Known for her unmistakable brand of sweet, heartwarming romances, it is always with great delight that I dive into one of R.S. Grey’s charming stories, trusting her implicitly to deliver a happy and truly enlivening reading experience cover to cover. Yet I was completely unprepared for how much I would find myself loving every single word of this enchanting little gem. This is an easy, comforting read start to finish, occasionally even laced with slapstick comedy of sorts, but underneath this book’s witty narrative and playful tone hides a tender, passionate love story between two lifelong nemeses who keep blurring that fine line between love and hate over and over again, until they can’t even remember why they hated one another in the first place. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone seeking a lighthearted, sexy romance that would leave them smiling from ear to ear.
“Don’t you think it’s time you two put this weird animosity behind you? It’s been 11 years. You’re both on the cusp of becoming successful doctors. Surely you don’t still hate each other!”
I laugh. It sounds hysterical. “Madeleine, Madeleine, Madeleine.”
“Stop saying my name.”
“Do you remember when Mrs. Beckwith, the school counselor, pulled Lucas and me into her office during our senior year? After the parking lot incident?”
“It took one hour for us to break her. She gave up counseling. Quit that same day, moved to upstate New York and started farming root vegetables. She said Lucas and I had—and I quote from her resignation letter—‘robbed her of all faith in the future of humanity’.”
Daisy Bell and Lucas Thatcher have been rivals since they were born. Always in competition with one another in everything they did—whether it be academic achievements, sports, or playing pranks on each other—their constant rivalry has marked every single milestone in their lives, becoming a recurring joke among their friends and family, and eventually driving them both to pursue their college studies as far away from one another as possible. Now both trained doctors, and with eleven years of no contact between them, they suddenly find themselves back in their hometown of Hamilton, Texas, once again competing for the same goal—this time that goal being taking over a private practice.
“We will never get along. 11 years apart is nothing. It has changed nothing. If anything, it’s given our animosity time to mature like a fine wine—or better yet, a stinky cheese.”
But while Lucas appears to look forward to spending every working hour together and even willing to extend an olive branch, Daisy’s animosity towards her childhood nemesis has not run out of steam over time, only amplifying her professional competitiveness tenfold and driving her to devise schemes to drive her opponent out of town.
This is a sickness I can’t cure. At this point, my loathing for him has become a bodily function. Eat, drink, hate.
The more she gets to know Lucas, however, the more she realises that she no longer remembers what it is about him that she hated in the first place. And his chiselled good looks only seem to weaken her stubborn resolve to keep hating him, until their amusing little battle of wills slowly turns into foreplay.
What was once a childish chess match has turned into an X-rated game of capture the flag, except our underwear are the flags.
But three decades of seeing Lucas as her ‘mortal enemy’ are hard to forget so suddenly, regardless of how many orgasms he keeps giving her, or how much her feelings for him keep changing with each passing day. And her battle becomes even harder when she realises that her enemy might have never been her enemy at all.
Lucas Thatcher, bane of my waking life and lead role in my nightmares is kissing me, and my good hand is wrapped around the collar of his white coat and tugging him. Hard. Against me.
An unputdownable story from the get-go, entirely character-driven, and with a perfectly paced build-up of steam and emotion, I felt positively giddy while reading this book. And while I’m not usually drawn to I Love Lucy-esque heroines, their farcical behaviour often preventing me from connecting to them, I found those very characteristics in Daisy to be the most appealing and compelling. Her entire personality is a ‘comedy of errors’, driving her to over-the-top actions and reactions, but beneath it all, lies a young woman who has been stuck in a ‘time warp’ of her own making, and who is simply afraid to admit to herself what her heart has known all along. Lucas, on the other hand, is a ‘gift that keeps giving’, and from the moment we hear his voice, we keep discovering more and more reasons to love every single thing about him.
This book was such a joy to read. R.S. Grey’s comedic timing remains on point, as always, never distracting from some of the more serious moments in the story, or the depth of emotion lacing her characters’ words. I walked away on such a high, so so tempted to just jump back to the beginning.
“Show me what you used to do in high school. Late at night, when you were all alone. When you should have been sleeping.”
I smirk. “Hand me that old calculus textbook and I’ll show you.”