Love Taker by Erin McCarthy

Title:  Love Taker

Series:  Nashville Nights Book #3

Author:  Erin McCarthy

Genre:  Romance

Blurb:   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.

Thoughts:  So Love Taker started kind of iffy for me, with Elle on a horrific date with a loser.  The sad part is she knows she has a pattern of being drawn to jerks – yet she does nothing to change this.  Elle and Tucker have also flirted with being more than friends years ago when they were in high school, but Elle ‘left’ and that was the end of that (though I wanted some more detail on what happened and how it ended!)  From there it improved a little – sparks flew, they slept together, and Elle freaks out a little and doesn’t want to lose her best friend.  Here is where things really go south for me:  Tucker heads home and barely dates another woman before sleeping with her – even knowing that he loves Elle.  I get trying to move on, I really do….but I didn’t feel the agonizing angst and craving for each other – and then he just seemed to shrug his shoulders and ‘move on’ without even really trying with his supposed best friend.  From there, things just get all tangled up and the fact that they wind up back together just really didn’t thrill me the way it should.

I guess I just really didn’t feel the intense love and emotion between these two characters.  I didn’t buy the whole friends-to-lovers aspect of it and that just put a damper on the whole book for me.  It’s okay read, but I find myself at the end – doing a shrug of the shoulders of my own – and moving on.

Rate:  C+/B-

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