quickly he wants her in his life beyond a quick fling. In her he recognizes the potential for something beyond the moment.
I really liked how Dane built up Natalie and Paddy’s relationship, and the various challenges they faced, particularly Natalie’s need for control and Paddy’s well camouflaged insecurity. The sex was hot, emotional and incredibly sexy.
While the books starts out with fun chase plot, it really becomes about what it takes to stay together, to take on major challenges, and to trust and reassure each other. The misunderstanding and failures in communication were heart-rending and believable. I never felt jerked around, instead I could see how both Natalie and Paddy could be trying their best and still fail to understand each other. And when Paddy screws up he grovels just the way he needs to.
I can’t wait to for the next book in this series, because Tuesday and Ezra’s story is going to be epic.
A copy of Best Kind of Trouble was provided by Harlequin HQN via NetGalley for review purposes.