Let’s be honest, we’ve all had that fantasy, the one where a chance meeting with a handsome stranger on a plane turns into something more. But what if your new seat buddy is not only as insufferable as he is devastatingly good-looking, but fate also keeps throwing you together time and time again? Samantha Young’s latest romance is the quintessential escapist read—a flirty, funny, yet incredibly emotionally resonant love story that sinks its hooks into your heart and makes you both laugh and cry. What starts off as a light-hearted, banter-filled battle of wits quickly evolves into a touching story about love, connection, and new beginnings, turning an enemies-to-lovers trope with an unrequited love twist into so much more.
“I’d rather sew my eyes shut with cocktail sticks than sit next to an ill-educated dickhole who defies the rumor that Scottish people are the nicest people in the world.”
A cancelled flight between Phoenix and Boston is the catalyst that sets off a chain of events that keeps throwing two perfect strangers into each other’s path, but from the moment they meet, their every interaction only adds fuel to their dislike of one another. Thirty-year-old Ava Breevort would have normally gone all googly-eyed over the tall, Viking-looking Scotsman sitting next to her in first class had he not been rude and disdainful every time he opened his mouth, yet somehow, an unplanned overnight layover ends with them in bed together, sharing a night of unbridled passion.
“You’re not my type. Your hair, your makeup, your clothes, your attitude. You’re too beautiful and you know it. And yet I’m desperate to have you again.”
Their undeniable sexual chemistry, however, does little to assuage the outright hostility between them outside the bedroom, and when they finally land in Boston, they both hope never to see each other again. Naturally, fate has other plans, and before too long, two people adamant not to be in a relationship are agreeing to a short-term friends-with-benefits arrangement that would leave romance completely out of the picture.
“Oh, I don’t do relationships. They just rip you open and eat your carcass and then leave it there for some other animal to finish you off. If you’re smart, you heal and you get your ass up out of those woods and make sure no animal gets the chance to rip you back open. But I’m amenable to having wild animal sex with you.”
Their every tryst is a hungry, all-consuming affair for them both, and as their physical appetite for each other only continues to grow, their casual, sex-only arrangement also begins to change into a genuine friendship. And somewhere along the way, a guarded yet deeply vulnerable young woman used to controlling every aspect of her life in order to feel safe suddenly loses control over her own heart—she falls in love with a man who makes their every moment together feel like an adventure, but who’s also been upfront about not wanting a romantic relationship with her from the very start.
“If it could be anyone … it would be you, Ava Breevort. In a heartbeat.
The whole story comes together through a single point of view—Ava’s—and even though I wish I could have seen certain moments through both their eyes, this single-perspective narrative only adds to the drama and angst of the unrequited love scenario. Ava’s character is far from perfect—she is flawed and vulnerable but never weak—but she felt real to me in a way most heroines rarely manage. Nothing felt forced, rushed, or unresolved as Samantha Young brings to life two people whose painful pasts have taught them to distrust love, but while sexual tension crackles between them from the get-go, their feelings take time to develop. This was an emotionally satisfying story that I devoured in a single sitting, even shedding a few tears along the way, and one I already want to re-read.
“Why are you staring at me like that?”
“Nothing else is worth looking at when you’re in the room.”