Disclaimer: I've received No Sunshine When She's Gone as an eARC from Netgalley
published by Kensington in July 2016
Relationship Status: ComplicatedGenre: Contemporary romance
Professional baseball player Halo Todd doesn't like failure, but he can never turn down a challenge. Especially when there's a pretty woman involved. How else would he end up dressed as a rooster, helping a complete stranger compete on a wacky game show? Even when they're eliminated after the first round, Halo isn't about to lose the girl…
Alyn is stunned when gorgeous, generous Halo whisks her off for a dream vacation to the beach--she's been let down by friends and even family so many times, she's lost count. Later, he offers to lend a hand getting her vintage shop up and running. But his constant--and ridiculous--purchases are the last thing she needs. How can she convince the stubborn man that she doesn't need his help--not when all she wants is his heart…
Series: Barefoot William, Book #5
The Story: The blurb of No Breaking My Heart makes the book sounds a lot more breezy than the story is ^_^; It got the main details right... Just before leaving for spring training, Halo Todd, professional baseball player for the Richmond Rogues, is accosted and roped in by Alyn Jayne, a complete stranger, to participate in a game show. Alyn's dream is to open an antique/vintage shop and after her potential business partner bailed on her, cleaning out their bank account at the same time, she figures out the prize money from the game show is her best bet. What it leaves out is that yes, Halo is intrigued by Alyn and wants to spend more time with her... so he whisks her along with her younger brother - Halo's guest for spring training, mother and injured pug to Barefoot William where spring training is taking place. Halo can feel the chemistry between them and in order to spend more time with Alyn, comes up with an arrangement: she'll pretend to be his girlfriend/fiancée for the season and he'll be a silent partner in her business.
The secondary romance in the book involves Halo's best friend and teammate, Landon Kane. Landon is tired of playing the field: partying and hooking up doesn't interest him anymore. In fact, he's looking for a significant relationship... and seems to have found the perfect woman in Eden Cates, photographer and owner of the Old Tyme Portraits.
My Opinion: Ever since Ms Angell started writing the Barefoot William series, these books have become my go-to beach reads. I simply love the beach town and atmosphere Ms Angell has created. It's so vivid that sometimes, I can almost smell the sea and sunscreen LOL. Every year, I look forward to going back to Barefoot William and this year was no exception... unfortunately, I did not enjoy No Breaking My Heart as much as I hoped :(
I think the biggest issue I had with No Breaking My Heart is that Ms Angell reverted back to the multiple couples book. This is usually my biggest complaint with her books; however, I thought we were done with it after No One Like You featured only one couple. So it was kind of disappointing to find out we were getting Landon and Eden's romance as well in No Breaking My Heart. Disappointing because I actually liked Landon and Eden's chemistry better and felt their relationship didn't get the focus it deserved. I felt Landon and Eden's romance was more honest and straightforward. It was nice to see two people knowing that they wanted more and going for it. While there was more sexual tension between Halo and Alyn, their romance was too complicated. Why couldn't Halo just tell Alyn he was interested in her and wanted to date her? Instead, he had to invent excuses and came up with the deal and Alyn never really knew where she stood with him. Their relationship was over-complicated for nothing... and that's unfortunate because there was a lot of good elements. First, the way they met was just hilarious. Definitively something Ms Angell could have built on. Also, I loved Halo's interactions with Alyn's younger brother and her injured pug. When a man acts the way Halo did, it's just swoon-worthy. Also, Halo and Alyn had the perfect backdrop for an awesome romance - Barefoot William. Every element was there for a great romance... so I'm really bummed that Ms Angell went the fake engagement/business deal route.
Otherwise, the rest of the book was fun and fluffy. As usual, the setting was perfect for a beach read :) I loved the activities and promotional events depicted in the novel. The characters were a bit one-dimensional, but still quite lovable. I particularly liked Alyn's younger brother, Danny, and her pug, Quiggley.
My Grade: C+. All in all, not a bad read... but not as good as I expected either.