Friday, July 3, 2015

Christie's review: The Scheme by Mia Kayla


Title:The Scheme
Series: Standalone
Author: Mia Kayla
Release Date: July 25, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Cliffhanger: No

Brian Benson is the nice guy every girl dreams of marrying.
Too bad he’s off the market—for good.
He’s sworn off women since the last girl he dated broke his heart.
Determined to start over in New York, his sole focus is to climb the corporate ladder—no distractions.

Until one minor collision propels him into the path of small-town-girl but bombshell babe, Kendy Miller.

Kendy walks with a sass she was born with.
Single and ready to mingle, she’s on the prowl.
Moving from her tiny town of Bowlesville to work as a nurse at New York Cornell Hospital, she is introduced to Dr. Hot Pants.
She feels it in her bones—he only belongs to her.

When Kendy formulates a grand scheme to land Dr. Hot Pants and uses Brian to do it, Brian is all in because he could use a little fun.

Things were going to plan, until one night lines were crossed, kisses were exchanged and clothes flew off.

Fate collides, fortunes are tested and plans backfire, but Kendy is still determined to land her doctor.

Problem is… Brian was only there to assist in the plot. Falling in love with the girl wasn’t part of THE SCHEME.

When I came across this book, I figured I'd be getting lighthearted and fun with a heavy dose of humor thrown in the mix. And that's what I was up for. Of course, I was taking a risk since this author was completely new to me. But in my attempt to discover new authors and broaden my horizon, I took the gamble. Did it pay off? The story didn't quite pan out quite like I was expecting. I had some issues with this particular story, but I was impressed with the writing enough to spend more time on Mia Kayla's future books.

What immediately appealed to me after reading the synopsis was the uniqueness in the characters. Instead of what's so common:

a) Bad boy/tough guy/bossy alpha
b)Good girl and/or pushover heroine

We get Mr. Nice Guy (the guy who usually finishes last) with a sassy and bold heroine. Poor Brian had his heart set on a girl and then another man came along a swept her right out from under him. So he packed his bags and moved to NYC to stay with his best friend and start over. Brian is a banker. The "safe" choice, the dependable one. He's always been the good guy-too much for his own good.

Life was a bitch sometimes. More recently, it seemed that bitch was intent on taking me down.

When Kendy runs into Brian in her hospital waiting for stitches, she's a whole lot less than enthused. As a matter of fact, she's pissed. You see, she's not fond of reminders of where she grew up. After a life altering experience, she left and tried to forever eradicate every memory of her past. Seeing her best friend's ex isn't helping the situation. The problem is, Brian's not put off by her hostile attitude or her comments meant to keep him away. Her sass and her misconceptions about how he's staid and boring make him want to spend time proving every theory of hers wrong. Brian was about to surprise her and make her rethink everything she though she knew.

"Come on. Give it to me, your best kiss ever."
And then he cupped the side of my face, grazing my cheek gently with his thumb. I shouldn't have felt anything, but I felt everything.

Kendy and Brian evolve from acquaintances, to grudging friends, to more. It's the more that should have been the best part. For me, I wasn't thrilled with how it was set up. Simply because when they finally succumb to their attraction, it's with her stipulation that it will be a casual, "FTF" hook-up. FTF being, friends that fuck. *facepalm* Friends with Benefits is really not my thing. But I powered on and hoped for the best.

And here's where I mention my issues. I could look past the FTF trope, seeing as the characters were strongly built, the humor was impressive, and the plot was moving along at a fast pace for me. But the heroine. She slowly transformed from a brave and bold girl who took no prisoners to one who was revealed to be very traumatized and putting on a front for the world.

Inside, she was shattered and she was clinging to a silly idea of what she thought she "needed" in order to have a happy life, to heal. And that happened to be a total douchebag at the hospital where she worked who didn't give her the time of day. I cannot tell you how much she frustrated me when she continually refused to acknowledge what was right in front of her face with Brian. The hurtful things she said and did were hard to stomach because it all came from the fear and unwillingness to face her past. It's been seven years since the horrible betrayal from her ex and in all that time she never found a way to deal with it in a healthy way.

I really badly wanted her to see what an amazing catch he was and take the leap of faith. He was so incredibly sweet and gone for her and just waiting for her to finally reveal herself to him.

The best thing about this-about us-is falling," he whispered. "Fall back, baby, and know I'm never going to let you hit the ground."

On the positive side, I was pleasantly surprised with the balance of steam that was infused throughout the book. It's not that common for a humorous romance to have well written or graphic heat as well, but these two had some fantastic chemistry. I was loving the combustive quality to their dynamic. I liked the freshness of the plot, the character development, and the style of writing. Although I didn't love this one, there was still a lot to like and I can see a lot of people seeing the heroine's issues as added angst and being fine with it. I would still recommend this book to anyone who's in the mood for something a little bit different than the norm.


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