Turning the Tables is the second book in the Italian Connection series by Joan Kilby, but each book in the series is a standalone. It was a quick and easy read that had several enjoyable parts. I liked Luke and Tina together, and this one was a good story.
After getting burned by her last lover, Tina Borlenghi doesn't trust men. She is tired of men seeking her fame and fortune for themselves, and has learned to keep things a secret to avoid getting hurt again. When she meets handsome Luke Pederson she finds herself drawn to him right away. But Luke mistakes her for a sales assistant rather than the owner of the new boutique, and Tina decides to let him keep believing that since she will be leaving soon. But the longer their fling continues, the more they each start to like each other and things begin to get complicated. Luke doesn't put up with lying after what he went through with his own family, and soon he becomes suspicious when Tina won't tell him anything about herself. Will Tina be able to trust Luke enough to open up to him and see where things between them could go, or will her past continue to keep her from having a chance at a future with Luke?
I liked Luke and Tina. These two were both really good people that had some bad things happen to them and because of that were unable to trust others easily. Luke had seen what lies could do to a family, and had a zero tolerance policy when it came to that. But he also had a huge heart and would do anything for those he cared about. He was a really nice guy, and I loved his dedication to not only his nephew, but also to other disabled kids that he helped start a charity for. He was great with Tina as well, and I really liked how fun and light their relationship was. Tina was really nice as well, and she had a big heart as well. She had trust issues that were very easy to understand once her past was revealed, and I found it easy to relate to her. But she was also such a kind and generous person, and I really liked that she was so quick to help others when she could. I thought that her and Luke were a great couple, and they had a lot of chemistry between them. If there was any weak spot to their relationship it was the connection between them, because I felt like she held herself back so much and didn't really allow Luke to get to know much about her. I wish we had seen more of them together after the truth came out, as I think that would have helped solidify their connection more.
I also felt like this one had quite a few spots that were a bit hard to get through. It was really noticeable with the role-playing between them, and I found myself wanting to skim. I'm not sure what it was about those parts, but it just felt a bit slow or something and it seemed to be drawn out and unnecessary. That really surprised me since I love steamy scenes, but for some reason there was just something off here for me. I also felt like for the first half of the book or so Tina's past was confusing. I hadn't read the first book in this series and since this was a standalone I didn't think it was necessary. But Tina's past with Fabio wasn't explained right away, and it felt like I had missed something. Eventually everything came out, but it was pretty confusing for awhile and I think that should have been more clear upfront if this book is truly meant to be a standalone. I have no idea if that was seen in the first book or not, but it wasn't very clear here and that really irritated me since it was a major point of why Tina kept so much of herself a secret from Luke. Overall, this book wasn't a bad story but it wasn't very new or memorable. While it was enjoyable it wasn't one that I will probably go back and read again. I think if you are looking for something quick and light this one might be something to give a try.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**