Love Taker by Erin McCarthy
Series: Nashville Nights #3
Also in this series: Heart Breaker
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
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The Nashville Nights series is burning up backstage in this sensual friends-to-lovers novel featuring a good-guy cop and a woman who’s been looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places.
Pretty-boy musicians are a fixture of the Nashville country scene—and Elle Hart, hairdresser to the stars, is beginning to think that they’re all total pricks. Elle’s dating choices have been a disaster, but at least she has Tucker. Though he’s easy on the eyes, no one would ever accuse Jason Michael Tucker of being a pretty boy. The humble and handsome sheriff's deputy from Elle’s hometown has always been there to comfort her—until the evening their friendship unexpectedly leads to the best sex Elle has ever had.
Tucker has been lusting after Elle since they were an item as teens, but he knows that their wild night of passion is a one-time thing. He’s an old friend, nothing more, and they’re too different to become a couple just because they’ve knocked boots. After all, she hates being back in their hometown, and he’s not so fond of the big city. But when Elle comes to Tucker with news that changes everything, he must help her come to grips with her traumatic past—or risk losing her forever.
Tucker and Elle had dated in High School. They really liked each other but when her family moved from their small town of Starkey, Kentucky to Nashville they became just friends. They’d remained friends although Tucker really wanted more. He was always there for Elle but one night when she had just gotten home from a date – one who had verbally hurt her – Tucker drove the four hours to Elle’s place to comfort her. One thing led to another and soon they were sleeping with each other.
Tucker’s elated until Elle tells him she has a date that night. She assumed he’d want to keep their friendship tight and he’d assumed this meant a huge step in “together” direction. He finally realizes that Elle won’t ever want him for more than friendship so he starts to date. He likes the woman he’s dating and is thinking of taking things further when Elle shows up to tell him she’s pregnant. Now that time has passed Elle realizes she feels more for Tucker than she thought but now Tucker isn’t sure he wants to go that route with a woman who hadn’t ever seen him for who he was.
This was a cute story. I liked the friendship between Tuck and Elle even though it had its ups and downs. Even though they each reacted differently to her pregnancy than I thought they would they were both happy about it. A portion of the story focused on Elle and her family and how they’d grown up in the Starkey and how that affected their lives. I liked that bit of background that we got on her and her family. I wish would could have gotten the same bit of in depth background on Tucker but that didn’t happen.
The end of the story seemed a bit abrupt to me. Decisions had been made between Elle and Tucker and their future – and this was done so that they could make a clean start together. Tucker wasn’t a Nashville kind of guy and Elle absolutely did not want to move back to Starkey. After a particular incident, that all changed and Elle made the decision for both of them to stay in Starkey. It seemed rushed and not so well thought out on her part – more of a highly emotional decision. I know that it was supposed to be the big gesture from her to Tucker but it rang false to me – especially after how adamant Elle had been to stay out of Starkey. IDK, it was sweet on one hand but on the other it just didn’t make sense to me.
The story was sweet and cute for the most part and I always enjoy a good contemporary from McCarthy. If you’re looking for a story with not too much angst then this would be a good one to pick up.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5