Completely Smitten (Hometown Heartbreakers, #9) by Susan Mallery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a sweet, lovely read! I'm completely smitten... LOL, you knew this pun was coming, right?
U.S. Marshall Kevin Harmon has just delivered a prisoner to the federal penitentiary in Kansas, and now all he wants is a beer, a burger and a bed, in that order. So there he is, in a seedy road side bar, getting the beer and the burger, when she walks in... For once he isn’t looking for trouble, so of course trouble, in the form of a pretty, wide-eyed blonde, comes looking for him. Kevin can see the nervousness in her eyes and the hesitation in her step, stating loud and clear that she doesn't belong in this - or any other - bar, and he's determined to stay out of the way, no matter what. But when she's accosted by 3 bullies who are interested in more than just a friendly chat, he can't not do anything, can he? So he dons his shining armor and goes to her rescue...
Haley Foster is a very sheltered, naïve minister's daughter who has run away from home in order to "experience life" for the 1st time. She was engaged to her father's associate pastor, but longtime lingering doubts made her question her decision to marry a man she doesn't love. So she's packed her bags, hit the road and there she is now, in a seedy road side bar in Kansas, being rescued by a handsome, in a rugged, cigarette-advertisement sort of way, man.
Reformed bad boy Kevin knows better than to get involved with innocent Haley, and tries his best to do "the right thing" and stay away from her. He's slime. Actually, he's the single-celled creatures that aspire to be slime. She deserves better than someone like him. But no matter how many times he repeats this mantra to himself, he can't help being pulled into her charming, adorable side. Fate intervenes and he finds himself in need of a ride to his mother's home in Possum Landing, TX, so she offers to drive him there. Does he want to spend the next few days this close to her? Oh yes! He's going to hell for sure. But he's going down with a smile...
This was an utterly adorable, "feel good" read! Kevin was oh-so-sweet, and I loved the way he kept thinking that lightning would strike him for lusting after virginal Haley. He was just perfect, always respectful and concerned about her wants and needs. Oh my, can I have more of him, please? ;) Haley was also lovely, and it was fun to watch her "experiencing life" and finding her independence. I've never met anyone so innocent in real life, but I didn't find her unbelievable at all considering the way she'd been raised. Things could have turned bad for her if she hadn't found Kevin so early in her self-discovery journey, but that didn't mean she wasn't a person of her own. As corny as it sounds, they really completed each other.
As for the plot, this was a straight contemporary novel about 2 people meeting and falling in love. There was no mystery to be solved and no secondary plot to divert my attention. This book is part of the Hometown Heartbreakers series and the connection that ties the characters in the series was part of the story, but it wasn't big enough to make it necessary to read the previous books to understand and enjoy this one. Nonetheless, I'm going to track them down because I want to read them. If they're as good as this one, I'm in for a treat. :)
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