Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week-End's Minis XII: Flirting with Intent by Kelly Hunter

Sorry, this week's feature is late! ^_^; I went to Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The Broadway Musical yesterday afternoon and was meeting friends for lunch prior to it. Then, my sister wanted to go grocery shopping... So I did not manage to finish the post before I left! Yep, I wake up every Saturday, sit at my computer and type the mini-reviews... I try to write them in advance, but it never works. Anyway, it works out well since there's no Hauling Sunday post this week :)

Once again, there was a tie in the poll's result. Flirting with Intent and Eon: Dragoneye Reborn both came in first. Usually, I would have reviewed both of them... but I did a lot of blogging this week and thought I'd cut everyone a break (you and me!) LOL. So I'm reviewing Flirting with Intent this week and Eon, next week. Hey, maybe this time, I'll be able to write the post early...


Flirting with Intent by Kelly Hunter
published by Mills & Boon in April 2012
Ruby’s Relationship Rules... Ruby Maguire’s done with being messed around by men. Now she just needs to know three things about a potential bedmate: his name, where he’ll be in a week’s time, and what it is he wants from her. Damon West knows plenty about subterfuge and secrets, and nothing about being truthful with women. But Ruby demands honesty between them so Damon gives her as much as he can: I’m Damon West. I’ll be leaving Singapore in a week. And I want you to touch me. At least, that was the intent... but something’s telling normally bullet-proof Damon that one week with Ruby might not be so easy to recover from...
Genre: Category romance, contemporary romance
Series: The Wests, Book #1

What do you need to know? Okay, that blurb doesn't say much ^_^; First, the story doesn't take place in Singapore, but in Hong Kong ^_^; Ruby Maguire is a sharp and confident woman who used to be a corporate lawyer. Yes, used to, before her famous banker father was accused of skimming 872M$ and instead of going to jail, escaped without a trace, and a word, to parts unknown. Now, the only job Ruby managed to secure was offered by her father's long-time friend, Russell West: social secretary - which she knows was a position created only for her. Still, she's determined to do a good job - after all, she is over-qualified and knows the intricacies of the social circle in HK. Her latest task is to organize Russell's family Christmas party as his 4 grown children will come to celebrate.

Enters Damon West, Russell's youngest child. He's handsome, smart, charismatic and a complete enigma to Ruby. All Ruby knows is that Russell likes and is proud of Damon, so the guy must be doing something good.  The two are attracted to each other, but ever since her father deserted her, Ruby has issues. She thought she knew her father... but turns out she didn't. So now, she demands honesty from men... and honesty is something Damon cannot offer.

Why this book? Li read and enjoyed this book and since I like Ms Hunter's books, I decided to give it a go :)

What I liked? I loved the characters in this one, particularly Ruby. I loved how confident and self-assured she was, loved that she was smart and sharp and loved that she knew what she wanted. I really enjoyed the opening scene when she met Damon and they went shopping for Christmas gifts together. How quickly she pegged him and his sisters. I think Ms Hunter's writing made that scene, the fast pace and the wit. Throw two smart characters together who can verbally dueled each other and how can they not be attracted to each other? :) I also thought that Ruby was very strong and brave, after everything happened with her father. To stay in Hong Kong is proof of that. The fact that later in the book, she gave her resignation letter to Russell and was planning to start practicing another kind of law is another proof of how resilient Ruby was. Obviously, the fact that she still had a great deal amount of her own money helped, but even without, I know Ruby would have been fine... And I hurt for the woman who missed her father, who hoped to hear from him...

As for Damon, I thought he was charming and very likable :) I also liked the secondary characters, i.e. the Wests. They were all nice characters, but I have to say, what got to me was their dynamics and their closeness. Oh and as usual, I loved the setting of the book :)

Any Issues? I kind of have two issues with this book. The first and more important was the romance. I definitively think Ruby and Damon made a great couple; however, I thought the timing was a bit rushed. Especially when both of them believed it would go nowhere. And then, the fact that Damon couldn't seem to let go - that was cute, but it wasn't the kind of romance I wanted to see for the two of them. Damon's reaction when Ruby found out about his job annoyed me as well. It was clear that he didn't trust her... so to have them developed a relationship under such circumstances. Also, once their relationship got more serious, I felt Flirting with Intent lost a bit of steam. It felt like the book changed focus and we didn't have any sharp and witty exchanges anymore which was what I liked the most in the first half of the book.

My second issue is about Ruby's father. I'm glad that Ruby got closure about her father... but the way it turned out was a bit annoying. I mean, it's just a bit too coincidental that Ruby's father turned out to be in the same line of work as Damon. And poor Ruby, it really showed there was a whole side of her father that she didn't know.  Although her beliefs that there was more in the whole story and her father was a good man weren't wrong, so that should bring a bit of comfort. All this also links to the romance because Damon found out about Ruby's father and didn't tell her... and when she learns about it, she is understandably upset. I mean, she asked him to be honest with her upfront. I don't understand how this could be turned turned upside down and somehow, Ruby was in the wrong. At least, she made it up to Damon. However, the whole thing niggled at me :(

My Grade? B-. All in all, despite the few issues I had, I still enjoyed Flirting with Intent and I thought the first half of the book was excellent. I can't help but wish this book was longer - I know, I know, it's a category romance, what was I expecting? Still, I think if it was longer, Ms Hunter would have been able to develop some aspects of the book better.