Free Me (The Found Duet, #1)
by Laurelin Paige
'I knew better than to settle into the comfort of predictable. It was more important to be prepared. I should have been prepared. But nothing could have prepared me for JC.'
I'm going to prefix this by saying that I haven't read the Fixed Trilogy, but I didn't feel I missed anything of relevance in conjunction to this story.
Gwen Anders is nothing but a tight-ass, boxed in New York City Nightclub manager who exists for routine. Her past thwart with bad memories and heartache. The only way forward with her heart intact is by keeping others at a safe and comfortable distance. Sex was always that, a series of hook-up's and even then, its been a good 3 years.
Managing a prestigious club in the big apple is the one thing she is good at, and reprimanding those not playing by the rules, a gift... until she meets the club's Tuesday night weekly VIP resident, JC.
JC, along with a few friends embrace the open ness of the private room where they can smoke, drink, play poker and enjoy the half clad of the female kind scenery. Gwen on the otherhand is shocked at the display and after asking for their compliance in toning it down is offered something more tempting in return.
JC is intrigued by the pretty busty blond in the suit. Her stiff upper lip may fool others, but the emptiness in her eyes hold a myriad of secrets and pain, ones only he can expel.
One night a week is his promise, and he's right, it is all it takes to make the pretty girl fly out of the box, but they both didn't count on their hearts joining the fray...
Gwen and JC are polar opposites. Whereas JC is dark, brooding, sexy and highly mysterious, Gwen prefers to remain uptight and hidden. I enioyed the dynamics of their 'no commitment, no ties,' agreement (for it is not a relationship), but I found that it was a long time coming in terms of character connection. I didn't feel like I could connect with Gwen at all. She came across aloof and cold. Distant and winey. But I appreciated the manifestation of what JC and Gwen were to finally become, it just felt a long time coming.
When I think back on this story, it is quite a long read but not much seemed to happen. I didn't feel the angst. I didn't quite believe the love, and I couldn't get my head around the events towards the end. I was like... what? JC's new proposal came so out of left field it was on a different pitch.
I enjoyed elements of this story, but I admit I found it a little hard work at times too.
Will I read book 2? Maybe. If anything I'm intrigued to see if they both keep their promise.
Kelly - 3.5 Crowns
Her story started long before she started working at The Sky Launch...
Screw fairytales. The only reward Gwen Anders got from her rough childhood was a thick skin and hard heart. She’s content with her daily grind managing a top NYC nightclub—Eighty-Eighth Floor. So hers isn’t a happily ever after. She doesn’t believe in those anyway.
Then she meets J.C.
The rich, smooth talking playboy is the sexiest thing that Gwen has ever encountered, but she’s not interested in a night-in-shining latex. But when a family tragedy pushes her to the brink, it’s J.C. who’s there to teach her a new method of survival, one based on following primal urges and desires. His no-strings-attached lessons require her to abandon her constant need for control. Her carefully built walls are obliterated.
Gwen discovers there’s a beautiful world outside her prison. Freedom is exhilarating—and terrifying. When she starts to feel something for J.C., she fears for her heart. Especially as she realizes that he has secrets of his own. Secrets that don't want to set him free.
This series can be read alone or with the Fixed Trilogy.