Only her father's wedding could get Leilani to return to the hometown that she hated growing up in. She was always looked at as though she was different, so when she graduated she couldn't wait to leave. But now that she is back, she runs into the one person she didn't want to see, Ryan Benton. Leilani and Ryan were always in competition growing up, and Leilani found it easier to pretend to hate him rather than admit that she liked him. But now Ryan is a firefighter and looks better than ever. Leilani decides that while in town, she might as well spend the night with him before moving on for good. Ryan always wanted Leilani, but she was always forbidden as the younger sister of his friend. Ryan finds himself unable to fight his attraction to her this time around though and gives in to his feelings. But after a steamy night together, Leilani and Ryan end up getting stranded together in the middle of a storm. With conditions getting worse, Leilani and Ryan are forced to work together to try and ride out the storm. Will the flooding bring them together, or destroy any chance they might have had?
These characters each had their issues, but for the most part I liked Ryan. He was a good guy that genuinely loved his job. He was always looking out for others and tried to do right by his entire town. He was loyal and thoughtful, and would have done anything to help those in need. He had his moments though where he really seemed to waffle on decisions. One minute he wanted more with Leilani and the next he was assuming the worst after the way his ex treated him. It drove me a bit nuts. Leilani was the same way though, only she was even worse. I couldn't connect with her character at all. She was judgmental and childish, and endangered not only herself but others with her selfish actions. I seriously wanted to slap this girl so many times. She always thought of herself and seemed to assume that the world revolved around her. While Ryan and Leilani had some attraction between them, I honestly never saw the connection. They had never really been friends or had anything as teenagers, but years later they are suddenly talking about feelings they had that were hidden by all the insults and hate? I just didn't buy it.
For me, the hot and cold got really old with this book. In one sentence they want a future together, but in the next they are both making assumptions and don't want to try because they know it won't work. Then they are remembering their feelings for each other as kids, and the next they are talking about how much they couldn't stand the other and that it was always bad between them. It was confusing. Did they like each other, or did they hate each other? There was never really an example that the insults and "hate" from their childhood was actually masking real feelings. I just didn't see it, and I honestly couldn't figure out why Ryan would be remotely interested in Leilani based on her present actions. She never really redeemed herself for me despite helping Ryan when he needed it the most. If she wouldn't have gone off to spite him, he wouldn't have even been in the situation he was. I did however think that Tamara Mataya did an excellent job with the flooding and storm. It felt real and believable, and I was interested to see what would happen next. I actually got to the point that I wanted more of the action with the storm than with Ryan and Leilani. While I would recommend Tamara Mataya's books, this one was just okay for me. It didn't have the same feel as her other books, and I really think that was because I just never connected with this couple. I didn't believe it, and I think that really altered how I felt about the story as a whole.
**ARC Provided by Swoon Romance PR**
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