I will admit that I went into Smolder by Karen Erickson a bit skeptical. While I enjoyed Ignite, I didn't love it and I wasn't quite sure what to think of Lane and Delilah getting their own story. On the one hand I was intrigued by the forbidden aspect of their relationship. With her having dated Lane's brother, I wasn't sure that I would be able to get on board fully here. The last book felt a bit icky to me with Delilah's ex (Lane's brother) ending up with her best friend and her wanting far too many details about their relationship, but I was interested to see the chemistry between Lane and Delilah explored.
Lane and Delilah had wanted each other for years but because of her being his brother's ex, she was off-limits. But the attraction between them was impossible for them to fight, and they found themselves unable to stay away from each other. But can Lane get over her past and take a chance on a future together?
I had really loved the chemistry between these two that was brewing in the first book. Like I said I was a bit nervous about how things would go here, but I could definitely see the attraction and connection between them. Unfortunately Lane drove me absolutely nuts most of this book. This guy was so frustrating, and I seriously wanted to shake him pretty much the entire way through this story. I felt like his reasons for pushing Delilah away were lame and a bit immature, and could have easily been cleared up with better communication. I had a bit of a tough time with Delilah because of how many chances she gave Lane and how she allowed the constant push and pull. I didn't understand why she would continue to put herself in the situation of being rejected by him despite her feelings for him.
I also felt like while there was promise here, I just wasn't really connecting with the story itself. There were a lot of other things going on besides just their relationship issues, and I just felt like I didn't feel invested in most of them. This book seemed to almost be on repeat at times, with things being very similar to the first book and much of the dialogue being repeated all the way through. Smolder had potential, but ultimately for me fell a bit flat. We did get to see several familiar faces from the first book, and there were some characters here that I would be interested in getting to know better. But while I have enjoyed parts of the first two books, so far this series is just okay for me. I know that I will read more from Karen Erickson in the future. While I have liked parts of this series I haven't loved either book, but I think that others might. This could just be a case of me personally not connecting or having issues that might not bother others, so I encourage you to give it a chance if you liked the first in the series or if it sounds like something you might like.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**