Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pages: 336
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Series: Serendipity's Finest #2**
Source of my ARC copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
In the picturesque town of Serendipity, New York, three siblings have grown up in the shadow of their proud and respected police chief father. But what do love, fate, and fortune have in store for the next generation of Serendipity's finest?
Assistant D.A. Erin Marsden is Serendipity's quintessential good girl. The daughter of the former police chief, she's never made a misstep, content with her quiet, predictable life...or so she thinks. Until Cole Sanders shows up with heated interest in his eyes and shadows in his past.
After seven years of deep undercover work in New York, Cole returns to town to help his aging father and find his moral compass again. Not to get involved with wholesome Erin Marsden. Even as a rebellious teen, he knew a girl like Erin was off limits. But neither can resist their off-the-charts chemistry, and a one-night stand brings complications neither expected.
Then a case puts Erin in a killer's crosshairs, and Erin succumbs to Cole's take-charge attitude. As a bodyguard, he's the best. As a lover, he's even better. But there's more than Erin's safety at stake. And Cole must forgive the sins of his past and prove to himself--and to Erin--that he's capable of the love and the forever she so desperately needs.


Perfect Fling revolved around Erin Marsden, the quintessential town good girl, and Cole Sanders, the town bad boy and lone wolf. Cole wrecked so much havoc during his younger rebellious years in  Serendipity (a small town in upstate New York) that no one in town could look at him normally and it didn't help that no one knew what he had been up to since leaving. But, after many years away, Cole came back to Serendipity to recuperate after an especially heinous undercover assignment and to visit his estranged father.

One night, after too many drinks at a wedding reception, Erin decided to shed her good girl reputation for the night and engaged in a one-night stand with Cole... which resulted in a pregnancy. An unexpected pregnancy wasn't the only problem Erin had to deal with--someone was also trying to hurt, maybe even kill, her. Cole insisted that he be her bodyguard while they try to figure out and catch who was after Erin. But the more time Erin and Cole spend time together, the more he realized that maybe he wants and needs Erin permanently in his life.

Perfect Fling is the first book I've read by Carly Phillips in many, many years and I wish I was able to enjoy it more than I did. After mulling on it a few days after I finished reading Perfect Fling, I realized that there's really nothing wrong with the story or the characters but I was just wasn't in the right frame of mind when I was reading it.

Having just finished reading Julie Jame's Love Irresistibly, I eagerly picked up Perfect Fling (especially after learning that the heroine, Erin, was an assistant district attorney and the hero Cole was an undercover cop) more or less expecting getting the same type of read. I don't know what I was thinking because while Julie James and Carly Phillips both write contemporary romance, they have different styles. So, yeah, my wrong expectations for Perfect Fling affected my overall enjoyment of it.

That being said, I found Erin to be nice and sweet but she can care of herself. She stood by Cole when he needed her the most and I especially liked how she sort of smoothed the way for Cole and his dad to work things out without being overbearing and leaving the two of them to work out their relationship. Unlike Erin, Cole did not have it easy growing up so he had more issues to work through. But despite his commitment issues and practically breaking in hives at the word "marriage," he couldn't help acting possessive and jealous when another male got close to Erin. Usually, I think it cute when a hero acts all jealous like that but Cole made it very clear to Erin that as soon as the guy trying to hurt her was caught, he was leaving town so he had no reason to act irrationally. You see this behavior a lot in romance heroes but I found myself irritated with Cole at some points.

I don't know... maybe it was my misguided expectations, but for me Perfect Fling read like a stock romance. It was readable (obviously I was able to finish the novel no problem) and there were some sweet moments, and I liked Erin and even Cole well enough but I didn't particularly connect with them either. I think in the right frame of mind I might have enjoyed Perfect Fling a lot more.


**Perfect Fling is book 2 of Carly Phillips' Serendipity's Finest series but it can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

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