Series: Man Enough #1
Published by Swerve on May 30, 2017
Source: the publisher
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Staff Sargent Reeve Miller lives by his own golden rules: Train hard, work hard, and f*ck hard. This way of thinking has served him well. He’s enjoyed a successful career in the military, started his own landscaping business while serving part time in the Guard, and left a string of very happy females in his wake… until he meets one feisty, smart woman in a bar looking for a one-night stand.
Emily Phillips is tired of working her ass off and not enjoying her life. According to her accountant, Emily is a millionaire. But her friends say she is a workaholic heading for lonely spinsterhood. The night of her high school best friend’s bachelorette party seems like a good time to try something new, and when the blue-collar hottie at the bar gives her the look, she’s ready to take a walk on the wild side. He makes it clear that he can give her a night to keep her very satisfied, and since it’s only a night, why bother sharing her title of CEO? But as one night becomes two and three, both Reeve and Emily find it harder to keep their hearts safe.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Why I Read It:
I’m such a huge fan of Nicole McLaughlin, who previously published titles under the name Nicole Michaels. I saw that All I Ask by Nicole McLaughlin looked like a fun romance, but I got doubly excited when I realized that this author is one that I already adored from reading her previous books. Once I realized these two “Nicoles” are the same gal, I was immediately invested in this series.
All I Ask by Nicole McLaughlin is the story of Emily and Reeve, two very successful business owners with secrets. Emily is the CEO of a nationally-known movie theater corporation; Reeve is in the National Guard and he also owns his own landscaping business. They spend an evening together, thinking they will go their separate ways, but end up feeling more for one another than they intended. Emily tries to bury her feelings and move ahead with her work, but it isn’t easy when Reeve begins to pursue her and makes it known that he has true feelings for her. It makes it hard for Emily to deny the true feelings that she has for Reeve.
The two are forced to share their secrets, and this is where things have the potential to make or break them.
I am often wary of romance stories in which one or both parties keep secrets because someone usually gets hurt. The secrets are revealed in an interesting way in this story. Emily doesn’t particularly want Reeve to know the extent of her success (read: how rich she is) because in her experience, men are usually threatened by her money. Reeve doesn’t want Emily to know that he grew up with a mentally ill mother that has a severe hoarding problem. I always think that it would be ideal if love interests could talk about their secrets and issues, but that doesn’t happen very often in life or romance books. In this case, the way the secrets come out creates tension in the story, but feels pretty low on the angst-scale between the characters. So while there is a small bump in the road for Emily and Reeve, the end of the book is satisfying for all parties.
Sidenote: This story made me laugh throughout with the banter between Emily and Reeve. They’re funny. I like the way these two don’t take themselves too seriously. I like the way Emily insists on her independence, but her ferocity with this is a little tired at times. I’m a YES for feminism, but she really could stand to loosen up with her “arm’s length” approach to everyone. I think Reeve will be very good for her and I’m hoping they show up in future books in this series.
The start to the Man Enough Series is great and I’m excited to read the next book and find out more about Reeve’s friend Tyler. I enjoyed getting to know the secondary cast-particularly Reeve’s friends-and the setting of Manhattan, Kansas, and I’m eager to see how their stories will unfold as each installment is released.