Series: Moorehouse Legacy, Book 4; Silhouette Special Edition
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 256 Pages, 2967 Locations
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle
Standard But Successful Romance Fare
French chef and tattooed roughneck Michael "Spike" Moriarty met the woman of his dreams, world class sailor Madeline "Mad" Maguire, when she walked out of his friend's bathroom and straight into his fantasies. She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, and way out of his league. He has a lot of darkness in his past, things he's done that he could never change...wouldn't even if he could, but he was well aware his past wasn't likely to bode well for a relationship, even if Mad was interested. Didn't stop him from aching for her, dreaming of her, wanting her.
When Mad asks him to accompany her to her family estate as backup while she deals with her unpleasant half brother and the responsibilities of her trust, he's offended. The gorgeous, rich woman wanted a rough looking thug to twist a bunch of hoity-toity panties. The thought doesn't appeal. He shows up anyway. And when he does, and sees what Mad's family is really about, sees through Mad's wallflower nature to the grace and insecurities that lie beneath that killer body and amazing face, Spike is both glad he had...and terrified. Because in that one weekend, the woman of his dreams became the woman of his heart.
In this fourth book of the Moorehouse Legacy series, Jessica Bird (aka J.R. Ward) tells the story of Spike and Mad with her typical aplomb. It's a solid contemporary romance, and while the plot and characters didn't have quite the complexity and depth of the first three books in the series, and the development of the relationship followed a familiar formula, the likability of the characters makes it a worthy read.
I didn't feel like the non-relationship aspects of the characters stories were quite as comprehensive as I'm used to in this series. Mad's issues with her brother and her own insecurities were well developed and both understandable and sympathetic, but the resolution wasn't as satisfying as I hoped, and I would have enjoyed more story surrounding her half sister. Spike's past was brushed upon a few times, and there was a poignant scene between him and his sister concerning it, but I would have liked to have seen that expanded. Secondary characters were also more briefly featured than I'm used to with Bird's romances.
Regardless, I liked A Man in a Million and Spike in particular. He was a good guy, and I enjoyed his endearing uncertainty and the tenderness and understanding he showed for Mad. I thought Mad was a nice heroine, as well, and I loved the choices she made in her career and how she dealt with her brother and their supermarket empire. She was a little quick to jump to erroneous conclusion when something brushed against her insecurities and past pain, but she's a strong, competent woman with a good head on her shoulders. She had a lot of spine when needed. Together they were a sizzling and sweet couple, and their tale was a quick, satisfying bite of brain candy.