Sunday, 23 June 2013

Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox

Flirting with Disaster (2013)
Ruthie Knox
Grade: A-
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: NetGalley
Camelot series: (1) How to Misbehave, (2) Along Came Trouble, (3) Flirting with Disaster, (4) Making it Last

Katie Clark is recently divorced and finally making something of herself in her hometown of Camelot, Ohio. Married straight out of school, she followed her husband, Levi, as he pursued his dream in Alaska. They couldn’t afford two sets of tuition fees, and so Katie gallantly agreed to work while Levi took classes, waiting her turn. Then, several years went by as Levi started his business and Katie pitched in, and school became a distant dream. When Levi then ran off with all their money, Katie had no choice but to return home, telling no one of what had happened to her.

Now, she’s living with her older brother Caleb as the office manager of his security business. Katie wants to be a proper agent, and she gets her wish on the whim of Judah Pratt, a popstar who will only hire Camelot Security if Katie is part of the package. The next thing she knows, she’s off to Louisville where Judah remains stubbornly silent about what he needs from them. Judah is receiving threatening messages alluding to a time in his past that he’d rather his fans didn’t know about, but not even Katie, Judah’s new best friend, is being let in on the secret.

Meanwhile, Caleb has sent his best agent, Sean Owens, to keep an eye on Katie on her first assignment. Sean hasn’t been in Camelot since he was seventeen and has only returned to pack up his mother’s house after her death. Years of speech therapy has helped to control his stutter, but now that he has returned to Camelot, he reverts to his teenage, stuttering self against his will – especially when around Katie. He’s crushed on her for as long as he can remember, and even now as the successful owner of an Internet security company in California, he is too shy to get any words out.

As the threats keep on coming and Judah remains unforthcoming, Katie and Sean need to work together to uncover the big secret that Judah refuses to reveal, as well as stop his stalker from doing any lasting damage … if they would just talk to each other …

We met Katie and Sean in Along Came Trouble and although their appearances were brief, their secondary romance (or more accurately, the lack of it) spoke volumes about the potential their future romance would reach. ACT had already established that Sean has crushed on Katie since they were teenagers, despite the fact that he had never spoken a word to her, and still continued to remain silent when she was around. He had acted perfectly normal when with Caleb and doing his job, and so it was logical to conclude that Katie was the source of his muteness, and you want to find out more.

Sean was adorable, even more so when given a computer and in his element. He literally won’t say a word to Katie and she can’t work out why. His stutter was literally disabling in his youth and despite overcoming it, being back in Camelot and around Katie has made it flare up again. Ms Knox handled such a sensitive topic brilliantly. There’s a reason why her quirky yet troubled heroes work, and Sean Owens exemplifies her brilliance. His internal monologues are hilarious and one of the things that I love best about him, the following being my favourite:

If Sean had put himself in a dumber situation in his life, he was hard pressed to remember it.
Driving to Louisville with Katie Clark was beyond dumb. It was such a bad idea, it deserved its own category.
Lost causes Sean’s Dick Talked Him Into, maybe.

Katie was a fantastic heroine. Like Lexi and Ellen, she’s an independent woman, able to handle whatever life throws her way, if currently a little sex-deprived. Katie has had to put up with more shit in her life than anyone her age should have to, relationship-wise, which is why she’s wary of allowing the arrangement she has with Sean develop beyond anything more than casual. I can’t relate to her situation, but she’s a very easy character to like and empathise with. She wears her heart on her sleeve and I love her for it.

I’m glad that Judah’s case brought Katie and Sean together, but the time they spent on the case took them away from their romance. I’ve been watching Bones Season 6 at the moment and like Flirting with Disaster, I’ve been on the edge of my seat with anticipation, waiting for the characters to Get It On Already. I appreciate that limiting the cast of characters in a book to only the hero and heroine also limits what can happen in the novel, but Ride With Me shows that it can happen in very special circumstances. Judah’s case might have helped fast-forward the development of Katie and Sean’s relationship, but that didn’t mean I had to like it.

As already established in other reviews, Ruthie Knox sex is hot; this was no different. There was one scene which would satisfy any voyeurs out there and I’ll just say that Sean knows how to put cramped quarters to good use. When paired with that hotness on the cover up there - well, you've definitely got a recipe for sparks and tangled sheets.

I loved this. Not as much as Ride With Me, but that’s pretty impossible. I’m not entirely sure where it stands against Along Came Trouble, but I always have difficulty choosing between books of the same calibre, by the same author. Katie and Sean are amazing together and he’s not a hero you forget. I’ve developed a new love for stuttering hackers and his development over the course of the novel is beautiful to watch. As if I couldn’t love the book anymore, we returned to the characters of ACT who have already had their happy ending and watched them get happier. Ruthie Knox hits the mark every time.

Image courtesy of Ruthie Knox

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