I’m not sure why, but it always amazes me how subjective reading is. How some readers can think a book was great – that the angst was good, the groveling was amazing, the hero redeemed himself, etc – yet I can’t remember when I loathed a book so much. Nothing But This
made me nothing but cranky, and it’s gonna come out it this review.
Also, consider this your warning: I need to purge all this frustration that accumulated reading this book, so there’s gonna be spoilers galore. Don’t wanna know why I’m ticked off? Don’t keep reading. I’m not usually one to have such a negative opinion about a book, and I usually temper my negative opinions if I do. Not gonna happen this time.
Greyson and Libby knew each other growing up. He was four years older and her parents worked for his family, so instead of trying to just keep things friendly when he started becoming attracted to her, he was rude. Ten (or so) years later, Greyson runs into Libby at a party, talks her into going back to his hotel room, and after spending the night together, proposes marriage. She puts him off for two months, then finally gives in. Shortly after the wedding Libby excitedly announces that she’s pregnant. But because Greyson believes he’s sterile he automatically thinks she cheated on him. He spends the whole pregnancy treating her like crap, and then accuses her to her face while she’s still in the hospital with the newborn baby in her arms. Also, he purposely went on a business trip so he would miss the birth.
This is not angst. This is an adult behaving like a 12 year old.
Because Libby has at least a modicum of self-respect (but apparently not a whole lot because if someone is treating you like crap for seven months, why the hell are you putting up with it???), she leaves town and builds a life for herself and her daughter.
Four months later – that’s right, FOUR MONTHS it takes him – Greyson finally shows up on Libby’s doorstep wanting her back.
This book brought out the GRRRR in me. I was really looking forward to it, too, because I love second chance love stories and it’s unusual for this genre to deal with couples who are already married. Also, so many reviewers I follow liked it. But for me, I couldn’t get past my enmity for the hero and the odd things the heroine does.
From the get go, I couldn’t understand why Greyson and Libby got married, and the “reason” didn’t seem plausible when it was given. I think I needed more time with them at the beginning of their marriage to feel torn up about the demise of their relationship.
Then I couldn’t fathom what would be a reasonable excuse for the way Greyson treated Libby after the birth of their child. Because he’s an “introvert” and not as outgoing as his brother isn’t an excuse or a reason. You are not a good person if you immediately think the worst of the people you supposedly love. If you can’t give me a plausible reason why the hero would make such baseless accusations, you won’t ever be able to win me over. Never. No matter how much the hero “grovels” or apologizes. Repairing faucets, installing door locks, and fixing things around the house is good and all, but that’s a pittance compared to accusing your wife of cheating and not contacting her for months. I was actually wishing there had been an evil ex-girlfriend responsible for the “miscommunication” instead of what actually went down.
After that, Libby does things like tell Greyson she doesn’t want him in her daughter’s life but then in the next breath asks if he wants to hold the baby he hasn’t seen since he walked out of the hospital room after Libby gave birth. She asks him to sign divorce papers, then never follows through.
I liked how Libby let the full force of her anger flow freely in Greyson‘s direction. But that was the ONLY good thing about this book.
Yes, Greyson was remorseful. Yes, Greyson tried to make amends. But there was no redeeming his asshole behavior. You can be an introvert and not be an asshole. You can be reserved and not be an asshole. You can be jealous of your twin brother and the relationship he has with your wife and not be such a colossal asshole.
So yeah. I shoulda quit this book instead of wasting my whole week trying to get through it. But I was lured by the false promise of redemption (it’s that damn romantic in me wanting everything to work out). Lessons learned: do a more thorough job vetting the books I request ARCs of (because I’m fairly certain just the reviews from the first book in this series would have put me off it), and QUIT A BOOK IF IT’S MAKING ME ANGRY!!!
* thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review