I jumped into this book knowing it’s part of an ongoing series, written by a new-to-me author, just because of the promising combo of straight and narrow professor and exuberant baker. That there were bound to be some personal issues already occurred to me, but I didn’t thought it would be quite a bit SOME. 😀
That James’s siblings and their spouses took up quite a lot of the early chapters were one. Added to that were James and Gracie’s friends, family and exes; all these too many “familiar” characters to the series but I knew zilt about had me grappling a bit. I could trudge along fine though, considering. It was a plus that I found James and Grace’s animosity entertaining. Of course, as the universe except the two already figured out, behind all those bickering was a mutual attraction.
The way their association developed from hostility to rather polite understanding then progressing to affair was nicely done. Too smutty for taste, but still fine. What rather threw me were the role-playing and dom/sub vibe as the story went on. Perhaps for those familiar with Ms. Dawson’s style, the rather kinky turn was more than okay; for me though, it kinda not.
I also felt, for all the title James had – professor of forensic anthropology – there was little on the story contributing to this fact. There were mentions of Jane Doe cases, publications and tenure, but not so much. Pity that, considering this story had had quite long pages.
Other than that though, I liked the characters, hardheaded, lack of perceptions, whatever. Gracie was a whirlwind and James the eye of the storm. Yes, there were times I want to smack their heads over *drumrolls* misunderstanding and bad communications, but the James Donovan’s drunk scene? Priceless. Well, a tad over the top drama, but I LOVED IT! *grins*
The camaraderie and close-knitted kinship these two had with their family and friends were heartwarming. I especially loved Jane and Anne with their rather ribald pushing. Not to forget, the many mentions of cakes and other baked goods. Those certainly helped my reading enjoyment!
ARC was kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review.