Title: Love Taker
Author: Erin McCarthy
My Rating: A-
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Nashville Nights #3
Main Characters: Elle and Tucker
Release Date: February 2017
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Pretty-boy musicians are a fixture of the Nashville country scene—and Elle Hart, hairdresser to the stars, is beginning to think that they’re all total pricks. Elle’s dating choices have been a disaster, but at least she has Tucker. Though he’s easy on the eyes, no one would ever accuse Jason Michael Tucker of being a pretty boy. The humble and handsome sheriff's deputy from Elle’s hometown has always been there to comfort her—until the evening their friendship unexpectedly leads to the best sex Elle has ever had.
Tucker has been lusting after Elle since they were an item as teens, but he knows that their wild night of passion is a one-time thing. He’s an old friend, nothing more, and they’re too different to become a couple just because they’ve knocked boots. After all, she hates being back in their hometown, and he’s not so fond of the big city. But when Elle comes to Tucker with news that changes everything, he must help her come to grips with her traumatic past—or risk losing her forever.
I'll admit it...I started this book late one night and then didn't go to bed until I finished it. It's been a long time since I've read a book that kept me up like this one did. And even better...this story is a friends to lovers trope. OMG, I do love a good ftl story.
Elle and Tucker are best friends, even though they live four hours apart. Ever since her siblings have found love, Elle is questioning the choices she's made in her dating life and after a particularly bad date she calls her best friend to find out if she's as awful as she thinks. Elle doesn't get emotional, so when she does talking to Tucker, he panics and gets in his truck to find out what she's not telling him on the phone. Things happen...and they have sex. It wasn't planned and Elle especially has no idea what to do with it...so they both basically ignore it...and then ignore one another. Yeah, it affected their relationship... and then things happen.
I really enjoyed this book. The two characters are friends so they can be brutally honest with one another, which doesn't work so well for them as they try to navigate this new place that they find themselves in. Feelings get hurt and twisted and the fact of the matter is...they haven't lived in the same town in 12 years...so they have that distance between them too. The book felt very real. Elle is straightforward and used to doing what she has to do to get where she wants to go...alone. It's really difficult for her to see a relationship with Tucker working out, even though she really wants it to.
But as they jump around what they could be to one another, the thing that never falters is that they ARE best friends. I love that, and it's why I enjoy friends to lovers stories so much. There's love and respect between them already, even if it's not a romantic love...at first. Tucker's character was awesome in all this. He's a sheriff...instinctually a caretaker and he wants nothing more than for Elle to be healthy and happy. And she wants the same for him. In fact, she's willing to step back from her feelings for him if that's what he needs and wants. I love two characters so willing to put the other one first. It's the basis for a great relationship.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It enraptured my imagination from the very first page and didn't let go until long into the night. This is the kind of book that I love to read and it was awesome to see the characters from the first two stories within the pages, too. It was a good one. I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.