Book Review: Decidedly Off Limits

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Synopsis:

Best Friend Rule #1: never want the guy’s sister.
Oops.

Trent Salway is one of San Francisco’s hot up-and-coming-under-thirty bachelors. A highly successful mutual fund portfolio manager, a workaholic, and a ladies’ man, he’s got everything he could possibly want…except one thing.

Physical therapist Kelsey Quaid dumped her ex-fiancé six months ago because she was tired of not even being a distant second to his career. Which is why despite secretly crushing on her big brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember, there’s no way Kelsey can go there. One workaholic in her life is more than enough, thank you very much.

Before Kelsey’s brother leaves on his Navy SEAL mission, he asks Trent one simple request: make sure Kelsey isn’t dating any assholes while he’s away. As Trent does his best to do just this, he and Kelsey spend more and more time together. Sparks fly, as do a few items of clothing, and the next thing they know things are getting physical between them. Now, Trent has to decide what to do about the woman he’s falling for—the one whose brother would take him down faster than he takes down the enemy. And Kelsey will have to decide if Trent is just another workaholic or if he’s decidedly off limits.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & NobleChapters

Review

I’m typically a fan of the “best friend’s sibling” trope but the writing style of this novel really ruined it for me. Told in alternating POVs between Kelsey and Trent, both of their narrations are written as if they’re having a conversation with you and expecting you to respond. For example, at one point in Kelsey’s narration we get this:

Did you see who was third in line? That’s right. The Viking.

Then later in Trent’s POV we get a similar thing:

Did you recognize the woman who tried to outbid Kelsey?  She was Beatrice Peterson, or Reese, as she preferred to go by.

Also, I still I have no idea who Beatrice is and why she’s so terrible, besides the obvious reasons, so no Trent, I did not recognize her. This was literally so frustrating. It was as if the author, Stina Lindenblatt, was attempting to do a breaking down of the fourth wall, like in House of Cards, but with a book and it just didn’t work well here. At least not for me. The thing is I know I’ve read other books that are kind of written like this that I loved but I think Lindenblatt just tried too hard with this, especially because we got it in both POVs so the voices started to sound a little similar.

Additionally, there were just too many points where the narrators kept asking me to “imagine” things or “remember when” something. This seemed to happen at the start of a lot of chapters and in both POVs and it was so irritating. Still, despite how infuriating I found the writing style to be I did push through and finished the novel and it wasn’t totally terrible. The plot itself was fine, in that it was exactly what I expected it to be. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy, both think they can’t be together, they hook-up anyway, keep it a secret, there’s some kind of conflict, they go their separate ways, only to realize they’re perfect for each other. One major issue I did have with the plot was the “break-up” scene. It just felt so anticlimatic to me and completely out of nowhere. There was no build up and it was so abrupt that I had to go back and read it over to make sure that was the break-up scene. Seriously, the whole moment only took like two pages.

Still, I did really like Trent and Kelsey as people though. I thought their dialogue was great and their chemistry was good. Even so, overall I wasn’t all that impressed with this novel and I’m glad I only spent 99 cents on it.

Stars:

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Favorite Line:

“I love everything about you. Your love for your job and the kids you help. Your love of life. Your love of those funny little owls. Your amazing photographs. Your heart. I love it all.”

Other Reviews

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My Tiny Obsessions

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