Since reading Delicious, the first in this series, I have been anticipating Reid’s story and was delighted when I was given the opportunity to review this third installment in the Buchanan series. Not only does this book feature the bad boy of the Buchanans, it also offers the reader a different perspective on the past villain in the series, the controlling evil grandmother. Yes, I certainly wanted to see Reid up close and personal but no, I had no desire to read more about the malicious matriarch.
Since his forced retirement from professional baseball after a shoulder injury, Reid Buchanan spends his time running the family’s sports bar and basking in his former glory. He can’t get his heart into it and attempts to fill the big hole in his life with a number of empty pursuits, but finds his main salve is women. Lately fame has not been his friend and when a former girlfriend decides to go public and claim that Reid is not good in bed, it seems everyone is clamoring to watch one of the mighty fall. When an infamous set of twins declares the same about Reid’s lovemaking skills, he decides it’s time to hide from the press and moves to stay in his grandmother’s home where she is recovering from surgery.
Lori Johnson is a private duty home-care nurse and a nurse extraordinaire at that. She makes sure every detail is perfect for her patients, with nary a wrinkle in the sheets, a squeak in the bed, or an unappetizing piece of food on their tray. After being hired by a womanizing ex-baseball player to oversee his grandmother’s recuperation, Lori admits to herself that Mrs. Buchanan is more than your run-of-the mill difficult patient. The nurses at the rehab facility can’t wait to get rid of her and warn Lori that the she complains constantly, hates everything, and threatens everyone. But Lori is determined to complete this job because the generous compensation will allow her to take a few months off during next year.
I wish there was more to say about the plot but sadly, there is little. It’s basic – Lori hates Reid although she is desperately attracted to him. Reid seems to be determined to bed all of the nurses taking care of his grandmother, but doesn’t give Lori a second glance, which only adds to her pique. Reid can’t understand his need to spend time around Lori because she is not his type. And then there is the fact that Laurie is the Buchanans’ own rescuing angel, working miracles with their grandmother and acting as a counselor with the family on other personal issues.
Oh, it’s true – Reid adores women, all women, and always has. He doesn’t wish to make it more complicated than the simple fact that they offer and he says yes, which in my mind makes him a captive of his own sexual appeal. Therefore, Lori’s aggravation over her physical response to this modern day Duke of Slut is understandable and I personally found it hard to hand Reid much respect. After all, do I really want to champion a guy who drops his pants at every opportunity and on an extremely frequent basis with many partners? Somehow when moved into a contemporary setting, that rakehell scenario loses some of its appeal.
Lori’s physical attraction to Reid plays like a 1980s romance wherein physical attraction equals hateful treatment of the person you desire. Lori is mean to Reid and I mean – really mean. I kept hoping she would get past her need to lash out at her employer’s grandson (who had hired her for this all important job) at each and every opportunity but it took entirely too many pages to start the needed transition from meanness to kindness. Of course, Reid reacts to Lori’s biting comments by relishing each opportunity he has to annoy her. That these two developed loving feelings towards each other required a true stretch of my imagination but, nevertheless, there were moments that I found myself caught up in their developing relationship.
Mrs. Buchanan provides an interesting secondary storyline, although I was left with serious doubts concerning her ability to truly change. The leads from the two previous books make inconsequential appearances and Dani, the Buchanan sibling yet to have her book, is involved in a fairly boring plot as she looks for a job and searches for her father. While I think you would benefit from reading the series in order, this book easily stands alone.
I really wanted to love Sizzling and held high expectations for it. It may be those expectations that ultimately failed me because I believed Reid had the most potential of all the Buchanans for an absorbing and sexy tale. Regardless of my hopes, I never felt the chemistry between Lori and Reid nor perceived any genuine connection. And therefore, Reid and Lori’s HEA seemed at best an empty victory.