Four years ago, Skylar Layton disappeared, leaving behind her friends, her family, and the boy to whom she’d given her heart. And now, after losing the only thing she had left, she’s back.
Rowdy Daletzki can’t help but remember the best night of his life, since it also turned out to be the worst. Just when he needed Skylar more than anything, she was gone. No goodbye, no explanation, no note, no phone call… He waited, he searched, and he finally just gave up, learning soon that booze and random women took the edge off. So coming face-to-face with her after all this time is the last thing he expected.
Rowdy isn’t the same boy Skylar knew and fell in love with as a teenager. The man she sees now is a heart-stopper, complete with a sexy, conceited smirk and a trail of women in his wake. But she’s not the same, either, having had her life abruptly uprooted, followed by the loss of her mother. All she’s ever wanted was to come back and reclaim what she and Rowdy once had, but it’s not going to be easy. First, he has to stop blaming her, and then she needs to see if he can ever be a one-woman man again.
I was so convinced this was going to be a 5-star read that I set the rating for this review before I was even halfway through the book, but then the story took a turn for the crazy, and to be honest, it began to lose me a little. I get the need for drama, for conflict, for some kind of obstacle to make the characters work for their relationship instead of falling into insta-love, but this was a little ridiculous.
Single white female and boiled bunny ridiculous.
Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so frustrating, except it started right as everything looked like it finally might be working out for these two. But then crazy pops up, and all those other issues you were supposed to work through just disappear? I totally get that emergency situations tend to put things in perspective, but they don’t exactly erase them. Honestly, I think that overcoming the loss and betrayal of being separated would have been quite enough drama for these two to work through.
I don’t get it. Judging by the side-boob and not the synopsis, I’d expect this to be erotica. Or maybe just a romance full of silk sheets and pedicures. But I most certainly wouldn’t expect rock climbing and wilderness rescues and riding in old pick-up trucks. In fact, I almost looked right past Naked Edge when it became available for review, and all because it looked too much like every other romance novel using “sex sells” for marketing. Fortunately, I went back through my deleted notifications and took a few seconds to read the synopsis, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t a cookie cutter romance novel.
I was so hooked so fast that I decided skipping dinner was a great reading plan. It was impossible not to root for Rowdy and Skylar, and I really loved the way their reconnection wasn’t drawn out by misplaced blame and needless angst.
All too often, stories of sudden disappearances and eventual reunions have characters who are so clouded by hate that it takes 90% of the book for them to calmly talk about it rather than slip in a few meaningful words during a fight. Naked Edge avoided that unnecessary mess by including realistic, mature characters who didn’t heap blame on each other well past learning the truth about what happened. They dealt with it and didn’t make some overly drawn out effort to avoid their feelings. It made for a very convincing romance that I couldn’t tear myself away from. Obviously the melodramatic twist in the story didn’t really work for me, but it didn’t ruin things. Oh, and YAY for no cliffhangers! I love love love it when an author has enough faith in her series to let each book sell itself. And I’m quite sure I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next books to come!