Misadventures with a Country Boy

Waterhouse. (Misadventures, Bk. 18). Dec. 2018. 216p. ISBN 9781642630060. pap. $12.99. EROTIC ROMANCE
Cole Timmons, an army veteran on the road, helps an attractive stranger out of a sticky situation at a gas station during a long ride to Oregon. Brooke Alba's sarcastic yet wounded demeanor leaves Cole intrigued, and he becomes invested despite all logic telling him to cut ties. Brooke is a rising music star fleeing her suffocating life, and her parents, by striking out on her own; she finds unexpected safety in this burly cowboy with a silly side and a delicious Southern drawl. Cole knows he shouldn't get wrapped up in this high-maintenance stranger he nicknamed Princess, but his gut tells him there's something more to her story and to his feelings—and Cole's gut is always right. Slightly heavier on the romance than other "Misadventures" installments, Hayley's (I Hate You, I Love You) newest is a satisfying slow burn that ambitiously tackles characters reclaiming spontaneity and love while dealing with severe trauma. Readers will root for a happy ending and appreciate Brooke and Cole's ecstatic escapades on the road and in the bedroom. Those sensitive to depictions of violence and abuse should be aware that one scene involves Brooke being sexually harassed by a stranger and another describes past child abuse.
VERDICT Part road trip adventure and part love story, this gentle novel takes a minute to heat up but is eminently worth the wait.
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