HarperCollins / May 29, 2012 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital
Everyone in Lovett, Texas, knows Sadie Hollowell has always been a “notional” kind of gal. She got a notion to leave town ASAP and never visit her daddy (bless his heart) again. Now she’s back and got the notion to invite a good-looking, hard-muscled, total stranger to her cousin’s wedding. Better a stranger than some of the losers she’s dated.
Vince Haven got his muscles the hard way—as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. He’s staying in Lovett to visit his crazy aunt—the proprietor of the local Gas and Go. Before he can get the heck back out of the small town, his aunt makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Maybe he’ll stick around Lovett for a while. Maybe he’ll make a “go” of the Gas and Go. Maybe he’ll rescue Sadie out of that Bubble Yum pink bridesmaid dress!
Rachel Gibson is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and Rescue Me—a fun, sexy friends-with-benefits tale—is a great example of why.
Sadie Hollowell and Vince Haven are both in small-town Lovett, Texas, for family—Sadie for a cousin’s wedding and Vince to hear out an aunt’s business proposition. Neither figures on being there for long...until they do, for their own reasons.
Sparks fly pretty much from the first instant they clap eyes on each other, and they quickly fall into a sort of friends-with-benefits relationship, though the “benefits” part comes (heh) well before the “friends” part. And while the sexy fun times are, well, sexy good fun, it was the development of Vince and Sadie’s friendship that really kept this reader happily flipping those pages right up to the HEA.
Their banter is enjoyable from the :
“How much is an orgasm worth these days?”
“That one? ... Keep the change and we’ll call it good.”
One corner of his mouth slid up. “Honey, you think that orgasm was worth forty cents?”
“I’ve had better.” Maybe, but none faster.
“Still worth more than forty cents. You said, ’Oh God’ at least twice.”
“If it’d been a really good orgasm, I would have said it more than twice.”
But I really started rooting for them when they began to seek each other out for more than (fantastic) sex and then to show signs of an even deeper affection:
He reached around the back of his seat and handed her a cold bottle of Diet Coke and a bag of Chee-tos.
She looked at the orange bag in her lap. Felt the cold bottle in her hand, and her chest suddenly got heavy. The bottom of her heart pinched a little. In the past, men had given her flowers and jewelry and lingerie, and her heart was getting all achy about Chee-tos and Diet Coke? “Dinner?” It had to be the emotions of the day. “Careful. Next you’ll be asking me to a movie.”
Whether it’s because I have a (well-documented) love for the friends-to-lovers trope or because I’m a little weary of the love-at-first-sight trope so common in the paranormals I’ve gobbled up, I really enjoyed the slow burn of Sadie and Vince’s love story and found the tale of these two independent, head-strong characters easing into love (if not into bed) entertaining to the last page.
Heather Waters is a production associate at H&H and a 24/7 fangirl. Tweet her @redline_