After being the quiet, shy girl her whole life, Elise Markham is ready for a mental makeover. She’s done keeping to herself and staying out of trouble—it’s time to break out of her shell and maybe meet someone intriguing in the process. So, on a photography trip to Bluebonnet, she has a whole lot more on her mind than snapping photos, especially when Rome walks into the picture.
The newest instructor at Wilderness Survival Expeditions has a colorful past, to say the least. Having come from a family of notorious con artists that destroyed his credit and reputation, all before his eighteenth birthday, Rome just wants a decent job and a quiet life in a town where no one knows his name. He’s exactly the kind of bad boy that an innocent girl like Elise should stay far away from.
But Elise is tired of doing what’s right. She’s ready to throw caution to the wind—and let Rome show her just how exciting being bad can be…
Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 3-3.5 out of 5
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Sometimes you have to suffer for a little while to get to the good stuff. That's kinda how I felt about The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving. Whew. There were definitely some bumps in the road for me as two unlikely souls found each other and helped heal the other's hurts and insecurities. It was a lovely romance with an entirely swoon-worthy hero that by the end easily had me smiling even if there were parts that had me reading to bite someone. And not in a fun way. *nods*
Okay the quick of it is that Elise has led a very sheltered life and while visiting her brother at his survival camp she decided she's had enough and it's time to live a little and get some experience--including losing her virginity--and she knows just the man to help her...her brother's newest employee. If she can just work up the courage to actually talk to him. There were some funny moments along the way, some painful, some sad and some so very endearing and sweet as these two get to know each other.
I loved Rome. He was just so tasty. Covered in tattoos, pierced everywhere (though alas he didn't have my favorite piercing--sobs!) and just a sweet guy that's had a hell of a hard life. Including some prison time. He's trying to start his life over and is used to being treated like trash because of his appearance and past and had a bit of a chip on his shoulder from that but honestly I totally got it and I really felt for him. And wanted to wrap him up and hug him fiercely. He's also dirt broke because of it all. Something you don't see often in romance, right? He's just an average guy who's had a rough go and really needs a break in life. I loved pretty much everything about him and how he was with Elise.
The room was decorated in a Victorian style, and the large bed in the center of the room was a four-poster covered with an ornate purple quilt.
"Cute," Rome said. Elise was silent, so he looked over at her and was surprised to see her expression, her face bright red. He squeezed her hand. "What's wrong?"
"It's just...one bed." She brushed her hand against her cheek, almost automatically.
"One bed," he agreed. "And one shower." He touched her cheek. "And one guy that is perfectly fine with waiting on sex if you're not ready. This weekend is about you."
The chemistry was pretty killer and was so working for me. Once they got past that initial shyness of Elise's whew, yeah, the two had trouble keeping their hands off each other. There were some very sweet moments between them and things got nicely heated. Gotta say, I enjoyed that bit. *nods* There were some pretty silly/funny moments because of her being all innocent and learning her way around things. Plus Rome was... not a dirty talker exactly, but just a talker when things were going down which was oddly entertaining to me. While they were as different as night and day they still had things that weighed on both of them. They each knew loneliness and were good people who just wanted or needed a new life and someone to call their own. Who loved them for exactly who they were. And seeing them bring out the best in each other was really rather sweet and had me going all girly.
"You remember what I called you?"All in all, The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving was a decent read. It took me a little while to get into it but by the end I was actually pretty on board. I don't know that I'd go back and read the earlier books though--those characters just didn't grab my attention or flat out annoyed me--but I wouldn't mind reading a little about Rome's big brother Jerico. He was rather yummy and seemed interesting.
"Bo Peep," she breathed. "You said I looked lost."
"You still feel lost, baby?"
"Not with you," she said, and he felt his chest ache again.
"That's a good answer," he told her in a husky voice.
Have you read Clare (or one of her other pen names?)
Do you like opposites that attract storylines?
More Clare on herding cats!
Review--Mirrorlight (as Jill Myles)