Unlikely Allies is a standalone contemporary romance from C.C. Koen, and I have to admit that I was excited to read this book based on it being one and done alone. It seems like everything I have read lately is a series, and sometimes I am just looking for a good story that is complete with no cliffhangers etc. I loved the blurb on this one, and was prepared for a cute story with a ton of sweetness. While there was a lot to enjoy here, I did have some things that didn't work for me and kept this one from being great.
Maggie Tyson is looking to start over after everything that her ex-husband put her through. Her only priority is to provide for her daughter and live her life according to the rules she has put in place. Unfortunately for Maggie, her daughter Cecily doesn't seem to adhere to them which is how she winds up meeting Rick Stone. Rick is a bachelor and likes his conquests to come with no strings, yet when Cecily comes barging into his office he finds himself drawn to her and her mother. But with him vowing never to get married or have a family, and Maggie looking to avoid bad boys at all costs, can they find a way to work things out?
I really liked Rick with Cece. I love that she called him by his middle name Max (like his father had before he passed) and that they had such a special relationship right away. I truly feel as though this story was more about these two than anything else. They were beyond adorable, and I couldn't get enough of them. That being said though, I didn't feel as though there was enough of Maggie and Rick. Rick for some reason had issues with getting to close to women and with someday settling down, and quite honestly it didn't make a bit of sense to me. He had grown up with a great mother and father who loved him and each other, and there was no big issue that would have caused him to turn away from relationships to me besides the fact that his father died. I just didn't get it. I also didn't see the connection between Rick and Maggie, and by the time that I started to see anything it was too little too late. Most of Rick's interactions were with her daughter rather than her. Because this book was so much about Max and Cecily, it was hard to really get to know Maggie or like her. I didn't feel like I could relate to her and this story didn't even seem to be hers.
Besides this story being about Max and Cecily, I also felt like it was very slow at times and didn't hold my interest. There were a lot of extra characters that sort of stole the show a little bit, and it seemed to focus more on them when I felt like extra time should have been devoted to developing the romantic relationship between Rick and Maggie. As much as I liked the secondary characters, this wasn't their story and I felt like it took precious pages away from the real story. I wanted to see something happening romantically, and I really didn't see any kind of development at all until well over half way through. At that point I just wasn't feeling it and I wasn't invested in them working things out beyond the fact that I wanted them together because of Max and Cecily. The reason that I kept reading and gave this book as many stars as I did was because of their relationship alone. Had it not been for how cute and sweet those two were, I am not sure that I would have finished this story. While I have read and enjoyed books from C.C. Koen before, this one was disappointing and wasn't what I had been expecting.
**ARC Provided by Xpresso Book Tours**