Saturday, December 24, 2016

Book Review of Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Becky Wade has been a favorite author of mine since My Stubborn Heart. She instantly won my heart with her rich and honest stories of wounded souls and the enduring hope of the Healer. Her Porter Family series sits on my bookshelf at home - where very few of my review books land - most get donated to a library. So here is the final addition to the Porter Family.

Her One and Only is book 4 in the series. The long awaited wrap up to the family saga and the only girl in the family of rough and tumble boys. But Dru is no princess!

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?
Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.
Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.
I absolutely LOVED the previous books in the series. Yet, this one fell very flat for me. I wholeheartedly recommend her series but cannot offer the same praise for Her One and Only. However there is a plot line in this book that follows up on Meg and Bo from book 1 Undeniably Yours.
Now for my reasons. First of all the characters were stereotypical. I loved the flip of a teeny-tiny woman decked out with killer bodyguard skills protecting a huge, muscled tight end football player. Chapter one page one and two go into detail that the irony isn't lost on Dru either. However beyond that flip and switch, everything falls very predictable after that. Gray, our football hero idolizes himself and all the female attention he receives on a daily basis. And Dru fights tooth and nail to be seen as "more than" her short stature and womanly figure.
I enjoyed the banter between the characters brought on by the way they saw themselves in contrast to each other. Yet Gray was hard to like. He baited her. He taunted her, all to prove he could get a reaction from any girl. So at times the talk between the two was inappropriate with sexual innuendos.
As is with good fiction, the main characters grow and mature as they face their issues and work through them. This is definitely the case with these characters and by the end of the book I could like and appreciate who Gray was. A part of that change for him is how his heart softened to Dru. At one point he made a bet with a fellow football player to see who could win Dru - who could get her to kiss him first. At first it was pure Neanderthal fun as the boys competed but a protective side soon came out of Gray. It redeemed his playboy qualities slightly but the novel definitely takes liberties to show his needs and urges in relation to women. Not unlike his football cohort.
I also struggled with the suspense aspect. The story opens with a prologue three months in the future. In all honesty if that hadn't been there I would not have finished the book. Because it was there I had a glimpse that something powerful was going to happen to peak the story. And I waited a lot of pages to get it. I just did not get pulled into the drama of the search for the stalker.
Yet for me the biggest distraction to the story was the sub plot of Meg and Bo's journey with infertility and loss. It was a great, inspiring story in every way but not here in this book. It needed its own title. 
It pains me to write this review as I have adored all of Becky Wade's previous books. So, suffice it to say this one will not deter me from reading another book of hers in the future. And as always if I must deliver a low rating on a book I remind you that everyone has different likes. Please feel free to visit another blog I came across that had a very different reaction to this particular book.
By the Book Book review of Her One and Only,
And you can always check out my previous review of book 3 A Love Like Ours which I couldn't say enough good about.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

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