Series: Reluctant Hearts #3
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, New Adult
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository
She wanted a one-night stand...and then he moved in next door.
Paige Bennett is more than content with her life and what she does—and does not—have in it. She’s got a supportive family, a great apartment, and the best friend a girl could ask for; so what if her relationships expire faster than a carton of milk? After a disastrous detour courtesy of poor judgment in the boyfriend department, her plan is back on track and her dream job is finally within her grasp. Nothing can make her lose focus now. Well, nothing except the one-night stand she had with her best friend’s surrogate brother. The one-night stand she can’t stop thinking about.
Adam Reid has always been reliable...the responsible son, the loyal friend, the steady boyfriend. Two years ago, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and is well on his way to making a name for himself at an accounting firm in Denver—a far cry from working as a helper in the Mom and Pop store his parents own in Michigan. But when said store starts failing, he’s the only one who can step in and help. So reliable Adam does what he always does, and he comes to the rescue.
Paige thought Adam was a safe bet because he lives halfway across the country. But then suddenly he’s moving back to their town, and then into her apartment building, and soon he’s worming his way right into her life. If she’s not careful, he might sneak his way into her heart, too...
This is one of those reviews that’s almost painful to write because while I enjoyed the book and still gave it 3.5 stars, the previous books in the series are among my favorite NA romances, so I was expecting a lot from this book. And unfortunately for me, it didn’t quite live up to them. But like I said, it was still enjoyable just not quite enough to become a favorite.
The best thing about Paige in Progress was the characters. As with the two previous Reluctant Hearts books, the characters really carry the books. The stories and the romances are good but I read them and kept reading them because the characters were so interesting and the guys are swoony. That’s no different for this one. Paige is a strong female lead whose just started an internship that she’s hoping to turn into a career. She’s also sporty and loves all things physical and outdoors. And she hates relationships. Paige was burned by a guy who she changed her whole life for and now she refuses to put herself in that position again. She doesn’t need a man. Except when she needs him. And Adam has played it safe in his life too by moving away from home and the family business, choosing a career that was dependable, and dating women who were “safe”. He’s basically a nice guy who takes good care of Paige and loves his family. I think a lot of people will really love Adam. But I think the breakout characters from this book are really Paige’s brothers, Tanner and Dillon. And my other favorites were from Caged in Winter and Tessa Ever After. And that’s unfortunate for a book. Because while Paige was great and I really liked that she was confident and smart, she was also crazy perfect in every way, pretty much everything I imagine guys want in a girl. She’s tall, blond, beautiful, model-like body, likes beer and pizza, horror movies, outdoor sports (and is great at all of them), and wants to solve crimes for a living. And she wants to have sex pretty much all the time. So for me, she was a little hard to connect with, especially after Winter and Tessa were so relateable and flawed. And Adam was kind of hard to figure out. He seemed like two totally different people from who he told us he was and from how he acted with Paige. I just couldn’t decide who he was. Even now, I can’t really say that much about him. And when I’m reading a book, I want to really know the characters and love them the most.
Also, my biggest complaint about the book, was that it took a really long time to actually get into the story. For about the first 30% of the book, it was all sexual tension and very repetitive. It was Paige thinking about Adam and their one-night stand and recalling everything they did and how many times and then talking about how hard her nipples were. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve read about a character who was more obsessed with her nipples than Paige was. Or it would be Adam talking about how much he was attracted to Paige and how he can’t stop thinking about what they did and no matter how often he tries, he just can’t seem to satisfy himself or go for a night without dreaming of her. If I wanted to read only about sex, I’d pick up erotica. But I’m the guy who picks up Playboy for the articles. I need the romance too! I want to know the characters and their backstories, I want to see their chemistry outside of the bedroom and watch them fall for each other, I want conversations and dates and drama. I certainly don’t mind the sex parts but this is a romance. So give me romance!
Luckily, when it did start, it was really good. The only thing that saved this book for me was when the story between Paige and Adam actually started happening. When it started moving forward and we saw them together in a non-sexual way, the story really shined. Their chemistry was undeniable and their banter was lots of fun and I was reminded why I fell in love with these books in the first place. I also really liked when the plot branched out and we got to meet Adam’s and Paige’s families. Like I mentioned above, her brothers are really great and their brief stories along with Adam’s parents story creates much better pictures of who Paige and Adam are and their histories. So the addition of these characters and their stories really helped the overall feel of the book for me.
Even though this book wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for when I finished Tessa Ever After and was dying for a Paige/Adam book, it was still really enjoyable. I will continue to read Walsh’s books because of the characters she creates and the romances she writes. If you’re looking for a NA romance with lots of sexual tension, I would definitely recommend this one. If you’re looking for a NA romance with more story than sex, I’d maybe look somewhere else.