Cindi's Reviews > Intimate Strangers

Intimate Strangers by Laura Taylor
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Apr 21, 12

bookshelves: 2012, kindle-free, series
Read on April 20, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I didn't actually see the original publication date until after I finished it. Had I done so, it would have probably made more sense to me as I was reading it. There are so many things in this book would probably not be considered a good thing had it been written in this day and age. There is an instance where the lead male character (Nicholas) tries to scare the main female character (Hannah) by climbing into her van while she is sleeping and holding a knife on her while he holds her down and presses his erection hard against her. I have read enough books (from way back when) to know that was acceptable back when this was written but I can't quite grasp this not being considered an almost sexual assault even though it was only meant to instill fear. Scaring her is one thing but the fact that she was turned on by it? By being awakened from a dead sleep with a scary man pressing his erection down on her? And holding a knife on her? Nah. Don't see it. Granted, he had no intention of raping her... just scaring her but she didn't know this and still got aroused?

I seriously almost stopped reading after the first couple of chapters because of what is mentioned above. Nicholas is anal about his privacy. Paranoid is too mild of a word to describe him. He owns tens of thousands of acres in Nevada (we know this because it is said many times in the book) and he has a huge mansion built right dab in the middle of it. He is a former mercenary who has built this private refuge because of threats on his life in the past and on the lives of other former mercenaries who he has moved onto his property, also for protection. Hannah is a school teacher and child advocate who has driven hundreds of miles to Nicholas' home in hopes of finding her brother who the family has not had contact with in many, many years. Her mother is soon to undergo heart surgery and wants to see her son (Sean) in the event she dies during (or after) the surgery.

So Hannah totally ignores tons of No Trespassing signs and drives to the front door of Nicholas' home. She beats on the door for over 30 minutes before Nicholas finally gets around to speaking to her through the intercom at the front door. Also note that he has been watching her from the time she got out of her van and there is an internal dialogue where he goes on about how turned on he is by this total stranger who dared violate his privacy. It sounded to me like... okay Nicholas hasn't had sex in years and he's due. I don't think it would have mattered what female was at his door.

Anyway.

So Nicholas refuses to allow Hannah inside his home so she goes to sleep in the back of her van. This is when Nicholas does his he-man impersonation and does what I mentioned above. After a little bit of that, he allows this total stranger to come into his home and to stay in his guest room.

I know it may not seem like it, but I actually DID like the story. It's a bit of stretch from what I normally read these days. But there are some things that annoyed me, aside from what I've already stated.

Hannah shows up looking for her brother who has apparently been suffering from a severe case of PTSD and has had zero contact with his family for years and years. While there were letters sent back and forth up to a few years ago, Hannah has not seen her brother in 15 years. It took forever for Hannah to finally tell Nicholas WHY she was so adamant about finding her brother.

Nicholas is obviously very tech-savvy. But yet a little school teacher was able to find him with only a few days of investigation. On Google, no less. And it takes 5 days to get a thorough background check on someone? I'm referring to Nicholas getting the info on Hannah this time. He built this huge fortress with every kind of electronic and security device you could imagine but he has to wait on a FAX to get info about the woman who showed up unannounced at his door? A fax???

Nicholas was a real jerk for the first half of the book. Hannah was described as being hard headed and stubborn but she came across as a helpless female in more ways than one.

They had sex so many times and there is no mention at all about birth control.

Now to what I DID like about the book and why it gets 4 stars instead of less.

Once I got beyond the "Nicholas is a jerk" part it turned into a very sweet love story. Nicholas made a point in telling Hannah that he could not make her any promises or declarations even though she told him over and over that she loved him. I guess about midway is when the book really started getting good for me.

Hannah finally gets to see Sean and that was very sweet. Then she is called back home because her mother's surgery will be happening earlier than originally planned. The scene where Nicholas has to leave Hannah on the plane was very touching. When he shows up at the hospital at the end, I got teary eyed.

While the ending was a bit rushed (by my standards) it DID end well. A very sweet love story.

I am sure I will read the next one in the series but there won't be a rush to do so at this time. It is centered on a character that was only mentioned in passing in this one so I'm not invested in her character as I would be if I read that the next story is Sean's. I hate to see the end of Sean and I believe that there should be more about him in general.

Overall, a good story. The characters even redeemed themselves to me at the end.
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