Title: One To Keep
Series: One To Hold #2
Author: Tia Louise
Format: Paperback & eBook, 265 pages
Published: January 11, 2014 by TLM Productions
Links: Goodreads| Amazon | B&N
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
There's a new guy in town...
"Patrick Knight, single, retired Guard-turned private investigator. I was a closer. A deal maker. I looked clients in the eye and told them I'd get their shit done. And I did..."
Patrick doesn't do "nice."
At least, not anymore.
After his fiancée cheats, he follows up with a one-night stand and a disastrous office hook-up. His business partner (Derek Alexander) sends him to the desert to get his head straight--and clean up the mess.
While there, Patrick meets Elaine, and blistering sparks fly, but she's not looking for any guy. Or a long-distance relationship.
Patrick's ready to do anything to keep her, but just when it seems he's changed her mind, the skeletons from his past life start coming back.
A STAND-ALONE, ONE TO HOLD NOVEL. Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. (M/F, male POV)
Ever since Patrick walked in on his fiancée Stacy being overly neighborly with apartment 24B, he has decided to wall off his heart and adopt a “you only live once” philosophy with women. From his office secretaries to his tattoo artist he works to forget Stacy. It isn't until he meets Elaine though, that he begins to heal and leave the past behind him. However, with someone from his past wanting revenge and a hookup having a lingering effect, the past just might not leave him alone.
Told in a first person point of view from only the hero's perspective gave this story a fresh new take on a romance genre story. It was interesting to see things wholly from the male perspective but while it gave this a new feeling it was to the determent of the heroine character Elaine. The reader and hero don’t meet Elaine until 30% in and with the very limited time she spends with Patrick we never get to know her. We learn more about the older bombshell secretary in Patrick's office that he propositions but gets turned down, the tattoo artist that he bangs in the backseat of his car and later becomes good friends with, the temp secretary he lives out a porn fantasy with, and his ex-fiancée. All these women had back stories and while they may have been cardboard cutout at least they made it off the board.
Elaine and Patrick really only spend about 20% of the story together and their relationship never moves on beyond insta-love. Elaine is Patrick's one true vagina, err excuse me, love but I never understood or felt why. They meet, sleep together, and then Patrick is saying he is going to move to her city; I was checking page numbers to make sure I wasn't missing some pages. Patrick was an ok character to follow along with but since the story didn't have substance his thoughts and actions made him a very vague character that seemed like a nice guy but pretty empty.
What was really problematic for me and might not be a problem for others was the amount of other women in Patrick's life. I like the tried and true one heroine and one hero for each other. Kenny, the tattoo artist and backseat gal, ended up playing a pretty big role in this story; I thought she was the heroine for a while. I won't go into too much detail but suffice to say the last 60% of the story devolved into a wannabe Spanish soap opera; vindictive exes (I still don't understand Stacy and her brother's role) and antibiotics messing up birth control. The last half got very messy with mish moshes of unnecessary and over-the-top story lines.
The blurb stated this was a standalone and I have to say, I don't really agree with that. There is a continuous couple's story arc from the first in the series that looks to continue on in the book after this one involving Patrick's boss. While I was reading this I could tell I had incomplete and missing information. Going back to my Spanish soap opera comparison, it felt like I had started watching a TV. show six episodes in.
The author's writing is good grammatical and technical wise, just not to my taste. I think the blurb needs to be reworked with a little bit of a warning to how this isn't a typical romance genre story. I don't typically like stories where the hero is heavily involved with women other than the heroine, not prepared for it left a bad taste in my mouth. If you don't hold the same prejudices and have been missing All My Children/One Life to Live then this is a quick enough read to give a try, just make sure you read the first in the series first.