Title: Searching for Perfect
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Searching For
Format: Paperback; 352 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (April 29, 2014)
Author's Website: http://www.jenniferprobst.com/
Notes: I received a copy of the book from the publisher. As this appears to be a final copy, I'm using quotes.
Ned 'Nate' Dunkle is a smart, brilliant and sweet guy, but when it comes to women and relationships he's a complete and utter mess. Think Eliza Doolittle meets Clark Kent with a dash of nerd mixed in for good measure. He can't walk the walk, can't talk the talk, and his attire could win an award for being a complete and utter wardrobe malfunction--with clothes that don't fit right and do nothing for the wearer. Pair his botched attempt at self tanning, which gave him a freakishly unnatural orange glow, with the strong odor of a cologne gone wild, and for some strange reason, the opposite sex is not falling all over themselves to be near him. Hmmm...go figure. It was his fumbled attempt at speed dating that led to Kennedy Ashe singling him out to have a nice little chat. Thinking he was a Grade A class jerk, she'd been prepared to chew him out for almost making one of her clients cry, but as she starts talking with him she quickly realizes the sheer magnitude of the man's cluelessness. Now she's determined to help him find his perfect match.
When all is said and done, and she discovers how much the two have in common, will she still be willing to pair him up with someone else?
Her name ripped from those lips in a husky growl. She blinked and tried to find her footing, startled by his referring to her so intimately, but not entirely sure she minded. "Yeah?"
"What about us?"
Brain alert. She tried to break the weird spell, but he slid his hands up to cup her cheeks and thunder shook the ground, and somehow his body was pressed tight against hers. He engulfed her with a quiet, intense presence that demanded her response. As though on cue, her body lit up and begged for more. She grew damp between her thighs, and her nipples hardened to tight little points, and within those few seconds, she was completely turned on by her geek rocket scientist.
"There is no us. I'm your matchmaker."
Her victory of sane speech was short-lived. Those thumbs stroked under her jaw and began to trace the lines of her mouth. The fascinated, intense look on his face thrilled her. Had a man ever looked at her so...hungrily? As if he craved to feast on her for hours without end? A shiver bumped through her.
"Eliza and Professor Higgins hooked up at the end of the movie."
It's no wonder after reading this book that Jennifer Probst has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. She writes romances that are smart, funny, real and oh so sexy. In Searching for Perfect, Jennifer Probst takes us on a journey of discovery that will have some women giving those slightly unkempt, conversationally challenged guys a second look.
On the surface Kennedy Ashe seems to have her act together, but deep down she has relationship issues that can be tracked back to her high school years. She has major problems with self esteem that keep her from investing in long term commitments. Over the years she's tried to make herself look perfect to mask the imperfections she sees in herself. While she believes in love for others, she just doesn't see it in the cards for her.
In many ways Kennedy and Nate have a lot in common. Perhaps she singles him out to be her pet project because she sees a little of herself in him. He's got all the essential ingredients that will make him a good match for someone. He's got a good heart, knows what he's looking for, and is open to love. He's also gotten some bad advice from the big brother he's looked up to all his life. It was interesting to watch Nate transforms from zero to hero in the span of 341 pages.
Throughout the book we witness Kennedy and Nate's attraction for one another grow as they open up to each another on a very personal level. Kennedy has never been in a relationship that's lasted longer than a few months. She knows Nate's looking for someone to settle down with, and she does not see that happening with her. Sometimes people don't see themselves as worthy of happy endings, and Nate is just the guy to show her she is.
Interspersed with all the serious issues Kennedy faces is the underlying humor that makes Jennifer's books so enchanting and fun to read. It lightens up the mood of the subject matter and softens the hard edges. The infusion is a heady combination that endears the characters to the reader and makes them seem all the more real and believable. Plus, there are the swoon worthy moments and dialogue that make you sigh. My favorite moment is when Nate makes the following declarations:
"This isn't about me, baby. It's about you. I can chase you forever, promise you the world, but until you take the leap with me, I can't win. I don't just love your body. I love your incredible mind, and your sweet soul, and your inner strength. I love the life you built for yourself with your friends and your career. I love every part of you--good and bad--dark and light--and I want to share it all. But you have to let me."
I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I never would have believed I'd end up liking the hero in this story so much. The relationship which evolves between Kennedy and Nate has a enviable foundation to build on. It's the kind of story that if you've given up on love and romance, it'll encourage you to give it one more try. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one get a SHOWER rating - a cold shower may be necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning--make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol Please note that while I'm giving this a shower rating, I wouldn't necessarily label this one erotic. It's definitely has some steamy scenes and there is a touch of colorful language used, but it doesn't have the feel of most erotic novels.You can see the mutual respect and feel the love between them. I guess what I'm trying to say is it goes a little deeper than most erotic reads. It was a total an utter book seduction and I highly recommend this one.