Sunday, July 7, 2013

Love at First Sight - Lori Wilde (Avon - June 2013)

Series: Cupid Texas (Book 1)

"When it hits, you just know . . ."

Natalie McCleary couldn't believe her eyes--a lean-muscled, darkly tanned, nearly naked man stood in her path . . . and then it hit her: love. Everyone always told her it would hit like a thunderbolt, and she never believed them. But now she knew: practical, sensible Natalie was head over heels in love--with a stranger.

But ex-Navy SEAL Dade Vega wasn't about to be a stranger for long. He'd ridden into Cupid on his motorcycle, vowing to keep a promise he'd made to a military buddy. But a single glimpse of Natalie--soaking wet and unexpectedly tempting--changed his life forever.

But how can he offer her his love, when he can't even promise to stay in one place for longer than a week?

Really fun book.  Natalie has lived in Cupid all her life, but has never fallen in love.  Everyone talks about the thunderbolt feeling of love at first sight, but she's beginning to lose hope that it will ever happen to her.  Then she sees Dade, shirtless and working on his motorcycle and she's a believer.  Dade has come to Cupid looking for his friend, Red, who has gone missing.  He's not looking to get involved with a woman, especially one as sweet and innocent as Natalie.

I really liked both Natalie and Dade.  Both have things in their pasts that have shaped who they are now.  Natalie lost her parents when she was a child in an accident that injured her badly.  Now she spends her time taking care of everyone else.  She also keeps tight control over her life, preferring to live by rules that will keep her from suffering that kind of loss again.  Her encounter with Dade has opened her up to things she has never felt before and she isn't sure she likes it.  She recognizes that he is The One but she starts out by fighting it.  There is way too much loss of control in the way she feels to make it comfortable for her.  But she also can't stay away and finds that there is a connection that she just can't fight.  I really liked the way that she seemed to see right through to his heart from the beginning, able to get him to talk about things he's never talked about before.  I also loved the way that Dade was able to get Natalie doing things she'd never done before and actually having fun.  His care for her was something she'd never had before - she was always the one caring for other people.  This gave her the courage and confidence she needed at the end to rescue herself and Dade.

Dade was very much a loner.  He had had a terrible childhood, losing his mom to a drug overdose and being taken away from his dealer father.  He met Red when he went into foster care and they became friends and allies.  Later they joined the navy together and served on the same SEAL team.  When he got a message from Red that he was in trouble, he came to see what was up, only to discover that Red had disappeared.  Dade is a man who doesn't trust anyone, so he doesn't tell anyone why he has come to Cupid, hoping to figure it out on his own.  He doesn't expect to get floored by the sight of Natalie.  There is something about her that gets under his skin right away and he finds himself wanting more from her than he's ever wanted from anyone.  He also realizes that she is one person who he instinctively trusts and he enlists her help in trying to find Red.  I loved seeing Dade's total bewilderment at his feelings for Natalie.  He is sure that he is far too damaged to be any good for her, and can't believe that she accepts him fully just as he is.  I loved the way that rough and gruff Dade is so gentle and patient with Natalie.  His sweetness with her is so unexpected that it really cemented her feelings for him.  I really enjoyed his final surrender.

Besides the main characters of Dade and Natalie I loved the people of Cupid.  Each one has its own quirks and adds to the fabric of the town.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know more of them. 

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