Monday, 14 August 2017

Review: Mess with Me (A Mile High Romance #2) by Nicole Helm

In Gracely, Colorado, it s all about the climb into the rugged Rocky Mountains, and over the obstacles that life has thrown in your way. With the right partner, the view from the top is grand . . .

Sam Goodall knows how to hide. And in the years since his sister s death, he s done just that, burying himself in his work at the Evans brothers Mile High Adventures as a backpacking guide. Clients don t mind his strong, silent demeanor, and he s happy to leave the rest of the world behind when he s hiking, or holed up in the off-grid cabin he calls home. But he owes his life what there is of it to the Evans boys, and when they ask for a favor, he can t refuse.
Hayley Winthrop is looking for something she s never had a true sense of family, and a purpose. Finding her half brothers was the first step discovering where she belongs in the world is the next. Could it be in the fresh air of small-town Gracely? With hunky Sam agreeing to train her as an outdoors guide, she s torn between exploring her newfound skills and getting closer to him. But chipping away at the walls around Sam could take a lifetime . . .
Sam is stuck in the past, and Hayley is looking toward her future they re a mismatched pair from the start. But the connection between them right now is too good to let go . . ."

Mass Market Paperback
Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Zebra

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

As this is the second book in the Mile High Romance series, I would recommend to read the first, Need You Now, in order to get the correct context for this story.  While I am sure that it could be argued that it is not required, the character of Hayley is introduced in the first book along with her connection to the rest of the cast of characters.  The same goes for this second installment, the secondary plot is setting the reader up for the third installment.

I am going to start with venting as I did with the first in the series.  Hairy men are NOT sexy...I repeat not!  The visual of Sam was almost laughable.  Shaggy long hair, shaggy long beard.  Definitely not something that would get a second glance from me unless it was because I was running the other direction in fear.

Now that being said....Sam worked out for me.  I did not think that I would get past his hobo looking exterior or his grumpy hide away from reality and grunting personality.  I did not originally see how a romance story could be built around someone like this, even knowing that he would have to come out of his shell.  I have to give Helm kudo's as she did it in a gradual way that convinced me that Sam was worth investing my time on.  When he cleaned up his act both physically (but kept the beard..arghhh) and emotionally he was interesting and had some depth.  While I feel his grief was a little much for the situation, who am I to judge how someone deals with tragedy.

On the other hand, I had the complete opposite reaction to Hayley.  At first I loved how she challenged Sam and forced him to see what was in front of him.  As the story went on, I found her to be perhaps the most insecure and annoying character.  The girl seriously did not have one ounce of self esteem and I quickly lost patience with it.  Her issues were her own, and the fact that she pinned them on her family was not fair.  She felt she never belonged in a family that treated her with love and respect?  The fact that she never voiced any of her needs and wants was all on her, nobody else, and the fact that she couldn't see that made me back out of her corner.

Now, as it seems I have been super picky, when you put Sam and Hayley together they simply worked.  Maybe it was because they were both so messed up that they were destined to be together.  Whatever the reason, the two of them together made up for the personality flaws they had separately.

I look forward to the third installment in this series.  A lot of time was invested in setting the storyline up in this book so I am curious to see how it will play out.

About the Author

Nicole Helm is the author of more than twenty novels. Nicole writes down-to-earth contemporary romance and fast-paced romantic suspense. From farmers to cowboys, midwest to the west, she writes stories about people finding themselves and finding love in the process.

She lives with her husband and two young sons in Missouri enjoying Cardinals baseball and dreams about someday owning a barn.

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