This was a hot, sweet, and good ride. It was a quick ride, but a good one, nonetheless. That said, it also had so many elements of what it so prominently selling right now - a book very similar in many ways to the Fifty Shades and Crossfire series. In some ways that was positive, and some ways, it was meh. But I'll get back to that in a moment.
Not Planning on You begins with our heroine, Suzy, an event planner for Danvers International located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, finding out that the uberhawt, ubersexy, all alpha male, CEO of Mericom, Grayson Merimon (Gray for short) will be spending a lot of time at Danvers in Myrtle Beach...much to her chagrin. She is still getting over the heartache of her fiance' cheating on her and putting her heart back together, and while Gray definitely sends her libido into overdrive, Suzy is not ready for a relationship or to give her heart out once again. Luckily, Gray is a very insistent man, and whittles away Suzy's strong layers, getting her to finally agree, not to a date of course, but to a night of some hot and heavy sex to help simmer the temptation that has been wracking both of them. While on their non-date, and prior to the amazing sex that is supposed to occur, Suzy has an accident, breaks an ankle, and finds herself needing to be taken care of for some time. Of course, Gray instantly takes charge, takes over, and refuses that anyone but himself take care of her.
The chemistry between Suzy and Gray jumps off the page from the get-go, and it is clear to see that they are going to set things aflame when they do finally get down to business. Suzy is a very strong, independent woman who knows who she is, what she wants, and what she doesn't. She is beautiful, full of confidence, and loves to dress in a way to show off her assets and style, topped with six inch stilettos. Gray, the dark, hot and brooding CEO, is equally as gorgeous, all male, and the perfect man in all senses of the word. After he gets Suzy back to his home (that he is able to purchase within a day, and with the mindset of making it their home eventually), his perfection goes into hyperdrive. Not only is he richer than rich and the most perfect male specimen to be found, he has a wonderful relationship with his brother and his parents, his manhood is well above average, AND he cooks from scratch. Believable for the reader? Not.At.All. Nonetheless, he takes care of Suzy, and through their time together, they get to know one another very well, and you can see how they are able to fall in love...not because they are beautiful and the sex (that they haven't yet had) is amazing, but because they really do click and enjoy each other's company.
Of course, there is always a problem in perfect-ville. For Gray and Suzy, it's Gray being stalked by a pesky ex-lover. This comes to haunt them in the worst way imaginable and drives a wedge between our hero and heroine. Are they able to survive it as a couple? You'll have to read it to find out. ;)
So going back to how Not Planning On You is similar to Fifty and Crossfire, and how that can be good and how that can be bad, I'll start with the good. It's good in that it gives the reader the perfection of man to dream about and with which to escape reality. Do we all want that? Hell yes! There are so many elements that I imagine women dream about and are enticed by: tall, dark, sexy CEO who is head over heels in love with the woman of his affections, he's rich, he does all the right things, he is blessed with his amazing manhood, AND he cooks! Sign me up, please!! Now the bad. Is it achievable? Hell no! NO ONE can be THAT perfect. Additionally, the hero's name is Gray. Really? Wow! If that doesn't send up a signal, I'm not sure what would. Also, I think the CEO part has become too cliche', and the hero should not be as well off and owning his own company. It would be nice to see that changed up a bit. Much like Fifty, too, the conflict was a bit far-fetched and way too easily overcome.
Not withstanding my minor criticisms, though, Not Planning On You was a fairly quick and enjoyable read. While some could say that Suzy and Gray fell in love too quickly, I actually enjoyed watching them fall in love in a way different than most contemporary novels these days. They didn't fall in love through their lust for one another, but because they actually spent a lot of time together, getting to know one another. And when they did finally get together, watch out! The sheets were set on fire. I also really enjoyed watching Gray fall to pieces when Suzy would say or do something to break down his hard exterior. He is definitely a kitten underneath his Tiger skin, and it was adorable to see. I also enjoyed the peripheral characters, most especially Beth and Nick, who I can only assume might be the main characters in the next Danvers novel. I know I will be reading it to find out.
*Review copy provided by publisher