Donna Reads: Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle

The Blurb: I first met William McAlister when I was just a teenager. He was handsome, had a beautiful wife and was on the verge of success, having just joined my father as his business partner. Mr. McAlister was full of smooth charm, but back then he was barely a blip on my radar. Just a family friend.

Fast forward ten years: I’m 25 years old and a single mom trying to make things right for her seven-year old son. I’ve made some mistakes, grappled with my demons and now I’m back in the city of Vancouver, getting a second chance at a better life.

I’ve started by working for my father’s production company as an executive assistant. My first day on the job and I already know I could have a promising career there. That is until I see Will McAlister for the first time in a decade. Now recently divorced and as sophisticated as always, Will has gone from being my father’s friend and business partner to something so much more.

We’re both older, for one thing, and he just oozes this worldly confidence and stark sexuality. Combined with his tall, muscular build and sharp suits, strong jaw and bedroom eyes, Will has turned into one hell of a distraction. A distraction I’m having a hard time staying away from, considering his office is right across from my desk and I work with him in such close proximity.

But it’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s just an innocent fantasy of screwing him on his desk, right? It can’t ever be more because he’s my father’s best friend, business partner, and my boss.

Right? Wrong.

My Review:

Jackie Phillips has returned home after a failed relationship to live at her parents’ house with her seven year old son, Tyson. She’s starting a job at her father’s production company, and she’s trying to put her life back on track. Will McAlister has also returned to Vancouver from California after going through a messy divorce. There is an instant attraction between them, but Will is 16 years older than Jackie, and he’s her father’s business partner. Jackie thinks that there can’t ever be anything between them.

What I liked about this book: The story involved two people who had been devastated by horrific events in their pasts, and they found each other and fell in love. It was a second chance at love story. That was sweet and heart-warming. I also liked the humor of Will’s character. He was so good with Jackie’s son, Ty. I liked that Will was an old-fashioned type of hero.

What I disliked about this book: I got frustrated that it took Jackie so darned long to figure out that she was in love with Will.

I get that Jackie had just come out of an extremely abusive relationship, but it wasn’t even that she was afraid to try again. She was afraid to try with Will because of who he was. He was her father’s friend and business partner. She spent way too much time worried about what her father was going to think, and what he was going to say, and what he was going to do. Her father was a jerk for most of the book, and he didn’t deserve her respect or her consideration in my opinion. Will was a very patient man, and after what he had been through, he deserved someone who was “all in”.

Overall, I really liked this book and its old-fashioned, good guy hero.

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