More Than Want You by Shayla Black tells the story of a tightly wound arrogant and power hungry realtor who meets his polar opposite, a meditating/yoga bending/karaoke singing free spirit. Take the opposites attract trope and mix it with a dash of a harebrained scheme trope and none of this should work! But damnit, it does and now I’m going to be super impatient until the next book comes out.
Maxon Reed is the number one real estate agent on Maui. I’ll be honest and say I was not sure how much Maxon was going to interest me. Would the high stakes game of luxury real estate keep my attention? The short answer is an emphatic yes! Maxon was presented to us with such brutal honesty and raw emotion by Shayla Black, who wrote the book from his point of view for the most part. That was an especially smart choice because when we first meet Maxon we get a snapshot into how driven he is and how much his work consumes his life; when he sees Keeley for the first time, his instant attraction is muddied by his idea to use Keeley to distract his top competitor, his estranged brother Griff.
Keeley Kent, stage name “Keely Sunshine” is a college student and performer who has made the jump from local karaoke star to lounge singer. Keeley could be written as a one-note free spirit, but there is a thoughtfulness and depth about her that makes her very relatable. She is sensitive without being sappy, compassionate without ringing false, and manages to elicit emotional responses from a repressed Maxon in a very genuine way. We absolutely believe that Maxon’s exposure to Keeley is the beginning of a flower blooming, and root for it!
Maxon and Keeley have great chemistry. Their first meeting is electric; Maxon is laying down tried and true moves and Keeley gives him enough sass to hint interest but not enough to guarantee closing the deal. He is done-for almost immediately and we don’t feel sorry for him at all. Maxon convinces her to use her allure to distract his brother as they compete for a luxury property. As their arrangement progresses we can read Keely’s feelings through Maxon’s observations, even when Maxon can’t quite guess at them himself. He has quite a fascinating internal struggle, trying to reconcile these new emotions with his usually cold and calculating business acumen. We are invested in his struggle in a serious way, and want to help him make the right choices, but alas, only he can make choices for himself. In the meantime we squee at every touch and interaction between the two!
The alienation between Maxon and his brother Griff is paramount to the story, not only because it helps us understand Maxon more, but it looks like Griff is getting his own book too! The brother’s estrangement affected their business interests as well as other personal relationships. Britta, who works for Maxon, used to work for both brothers and was dating Griff before everything went wrong. It looks like we will be hearing more about them, and with the way More Than Want You ended, I’m excited to see what comes next. Until then, read Maxon and Keeley’s story for some steam with a dash of espionage.
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Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.