Love Unlocked by Libby Waterford-Adult Contemporary Romance
Kindle format given by Decadent Publishing for review
Hudson hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in two years. When he unlocks Eve Caplin’s door, the mysterious beauty arouses much more than just his creative impulses. He needs Eve in his studio and wants her in his bed. When he discovers that danger follows the woman he’s quickly falling for, he must decide how far over the line he’s willing to go to protect her. Will he lose his heart, his muse, and his freedom all in one unforgettable night?
Eve Caplin was looking for an escape from her former life. Leaving the world of art thievery behind her, she had hoped that moving to a small town where no one knew her and old influences were hundreds of miles away was the key. But just when the hunky artist-turned locksmith who saved her day started to worm his way into her new life, she realized that her past wasn’t as far behind as she’d hoped. And whether or not an honest and talented guy like Hudson could ever really care for someone who made a living off of stealing someone else’s work remained to be seen.
As much as I wanted to love the ‘adventurous heroine meets straight-laced sex god’ that I’d envisioned here, I’m afraid this is one of those stories where I felt like I’d read it already. Eve is your typical bad girl with a sassy personality, and Hudson was pretty predictable in his reactions to Eve and her past. I wanted some heartache, some moment I never saw coming, but unfortunately the plot never really gave me that. I did like the banter between Even and Hudson when they were fighting their attraction, and they have some tense moments when Eve’s life catches up to them. Seeing them get through a few hurdles kept me flipping pages, because as Eve started to show her softer, reinvented side, I liked her a lot more.
There wasn’t a lot of backstory here, so feeling invested in Hudson and Eve was a challenge for me. They both sounded sexy and hot for each other as he pushed against her wall of ice she’d put up to protect her heart, but I just couldn’t buy into the insta-lust because there wasn’t much to go on. I needed more than just a casual meeting, where Eve was more bristly than flirtatious, to make Hudson’s infatuation believable. He was definitely all alpha male sexy when push came to shove though, and it was a yummy treat when he finally got Eve to cave in to his temptations. Overall, though I’ve read many similar stories over the years so this didn’t wow me, it was a hot summer night retreat that romance fans can appreciate.
All that sexual tension, all that intimate talk, and not even a kiss. She didn’t have the right to be grumpy because she’d been denied the opportunity to tell him no.
That didn’t stop her from grumping all the way home. ~ Loc 1101
Eve. She was the first woman who’d reached him on so many levels. She made him look at things a different way, stoked his creativity. She made him laugh. She was a goddess to look at, a dream to touch. ~Loc 1713
Hudson was a beautiful person, inside and out. She’d sensed it when they first met, and every action he’d made since had shown her, bit by bit, what a fine man he was. ~Loc 2672