By Erin Cristofoli
“You can call me Sir.”
Left with no option but to leave the only life she has ever known, Katherine White has packed up and moved almost three thousand kilometres for a chance at a new start, with a new job, in a new city. When her best friend drags her to a masquerade party on only her second night in town, Kate has a chance encounter with a mysterious masked man that dominates her, pushes her limits and leaves her craving more. He tells her there is no long-term in their future, but he wants to continue to explore their sexual chemistry. The only trouble is, he wants their identities to remain a mystery.
Benjamin Hyde has been burned by love and has vowed to never let another woman stomp on his heart. His days are filled with successful business ventures, and his nights with one night stands at the club. After reluctantly being dragged to a masquerade party by his best friend, Ben is surprised to find a girl that captivates him and he doesn’t hesitate to take control. When Ben’s new assistant, Kate, arrives on Monday morning, a glimpse of a tattoo on the back of her neck throws a wrench into his perfectly sorted world. Could Kate really be the one that Ben had hooked up with?
Ben wants to pursue Kate, but she is adamant not to mix business with pleasure.
Normally he would agree, except when it comes to Kate.
STARTING OVER is the debut novel from Erin Cristofoli and overall it was a pretty good read. It was written well and was not plagued with spelling or punctuation errors that I occasionally see in debut novels. I liked both Kate and Ben as well as their two best friends, Jen and Liam, who make the occasional small appearances throughout the book.
However, I’m sad to say that I didn’t fall in love with this book. Despite being well written, the story didn’t engage me and I found myself taking a few days to finish it. Both Kate and Ben have had bad experiences involving the opposite sex, but I felt those experiences were skimmed over and we only saw the tip of the iceberg, which made it hard for me to relate to their problems. The sex scenes (and sometimes the dialogue between Kate and Ben) felt, for lack of a better word, mechanical. They didn’t feel natural and seemed to lack emotion and passion. Maybe they didn’t lack emotion or passion, but they certainly didn’t invoke those feelings in me.
STARTING OVER is told in dual POVs, does come with a HEA and does not end in a cliffhanger. While nothing currently indicates that this is part of a series, I got the impression there might be another book on the horizon, one perhaps involving Jen and Liam as I thought I detected a spark between the two, but only time will tell. Erin has done a very good job with her first novel and she should be very proud of her accomplishment.
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