Title: Every Little Thing
Series: Hart's Boardwalk #2
Author: Samantha Young
Release date: March 7, 2017
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.
Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.
Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.
If you haven't read book one, let me give you a little background. Bailey Hartwell's family founded the town and she's your quintessential small town girl. She was born and raised there, and proud of it. She co-owns a quaint Inn and she's one of the most fiercely loyal people you could have as a friend. But if you get on her bad side, she takes no prisoners. Let me tell you, this woman had me at hello. Her sarcastic and witty personality is blunt and 100% real. I knew that when she opened her mouth, I was almost guaranteed a laugh.
“You’re looking a little stressed there, Bailey. Anything I can do to help?”
“Sterilization,” I quipped.
“My point exactly. Good-bye.” I wiggled my fingers at them, gesturing them to move along.
Vaughn is a fairly new member to town, he's the owner of a hotel and Bailey's only competition. From the moment he and Bailey met, he rubbed her the wrong way. He was pure high society, city boy. Unfortunately he gave her the impression that he was a snob that held himself high and mighty above everyone else. (Which is not the case.) He's rich, sexy, and oozing an air of charm and mystery that women gravitate toward. Though he's not lacking female companionship, Vaughn is strictly against relationships. But if there was one woman who would tempt him, it's the one infuriating woman who won't quit getting under his skin. For four years, they've resisted and taken part in thinly veiled flirtations. But after she ends her ten year long dead-end relationship with her boyfriend, there was no longer any safe boundaries holding him back. He was so screwed.
Vaughn couldn’t remember a time when he’d been so lost in a woman. He felt this unsettling hum beneath his skin. This urgency. This desperation to claim Bailey Hartwell as his own like he really was a prehistoric caveman.
At first, I was giddy with their interactions. However, after their one-night stand, things took a turn for the worse for me. Keep in mind, this is just my personal preference, and you may not find issue with it at all. Vaughn's cruel dismissal of Bailey after she let him in and gave him her trust pushed me over the edge. The way he intentionally hurt her angered me so badly, I was deep breathing and counting to ten to save my kindle from destruction. But I was willing to keep an open mind because if his secret past betrayal was enough, I would have let it go. Well, after waiting for much of the book for him to pull his head out of the sand and stand by the woman he loved, the explanation for his classic male commitment-phobe behavior just didn't cut it.
There were a couple of instances where I found the characters to act inconsistent with the personality that I've come to love. I've always admired Bailey's tough attitude, she isn't one who suffered fools. After Vaughn's cruel rejection (that shattered and humiliated her by the way) he left town, and when he returned, I was expecting a swift kick to his balls, maybe a body slam...a headlock. Something! Hey, don't put it past her, she's a ball buster, trust me. But what she really gave us was a regression to their love/hate bantering. There was no acknowledgement of what happened, it was as if now that she had seen what he could do in the sack, she was unable to see past her own lust for him.
The other thing that bothered me later was Vaughn's friendship with his disgusting friend Oliver. The man was human scum, he didn't even attempt to hide it. From the very beginning, I never understood his acceptance of him, it didn't add up to me. Vaughn has always been the sort of "white knight" in town. He has morals, and has proven his scorn for people who victimize others. Yes, Vaughn was a playboy himself, but to associate with someone whom he had no respect for? Nope, I didn't see it. In the end, there was a purpose for Oliver's introduction in this story, but it all felt too manufactured for my taste.
Now that I have that out of the way, I need to emphasize that in no way am I saying that this book is not worth your time. These characters had just as much of a draw that they did for me in the first book. The entire landscape of how Young connects the town members together is really incredible. To see how she weaves the intrigue and prickles your curiosity for every single one is noteworthy. I am dying- DYING for Jack, Emery, Ivy, and Dahlia's story. There were tons of laugh out loud moments that had me smiling uncontrollably. And in all honesty, as frustrated as I got with Vaughn, I couldn't set this book down.
I really struggled with my rating for a long time, but in the end I realized that this was just an okay read for me. Don't let that dissuade you from reading this however, if you're looking forward to reading it. It's more than likely that you won't have the same issues. There's a charm about this town that's undeniable, and my eagerness for the following in the series hasn't faded a bit.
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