FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books (via NetGalley).
Still pretty messed up from the events of her childhood, CC Calhoun sticks to herself, sharing her life only with her cousin Kris, her dog Walter, and occasionally her mother. It’s the only way she can manage to tamp down the ever-threatening panic attacks brought on by crowds, attention, and society in general. But when a mishap in public has her close to fainting, it’s a kiss from a handsome football player that has her snapping back to normalcy, and now she’s wondering if it’s something about this man, and if she can somehow work her way out of her self-imposed exile.
Judging Covers: This one is another case of continuity paying off. I wasn’t even looking for the next book in the series yet, but the similar design, matching font, and then the title wording caught my eye, and I immediately recognized it as being the follow-up to a book I recently enjoyed. I’m not buying that the guy on the front is a football player, but I can definitely say the design works.
The Verdict: It’s not unusual for a romance to center around a heroine who’s suffered some kind of trauma. What’s different about this story, though, is how it actually played out. Kidnapped as a child, CC survived the truly terrifying order and would probably have worked her way past it by now if not for the selfishness of her famous father. Paraded around for the press after her rescue, she was her father’s ticket to reviving his stagnating music career, and the repercussions of that time have turned her into an agoraphobe as an adult, always avoiding her worst nightmare — the limelight.
A random mishap in public, though, has her wondering about her issues and whether or not she’s found a way to resolve them. A panic attack that brings her near fainting is abruptly stopped when a stranger kisses her, and CC is curious as to whether he may be her ticket to a normal life. But he’s a famous football player, not to mention a player with the ladies, and she doesn’t want anything to do with fame or serial flirting.
Tuck is uncharacteristically struck by the effect CC has on him, though, and he tracks her down, only to come away with an unexpected agreement. He’ll take her out, get her to push her social boundaries, and snap her out of it when a panic attack looms. She’s hoping this little exercise will get her out of her house more, but he’s hoping it might get her into his bed.
Tuck is incredibly sensitive to CC’s problems, despite his otherwise irresponsible behavior with women. And the more time they spend together, the more they become attached, leading to a fun friendship and seemingly temporary hot romance. There’s plenty more that happens, of course, but I don’t want to give all the details away. Instead, I’ll say that To Win Her Trust is a great, lighthearted and often emotional read that avoid any unnecessary or over-the-top drama while focusing on a couple that doesn’t immediately realize how perfectly matched they are. CC is surprisingly strong and outspoken, despite her issues, and Tuck is open and romantic. Their story is quite different than the first book in the series but still every bit worth the read.