Just to test if it sounds better out loud than in my head, I tried to gasp and cry out, "Jack Henry!"
as if I was Laurelyn in the throes of an orgasm. *wince* Ehh... Nope. It just doesn't sound natural to me! What's wrong with just Jack? It's a perfectly good name.
So I finally decided to read this book after finding out that book 2 came out yesterday. I've read warnings that this book ended in a brutal cliffhanger and I just didn't want to be in utter emotional turmoil if I ended up really loving it. I'm relieved to find out that it's not the kind of ending that makes me want to pull my hair out. It ended in a good stopping point, I'd say, especially since we've known from the beginning that there was an expiration date to their relationship.
Anyway, the story is just as the blurb says. Jack is Sydney's richest and most desired bachelor, but he's not into having relationships outside a month-long, identity-withholding companionship. Presently, he's staying in one of his vineyards, in Wagga Wagga (I love saying that) and he's decided to engage in a 3-month long romp this time - the length of his stay. After seeing and hearing Laurelyn sing at a club one night, he decides that she's the one.
Laurelyn is, coincidentally, in Australia for three months as well. She and her best friend, Addison, are on vacation and are staying with Addison's brother, Ben, in Wagga Wagga as she attempts to leave behind the remnants of her recent disastrous heartbreak in Nashville. She catches the eye of Jack on her first night and they've engaged in a passionate affair since then. They agree on Jack's conditions though: that they keep their identities hidden and that they cut off all ties after the three month period is over. Heck, if I was Laurelyn's age and got (indecently) proposed by a man like Jack I'd agree to it too!
While the billionaire-meets-struggling-younger-woman story is nothing we haven't read of before, I immediately took a liking to this one. Jack, for one, is easy to like. He has his eyebrow-raising ways, sure, but he's nice, considerate and reasonable. Definitely the type you'd want to take home and meet your folks. Laurelyn, on the other hand, is a cool chick. She's easygoing, funny and drama-free. Nothing about her or Jack annoyed me, and that's a pretty huge feat.
That being said, I didn't feel any strong emotion reading this. Some of the dialogues sounded unnatural and I couldn't help but wish that Laurelyn and Jack were both older. I dunno... I guess young billionaires don't do it for me anymore. I did like the two main characters a lot and I'm rooting for them to get their HEA. This was definitely a sweet read, and I liked the mysterious bits, but it wasn't mind blowing or unforgettable. I really enjoyed reading it though. I'm currently onto book 2 and I'm hoping that surpasses this one.