ARC Review: Just Like That by Nicola Rendell

Release Date: April 10, 2017
Rating: 3/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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“I bet I can untangle you.”

At an airport baggage claim, Penny Darling looks up from her knotted mess of ear buds to find the sexiest hunk of man she’s ever seen. He’s got a military haircut, a scar through his eyebrow, and he’s rocking a pastel pink dress shirt like only a real man can. But Penny is on a man-free diet so she leaves the airport without succumbing to his delicious double-entendres…or his dreamy dimples.

PI Russ Macklin can’t take his eyes off Penny. As she sashays out of the airport with hips swaying and curls bouncing, he suspects they may share more than just sweltering chemistry. That suitcase she’s rolling along behind her? It looks a lot like his.

Because it is.

When he tracks her down, he holds her bag hostage in exchange for a date. Their night begins with margaritas and ends in urgent care, and Russ proves that Cosmo’s theory about a very particular type of orgasm was oh-so-wrong.

In Penny, Russ finds a small-town sweetheart with a very naughty side. For the first time ever, he’s thinking about picket fences. Penny finds in Russ a loving, caring man who understands the power of massaging showerheads.

But Russ is only in Port Flamingo for a week. They agree it’ll be a fling and nothing more. Because really, they can’t fall ass-over-teakettle in love just like that…

Can they?
Dual POV. No cheating.
Featuring a big drooly dog named Guppy.

I don’t have issues with insta-love or insta-lust at all! Most especially if the story is beautifully executed. Case in point, Hail Mary by the same author. She’s one of those authors who can creatively pull off a whirl wind romance with that undertone of this-feels-so-right vibe. Just Like That is yet again one that’s 100% love at first sight. By simply reading the title, Just Like That, you know you are in for a wild speedy ride.

Nicola Rendell has written a romance novel with kinky twists dashed with creative and smart humor. Naughty that will cause you to cringe? Not happening! It was all hot and uniquely delightful. Aside from these writing quirks, I will say that I enjoyed the personalities of the MCs as well.

Russ is every woman’s sweet slash wet dream. Thoughtful and a riot.  He has steady yet slightly sneaky occupation, ex-military, yes loaded too, but down to earth. He’s a babe but transforms into this sexy freak in bed with his twisted tactics. I swear when he says “so listen…” you will drop everything. Penny was something else too. A small town girl, adorable, intelligent, and surrounded by love from her family. Still don’t be fooled because she can turn foxy in just a snap of a finger. I loved that there wasn’t much hesitation on Penny’s part when it came down to taking the big leap with Russ. Not at all coy and confused like other heroines (admit it, can be tiring sometimes). Even though these two can be poles apart sometimes, ultimately they were still a perfect match.

While I liked the unique steam and the personalities of the MCs, I would like to lay it out in the open that I was not head over heels in love with some major aspects of this story. For some weird reason, I didn’t easily grasp and visualize the characters. The heroine’s physical attributes and the hero’s age were presented in a way that’s sporadic. I didn’t even know that Russ was already in his 40s up until towards the end of the book.

Penny and Russ started out with that sudden spark, headed straight to lust and sex, then revelations unfolded. Russ then wooed and said his sincere sorry, and then they’d go back again to passionate love making, another secret out in the open, and sweet apologies again. It didn’t bother me that the love developed in seven days, I think what didn’t work was how the story was going in circles. Sure there were subplots that were entertaining but in the process I felt the chemistry got a little clouded by all of the amusing madness. In all honesty, I think, Guppy the dog, Dick Dickerson the villain, Mayor Jeffers and Penny’s best friend left the romance hanging out in the cold.

I loved that the author was adamant with the world building, I swear there was so much summer impressions in it that I felt like I was also lounging under the Florida sun! Just that in the long run, too much niceties and imagery made it a sluggish read.  And even if the chapters were very short, I was still moving at a snail’s pace. There was also a development towards the end that to me was just unrealistic and a bit of a cliché.

Even though I was not jumping for joy like my experience with Hail Mary, I think you will still enjoy this if you are on the lookout for something light, naughty, with a very romantic ending. One thing unforgettable about Just Like That is its theme – that in love, you just know. JUST LIKE THAT your world will turn upside down and when you’ve found your one true love…time and space? Pssshhh! No biggie honey! Kick your worries right to the curb and JUST LOVE!

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