- Release Date
- June 2012
Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she's made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.
Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family's banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.
When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?
Aug 09, 2012 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
219 people found the following review helpful
Every once in a while, a book comes along that not only reminds us why we love romances, but completely justifies that love. This book was heartfelt, honest and moving, and I love every moment of it, right up to the perfection of its final scene.
Mary Catherine Talarico is determined to live a different life. For two years, she has been ‘Good Cath', the version of herself her mother would be proud to see. The version of herself that has a job at the V&A as an assistant curator, who takes the same train from her flat in Greenwich to London every day at the same time, and who doesn't drink, doesn't date, and doesn't engage in any of the behavior that ‘Bad Cath' did for so long. The behavior that is forever commemorated in the tattoos she's wrapped around her torso as permanent reminders of her mistakes. She is doing a beautiful job of staying on track, until one night when her boss convinces her to go on a blind date and she ends up alone, and drunk in the Underground by one of her fellow commuters.
She knows him only as ‘City', the name she's given the impeccably dressed, aloof man who waits on the platform with her every weekday morning. But when she wakes in his flat, she begins to realize that ‘City' as she has known him has vanished, and in his place is a funny, tender, handsome man with a real talent for painting. Just the kind of man she shouldn't want, and that she is convinced that she doesn't deserve.
Nev Chamberlain (yes, there is a distant relation to that Prime Minister) has carried something of a torch for the petite, tough-looking lady he sees every morning on the train, but hasn't figured how best to approach her until he finds her alone and crying in the Underground late one Friday night. Cath, his Mary Catherine, is fierce and smart and sexy as hell—but also deeply scarred by her past and genuinely terrified of a relationship. Nev is willing to wait, and willing to work, to discover whatever he can about this woman, and loving every moment spent in her company. But when the reality of his life and his overbearing, aristocratic family begin bearing down on them, will their burgeoning relationship be strong enough to survive, or will the weight of all the secrets they never shared do them in after all?
I usually can't stand characters who keep secrets, or who hold themselves back from their lovers, but Ruthie Knox did such a beautiful job of creating Cath that her fears and her beliefs about herself were not only understandable, they were wholly justifiable. Her past is full of pain and disillusionment that has left her convinced that it will never get better for her. It broke my heart that she had to rationalize her feelings for Neville and love him from a self-imposed distance, but I couldn't judge her harshly for doing so. But as much as Cath is a prisoner of her past, the joy she feels in Nev's company is clear as day, and it's impossible not to revel in the small moments they share together when she lets herself be happy with him.
Nev, though indeed delightful and meltingly sweet, isn't a perfect Prince Charming—and I think I loved him even more for it. He's spent a lifetime trying to please his family, to win his mother's approval and live up to his brother's reputation, hiding who he really wishes to be in his studio with his paintings. With Cath, however, Nev's full personality begins to shine through, and it is utterly captivating. His own self-realization was a very interesting one, and I loved the results of his decision to win Cath once and for all, both for them and for Nev's relationship with his family.
The chemistry between Cath and Nev is incendiary from the first, and only gets better with each scene. But more than that, they feel right together. The sense of calm, safety and completeness they feel together is palpable even to the reader. Impressively, every scene they share only serves to strengthen their bond, and to forge those deep connections that Cath is terrified to acknowledge, but helpless to break. Best of all though, the final scene of this book left me speechless. If there was ever a question what true love can do for two people, look no further.
There were little details in this book that I could relate to personally—from the hills of Greenwich Park to the lack of Oreos in England to Cath's love of knitting—and it made the story that much more intimate and memorable an experience, especially when Cath and Nev's mother at last found common ground between a pair of knitting needles. I found myself rationing this book in order to make it last longer, as I was so caught up in Cath's journey and her love story with Neville that I simply didn't want it to end. My only consolation was that the ending was so perfect that I could only grin and savor every minutes of it. This book was definitely one of my favorite reads so far this year, and I can't wait to read more of Ruthie Knox's works!
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