I have loved Julie A. Richman's books since I first met Schooner! I couldn't have been more excited to get a new standalone from her, and after reading the blurb I knew I was going to enjoy it. Slave to Love was really good, and Julie just proved once again how great of a writer she is. I really love her characters and books, and they are all so easy to get lost in. Fun and sexy, yet emotional enough to keep you invested from the first page, Julie A. Richman never disappoints.
Sierra Stone and Hale Lindstrom first meet when Sierra's boss introduces Hale as their new client. Their first meeting doesn't get off to a great start though, and Hale ignores Sierra. But the worst is when he gets inappropriate with her after a business meeting. Sierra might be successful, but everything she has is a reflection of her dignity rather than the success those around her have received for sleeping their way to the top. But when her boss loans her out to Hale for a special project, Sierra knows that she will have to find a way to work with Hale. The chemistry between them is there right from the start, but it starts to get dangerous when they get to know one another and feelings become involved. Though they want to see where things between them could go, they know they need to stay away from one another personally until they are no longer professionally linked. But Hale has secrets and Sierra is afraid to fully let Hale in. Can they find a way to move forward together after their project is done, or will there be too many obstacles standing in their way?
I liked both Hale and Sierra. Sierra was strong and driven, and I absolutely loved her integrity. Here was a successful woman who could hold her own, and yet she wasn't made out to be some cold man-eater. She was fun and sassy, and I adored her friendship with her girls. She was so easy to like and beneath her tough exterior she had such a vulnerability to her. I felt for her and she was just one of those characters that you want to hang out with in real life! Hale had his moments where he really frustrated me, and yet I couldn't help but love him. He was sexy and driven as well, and both him and Sierra shared such a passion for their work. But that was nothing compared to the connection they shared with one another. The more they got to know each other and let each other in, the more obvious it was that they were meant for one another. Their chemistry was never in question here, and the sparks were flying from their very first meeting.
I will say that my one big complaint here though was that the ending was so rushed and abrupt feeling. As I approached the end of this book and it kept showing what percent I was at, I kept wondering when we were going to get the resolution we needed and the truth is I don't feel that we fully did. While the epilogue was great and I enjoyed seeing how things ultimately turned out, I felt like the things that had got between them and kept them apart weren't ever dealt with. Things were wrapped up far too easily and while that is a nice place to stop, I feel like we just didn't see how they got there or that anything had really changed. Hale had made some poor choices and Sierra had a reason for walking away, and while he might have felt bad and still wanted her it was all just sort of swept under the rug. As much as I loved this book, that ending left me feeling a bit bittersweet about the whole book since that was the last thing I had to go on. There were a few times that this book was a bit slow and the details of the job they were working on as well as them not being together because they were working together sort of lost me, but overall I really enjoyed this story. I think had it not been for those things and the ending this one would have been a five star read for me. Julie A. Richman is still a great writer and this book is one I would recommend, especially to those who like contemporary romance or office romance stories. I know this won't be the last I read from Julie A. Richman and if you haven't read anything by her yet, you should definitely give her a shot.
**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**