Sherilee Gray, $2.99
Contemporary Romance, 2020
Oh, Solitary Man. At this point, I’m just repeating what I’ve said in the previous stories in Sherilee Gray’s The Smith Brothers series, but since this story exists, I just have to read the muy sexy stuff if only for completion’s sake. At this point, there is a very noticeable sameness in the author’s plot and even phrasing, and one can argue that she is just writing the same story with minor variations for the third time.
Cash Smith isn’t technically a Smith brother, but technicality has never stopped any enterprising author before from extending a series due to financial, I mean, popular demand. He’s big everywhere, and he also advertises for a wife. He is also socially stunted in a way, having literally never been hugged enough in the past, so one can argue that he’s the previous two brothers put in a blender and add a few more inches on top for good reason. The wife is Riley, and the entire conflict—if I can call it that—is that he wants to shag her so-ooo-ooo hard and passionately, but he is afraid that the wife will run away screaming should he do that.
Just like the previous stories, the sexy stuff is very nicely done. Then again, I read the stories in this series way too close to one another, so the sameness of the whole story diminishes my enjoyment of the love scenes quite a bit. Plus, come on, the author couldn’t think of a more interesting way to add some tension to the romance?
And just like with the previous stories, I don’t fully buy the romance. Cash has some serious emotional issues here that could use a little fine-tuning with a shrink. He is way too over-protective of the wife, as if they lived in man-eating grizzly county or something (no, they don’t, alas), and there are some jealousy issues boiling underneath that fellow. Given that he isn’t the most emotionally stable or even expressive person around, a part of me wonders uneasily that he is some kind of time bomb that happens to be shaped like the best vibrator in the world. Still, I don’t think people will be reading this story, or this series, for the romance of the century, so maybe the plot isn’t the point of the whole thing at all.
Anyway, I’m totally fine with this story for what it is, but I do wish I’d waited a little longer after reading the previous stories before picking up this one. Variety doesn’t seem to be on the agenda where this series is concerned. Folks that want to read the series, hey, have fun. Just don’t binge-read it like I did!