Last Call is the first book that I have ever read by M.S. Brannon, but this one really drew me in with the blurb. I really thought that I was going to love this book, and while I did enjoy it for the most part it wasn't what I was expecting at all. It was good, but it just wasn't as engaging as I had hoped for, and I found it hard to connect with the characters. I was looking for more depth and character development, and I felt like we just didn't get enough of either.
Mariah Huxley is a self proclaimed reformed slut. After a drunken weekend left her pregnant and alone, she is now a single mother trying to cope seven years later. She works hard and does her best to provide for her son Royce, but Mariah hasn't been with a man in years and feels lonely. When her friends drag her out for her birthday, she meets the sexy club owner Jason Cain. The passion and attraction between them is instant, but Jason doesn't do relationships and isn't looking for anything more than a hookup. But as Jason finds it hard to think of anything but Mariah, he soon makes an agreement with her to have sex when they want with no strings attached. But the more they see each other the more their feelings begin to grow. Before long, Jason and Mariah are in deeper than they ever imagined. But when Jason finds out about Mariah's son Royce and things quickly get complicated, they both begin to wonder if it is the beginning of the end for them.
I found it hard to connect with these characters. For some reason, I felt like Jason was really hard to like. He was sexy and successful, but I felt like we never really got to know him beyond the surface. He puts up a facade, and he had a lot of pain and insecurities from his childhood. But I felt like we just never really got to see enough of what had caused him to be the way he was. He was attracted to Mariah and even acknowledged his feelings for her, but yet he feared that she would leave him and so he didn't want to allow himself to admit to her that he cared for her. I just didn't understand him, and I think a lot of that was because I felt like I didn't really know him. Mariah was so great with her son Royce, and I loved that he was her priority. She loved him so much and he didn't seem to be a mistake to her, even though she had him young and didn't know his father. But I didn't really understand her actions when it came to Jason. I felt the chemistry and attraction between them, but I didn't see why she would say that she wouldn't let things go further and then she did every time. She enjoyed the physical connection they shared, but I felt like she kind of let him walk all over her. He would make her mad, but she would quickly get over it when he used sex to distract her. I just didn't understand, and I felt like part of the problem is that I just didn't really know Jason or feel as though Mariah did either.
Overall, this was a mostly enjoyable read. It had a lot of really cute and funny moments, especially those with Royce. He was adorable, and I loved every part of this story that he was in. I felt like he really made this book, and without him I am not sure I would have wanted to finish. He was just too cute for words, and I couldn't help but want to see more of him. I feel like Jason and Mariah had a lot of potential as a couple, and I enjoyed the steamy side to their relationship. I just wish that we would have seen more of an emotional connection develop between them. It would have been nice to see them both really open up to one another about their pasts, and explain to each other what really made them into the people they were. I think that if you are looking for a cute standalone story with a happy ending then you might give this one a shot. But if you are looking for a story with a lot of depth and a strong emotional connection as well as physical, then this one might not be for you.
**ARC Provided by Between the Sheets Promotions**
Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |