They shared a simple kiss together years ago. Now, they’re about to share the BOOM.
What’s it About?
With happily ever after being something that happens to other people, April Mayson has decided to put all her energy into her career and living her best life, and things are better than ever.
Little does she know that her world is about to be turned upside down when she’s asked to help out a family friend, Maxim Kauwe.
Now, she’s dealing with a man unlike any she’s ever met before, her ex—a famous musician who’s decided he wants her back—and a possible serial killer.
With all the drama suddenly swirling around her, she will have to figure out if she is brave enough to trust Maxim with her heart and maybe even her life.
This series is all about the insta-love boom that brings our two lead characters together in a burst of sexual energy. If you’re not a huge fan of this Romancelandia trope, well…you’re gonna have to get used to it when it comes to the Mayson family. I’ll admit I oftentimes prefer a slow burn, but there’s something about this series that makes you appreciate the boom as a kind of inherited familial trait that is bound to appear when one’s true love is in the vicinity. Unfortunately, I have to say this might be the first novel in the entire series where the boom kind of fell flat for me. Things start off rather innocently enough with some flirtatious texting between these two old acquaintances who haven’t thought about each other in years. They meet for a dinner to discuss some properties that April has lined up for Maxim to view seeing as he’s moving to town. And here it is, the transformational moment when they’ll set their sights on each other! And it’s…sort of described as a slight tingle rather than the boom we’re used to.
Things seem to be going along fine enough between them during what can best be described as an unconventional business dinner. Next thing ya know they’re going back to his hotel and ripping each other’s clothes off. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with some grinding on the sofa on the first “date”, but even I remember having to rewind my audiobook by a few seconds to see if I missed any kind of natural escalation which would have logically brought us to this point. It just wasn’t there. Next thing ya know Maxim has made a copy of April’s house key for his own personal use (unbeknownst to her), and they’re essentially living with each other by day two. Their subsequent sex scenes are definitely heated and passionate, but there was something about their connection that didn’t feel as authentic to me as many of the previous relationships we’ve come across in this series. Perhaps it’s because we never really got to see them “woo” each other, or maybe it can be attributed to the fact we only get a lackluster description of the boom from April’s point of view and avoid a parallel account from Maxim in the immediate aftermath. No matter what it was, I struggled to become fully invested in their love story.
Annoying Ex and an Unknown Killer
The boom wasn’t the only thing that felt off with this read. As with any installment in this series, our tale of romance is always interrupted by some kind of external drama. It might be intermingled throughout the entirety of the tale, or it might be reserved for an explosive final climactic moment at the end, but it’s always there. The drama in this novel…couldn’t really decide what it wanted to be. There are two distinct dramatic features to this story. One involves April’s ex-boyfriend who has become a top-of-the-charts rock star, releasing a hit song all about how much he still longs for and wishes he could win her back. As you can imagine, Maxim isn’t too pleased with this one. The second involves an unknown killer who is leaving beautiful real estate agents stripped naked and stabbed to death in homes that are for sale. Now, if you ask me, one of these is significantly more critical than the other, and let’s just say it’s not the one with the guy who can’t take a hint and move on already. However, the oblivious ex is the story line that gets most of our attention. We see it snowball when some psychotic fans insist on taking out their anger on April for refusing to take back the crooning dreamboat.
Throughout it all though you can’t help but think, “hey, there’s something else going on here that you all should probably be paying attention to!!” Maxim ultimately goes super alpha on April’s ex to officially mark his territory, so when that problem goes away we’re just waiting for the inevitable big moment of discovery when we reveal not only who the killer is, but what could possibly be their motive. Is it another fan of April’s ex trying to take her out? Perhaps it’s the ex himself releasing some pent-up anger. Maybe an enemy of Maxim from his former Vegas life, or someone close to April that we thought was a friend? Turns out…not even close. The killer is someone we’ve never been introduced to before, and their motive has absolutely nothing to do with our main characters in any way, shape or form. It’s literally just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and we get some disturbingly dark details in regards to the final murder. All in all, it felt like a totally unnecessary story line, especially when we consider the fact that the drama with April’s ex escalated to a pretty intense moment which could have been a final climax all its own.
Series: Until Him/Her, book 10. For the most part, every book in this series can be read as a stand-alone. That being said, apparently this installment includes a few characters in a cross-over series, Underground Kings. I had absolutely no idea about this little detail, so I found it odd when there was obviously information being unsaid when we’re introduced to Maxim’s parents. Here I thought there was some kind of nefarious subplot going on which would potentially relate back to the murder spree, but nope! Just supposed to be a fun inclusion of more characters.
Would I befriend the heroine? No idea. I feel like we don’t really get to know much about April, other than the fact she loves Maxim and is a real estate agent. She does adopt an adorable kitty though, so maybe I’d befriend her just so I could play with the cat.
Would I date the hero? His uber alpha-ness would be way too intimidating in real-life, so no.
Final Impressions: Normally I’m a sucker for this series, but I must say this tenth novel was kind of a miss for me. It’s not bad, it’s just kind of…there. I was never fully invested in the bond between Maxim and April, and I wanted more from their boom. As far as the drama, there were one too many story lines going on. The fact the killer plot point had no direct correlation to Maxim or April made it feel like it should have been the one to go.
Smut Level: I may not have been thrilled by Maxim and April’s chemistry outside of the bedroom, but their ability to carry out a graphic sex scene was top notch.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. 245 Pages.