Author: Jill Shalvis
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Rating: 4 Stars
Description/Synopsis: Despite his brooding bad-boy attitude, Brody knows life has treated him pretty well. His luxury charter airline, Sky High, has given him financial security and the means to take to the skies whenever things on the ground get complicated. And lately, things have become very complicated, thanks to the insanely passionate, or perhaps just insane, kiss he shared with Sky High’s gorgeous, wisecracking concierge, Maddie. He’s tried to keep his distance, but now Maddie desperately needs help, and it’s triggering protective alpha-male urges Brody didn’t even know he had…
For months, Maddie hid her crush on sexy, exasperating Brody behind a cool, kick-ass exterior…and then blew that to smithereens by jumping him in the lobby. Yeah, real smooth. She’s tried to break her ties with Sky High, but Brody won’t let her walk away—especially now that he knows that Maddie and her twin sister Leena are in big-time trouble. To save Leena, Maddie and Brody must pose as husband and wife, and Maddie is amazed that the man she thought was oblivious to her existence knows her very well indeed. But that’s nothing compared to the way she’s about to get to know him—intimately, in depth, and over and over again…
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
So let’s start with the cover and title: They don’t really have much to do with the actual book. It’s marketing for the most part, so try not to take it too heavily in your book buying decisions. Once I’d actually gotten into the book, I was a little disappointed to realize that the cover did not reflect Maddie’s appearance/personality. Sure, at one point she does have short, auburn hair… but she’s one of those characters who changes her hair color almost daily. We’re talking, blues, purples, weird colors. It would have been cool to see some of that spunk in the models.
That aside, this was a very good book. The narrative and dialogue were extremely well written and the story flowed easily from page to page. I never felt like I was being rushed or jolted out of the story, and the story kept me turning the page.
The characters, particularly Maddie, were spunky, unique, and entertaining. I really liked Maddie and Brody. They were a cute couple, and you could definitely feel the attraction between the characters. The sex scenes were sizzling. Really, there isn’t much I can say that isn’t positive about them, except that perhaps Maddie’s personality seemed a bit off to me.
From the very beginning of the book we’re told that she’s kind of the duct-tape that holds Sky High Airlines together. She’s tough, quirky, and confident – and definitely unique in her appearance. Unfortunately, I don’t think I saw as much of that as I’d like to. There was very little interaction with the Airline or the other members of the crew at all. From nearly the beginning she’s been toned down into a normal-looking girl and spending all her time panicking about things from her past and present concerning her family (that apparently no one knew she had). What I saw, was a fairly normal-in-appearance girl who was stubborn, but afraid. Very afraid. Of her relationship with Brody, as well as her past experiences with her family. I didn’t see the confident quirky girl I kept being told about.
Now as a little aside, I also had some trouble being convinced she was a twin. I can’t blame the author much for this – because unless you are a twin, you wouldn’t know these things. I happen to be an identical twin, so I know the shoes that Maddie is trying to fill. I honestly don’t think an identical twin (who obviously still very dearly cared for her sister) would have left her in that situation with her uncle.. even to protect herself. Writers don’t seem to get that the bond between twins is extremely strong – I know people always describe it as “being the other half of a person” but they aren’t far off. Twins are together every second of the day from the time they’re born to the time they’re an adult for the most part. They have all the same memories, have been through the same experiences and conversations… They’re almost the same person, just viewing the world through a slightly different viewpoint. It was odd to see Maddie leave her sister Leena behind. It was also really weird to see that no one she knew had any idea she had a twin. Take it from me, even if you leave your twin (like I did to move half-way across the country), you will still refer to yourself as “we” in conversation. It’s a byproduct of always being together all the time. It’s very hard to separate the “I” from experiences shared. Even to this day, 10 years after leaving my twin, when I refer to my childhood I say “we”. I had a hard time believing Maddie was really a twin… but like I said, maybe that’s because some of these points just aren’t known to anyone who isn’t already a twin.
Also, another sore point I had, was that it was never really explained why Maddie’s uncle Rick hated her so much. He seemed to want to kill her on sight, but other than having left when she was 16… there doesn’t seem to be a reason for him to hate her to that extent. Sadly, most of the tension in the book was based around the fact that he wanted to kill her.
Overall, it was a great book. It was a fun, steamy read. The things I found wrong with it were minor, and only detracted from the story a little bit. I’d definitely still recommend it to anyone looking for a slightly unconventional romance.