Animal Magnetism #6
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. Colten, the guy who'd rejected her when she'd needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately, Darcy can't refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.
A.J. admits it — Darcy is irresistible. But he's already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he's not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they'd ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What's the real thing? And where does it go from here?
Still the One returns us to the crazy but lovable crew whose various romances drive the Animal Magnetism series, and while Darcy and AJ are perhaps not the strongest of the couples we’ve met thus far, Ms. Shalvis never fails to bring a smile to our faces. Darcy is still smarting from the flat-out rejection AJ handed her a few months back, creating a mountain of delicious tension between them whenever she finds herself in his presence, and what follows is a romantic roller coaster with an equal number of ups and downs as the two of them attempt to navigate the minefield their relationship has become.
It’s easy to instantly relate to Darcy despite her instinctual response to push everyone away, the mortification she still feels over AJ’s rejection something that draws us in as we recall any number of our own similar embarrassments. While she’s not altogether pleased with AJ for most of the book, she doesn’t hold his past actions over him to such a degree that we want to scream at her to move past it, but she does pull him close and then push him away (though to be fair, he does much the same) with frustrating frequency. Some push and pull is to be expected given both their individual and shared pasts, but the number of times the two of them allow the other close just to turn on their heel and flee moments later is enough to give us whiplash.
It’s clear early on as to why AJ turned Darcy down when she made her move, and though his reasons were admirable, we can’t help but wish he’d opened his mouth and explained those reasons to Darcy at any point during their tumultuous courtship. There are of course highlights to the two of them together though, and a review for this series simply wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Peanut the foul-mouthed Parrot who steals the show despite a single brief appearance, but overall Still the One didn’t sail quite as smoothly as its predecessors.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.