“I’m messed up,” she confessed. He’d probably figured that out, but she needed to say it.
“I know, baby,” he said softly. “That doesn’t turn me away. It only makes me want to hold you closer.”
She feels she doesn’t deserve him… He feels he doesn’t deserve her… What happens when they finally discover they’re both wrong?
Millie could do this. Easy. No problem. So what if her former Hot Man Customer was now her current Hot Man Boss? So what if he also wanted to date her? With her terrible family and the burdens she carries, no way will Hector stay with her long term. He deserves someone better than her.
Hector liked his Millie—his Amelia—since nearly the first moment they met. So what if she’s shy? He’ll wait for her. So what if her evil half-brother is making a repeat appearance? He’ll protect her. He’d never thought he’d be successful—not running a pub or being in a relationship—after losing his legs in the army. It’s been years and he’s still recovering, but he’s learned to live with his demons. He’ll work hard to make his pub and his relationship with Amelia a success, even if some days he doesn’t believe he deserves it.
When Amelia’s circumstances take a dangerous turn, Hector will do whatever it takes to help her, whether or not she wants it. Can they both overcome their fears and histories for a future together?
“Rush” is a slow burn romance about loving and believing in yourself, as much you do the one you love.
*Please note: This book contains sensitive content that may be considered triggers.
This book contains content suitable for mature audiences only. This is a standalone book in the series, with no cliffhanger.
*** Welcome to Valleria, a country nestled along the Mediterranean. Whether it’s the small towns or larger port cities, you’re sure to find a friendly face—or more—along Valleria’s seaside shores. Far from the politics of the palace, follow this group of friends as they find love, support each other, and perhaps even meet a royal or two at the local Masillian pub, the Seashell.
Book 1: Rush (Hector & Millie) Book 2: Ripple (Persy & Sully) Book 3: Raw (Frannie & Aiden) Book 4: Ravage (Beth & Everett) Book 5: Rise (Liz & Luke)
MARIANNE KNIGHTLY is the pen name for the author of over twenty novels and novellas of sexy, soulful contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She is most well known for her Royals of Valleria series, a contemporary royal romance series with a hint of suspense set in her fictional country of Valleria.
To get a FREE Royals of Valleria short story, sign up for her newsletter here: www.marianneknightly.com/newsletter. You'll also get excerpts, author news, and news about sales and contests first.
Wow, was this book annoying or what. I mean, for me to stop reading a book when I'm almost 80% finished - that's pretty pathetic of me, I know, but it also spoke to just how I could not stand reading another line about a spineless, pathetic, whiny, loser of a heroine. Harsh, I know, but really, this girl is the weakest of the weak of any heroine in any romance novel. She makes Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey look like Wonder Woman, she does.
So the basic premise is - Our heroine (Millie) is a little, lost abandoned girl whose father was a married man that ho'ed it up with her mother. Mommy Dearest got pregnant, and when she found out dear ol' dad wanted nothing to do with the kid, she gave her up. Thus, Millie was shuffled around from foster home to foster home, starting at the age of eight. Later on, she found her half-brother Piers, who runs a bar / pub and hires Millie as a waitress. Being the jerk that he is, he overworks her, berates her, treats her like crap ... but our heroine takes it all in stride because- oh! - he's family and she has no one else and she's chubby and carrying extra weight and has hairy skin and wears glasses and baggy cardigans and ... really, are we still interested at this point? And, yes, Millie has problems with being hairy. I've never seen this described in a romance novel, but there you have it. And she's a virgin! In her 30s! #unicorn
So apparently, a member of the local royal family - a prince, natch - buys the pub from Piers because of course asshole half-brother is also a loser financially so he couldn't keep up with the loan payments to the bank. So he lost the pub, blames Millie and starts to throw things at her and yells obscenities at her. And she just stands there and takes it, along with everyone else who works there. This has got to be the most pathetic lot of human beings ever. I know if I went out of my office now and started yelling and throwing shit around, someone would stand up and say something or they would at least get the hell out of there. But, no. This whole group just cowered and stuck around to fend for themselves inside a bar where glass bottles are being thrown at them.
Piers is so pissed that he lost the pub that he threatens the prince who purchased it. But, get this. He is out on bail only a couple of weeks later. I guess "prince" in this other country doesn't mean the same as it does in other parts of the English-speaking world. Anyway, the prince brings in a partner, who's our hero, Hector. Fantastic name for a hero. Nothing like the name Hector to get me hot and bothered. Anyway, Hector lost both of his legs (from the knee down) when he was in the military, but this wasn't too big of a point in the story, which I actually appreciated. I mean, dude is still human so what's the big deal. Anyway, he apparently sees Millie once and decides that he must have her. Why, for the love of God, I ask you, why? Was it because of her mousy demeanor? Was it because of her hairy upper lip? Oh, I know! It must have been because she couldn't look you in the eyes and had no confidence whatsoever and blushed and stammered her way through that one conversation you had with her. Yeah, if I were a guy, that's what I'd totes be attracted to as well (not).
Anyway, the story then proceeds with the story of Hector pursuing Millie and Millie being completely flabbergasted that someone as hot as Hector (snicker) would want her. Really, that is her entire thought process for pretty much the entire book. He would call her cute, and her response would be, 'You think I'm cute?' He would say she's adorable, and her response would be, 'You think I'm adorable?' He would say that she's smart, and she would internally and externally ask, 'You think I'm smart?' Jesus H. Christ - ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Either you are fishing for compliments or you are just one, stupid, pathetic broad. I'm going to guess mostly the latter but some of the former as well.
So, finally, at 77%, I gave up, all thanks to this gem of a soliloquy from our "heroine" ... "I'm sorry ... I'm sorry I insulted you. I'm sorry I was an idiot again, and I wasn't even a cute idiot like you say I am. Which means you didn't smile like you usual do when I'm an idiot but instead you look like this. And you've been so nice to me and I don't know how to handle that, so I'm an even bigger idiot than usual. And I'm sorry ..." ARGH!!!!! Shut the eff up already!!!! Sorry, but I had to cut my losses then and stop reading. Really, I hope the hero finally realizes what a loser she is and dumps her lame (and probably hairy) ass and go find someone who actually can stand upright, thanks to that backbone she has, and isn't a mental, psychotic mess.
Listen, I'm all about the "weak" heroine who needs rescuing from the hero. I'm not usually a fan of too much snark and sass from the heroines. I actually enjoyed reading about Ana and Christian, and didn't think she was weak or whiny or pathetic at all. Millie in this book, however, takes weak and whiny and pathetic to another level altogether, so if you thought FSG was a tough read because you didn't care for the heroine, I highly recommend you skip this one altogether.
A couple of other notes - I love it when the hero refers to the heroine as "baby" in romance novels, but holy shit, how may times did Hector have to use that term with Millie? My Kindle count for that word was @ 195. Yes - one hundred and ninety-five. And then there were the "babes" as well. Really, I was baby-ed out well before I stopped reading the book. I never thought I'd hate seeing that word being uttered by any hero, yet here I am. Last thing - not sure who the author is but there are quite a few sections in the book that had me wondering if this was translated from another language? The phrasing was just awkward in certain places. That in itself is a minor complaint; it didn't take away from my understanding the story (I still got it that Millie was a loser) but it did read a bit too formal, I guess, at times.
Overall, this book was a big, fat no for me. It was just a really, really, really bad read. Did I think it was a really, really, really bad read? Yes, Millie, I really, really, really did.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Dynamic new series from Knightly. A lot going on in this story... Prince Lorenzo's friend and the bar he opens and the waitress/girlfriend he connects with. A lot of bad things challenge both characters... and just when you think things are going to turn around - they keep finding more challenges, but eventually the story comes back around to a satisfying ending. The story feels a lot longer than the book, but makes reading it worthwhile. I was hesitant to jump into this series after enjoying the Royals of Valleria so much, but this feels very similar. Excited to read the next one.
Book 1 in the Seaside Valleria series. This spin-off of the Royals of Valleria is delightfully intense. Gut wrenching angst and drama. But takes you on a journey of life, hope and love. The obstacles this couple face is crazy. Brilliantly written. The hero has a disability but the focus is how he lives and falls in love. Awesome story with real issuss. On to the next book.