Amidst an ugly divorce and an even uglier scandal, Paige Kerrigan has returned to her parents' estate to hide out until things blow over. While she's enjoying a late-night naked swim, however, she's shocked to find Owen Bellamy— her family's former cute pool boy—standing poolside. Now he's all hot, grown up, and renting the Kerrigan property…and he's definitely not forgiven Paige for how she used to treat him.
Once, the beautiful but spoiled Paige Kerrigan was everything Owen wanted. Now she's broke and Owen finally has his revenge...by offering her a place to stay as his housekeeper. Yet Paige isn't the person he remembers. Instead, she's far more than he imagined, and far more irresistible than is safe. But the last thing Owen can afford is to give his heart to the same woman who once broke it.
Book #1 Real Men Don't Break Hearts
Book #2 White Hot Holiday
Book #3 Real Men Don't Quit
Book #4 One Real Man
About the Author
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance. Coleen lives in Sydney with her partner and two children. When she isn't writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate and watching The Office.
Read an Excerpt
One Real Man
A Real Men Novel
By Coleen Kwan, Kate Fall
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Coleen Kwan
All rights reserved.
Someone had broken into his pool conservatory.
Owen Bellamy's soft-soled sneakers made no sound as he moved down the darkened corridor that linked the main house with the conservatory. Arched metal columns and soaring panes of glass enclosed a twenty-meter pool. A golden trumpet vine twisted around one of the columns. With the only illumination coming from the underwater lights, shifting shadows filled the cavernous space. The intruder swam down the length of the pool at a brisk pace, making no attempt to mask his or her presence.
Too stupid or too brazen?
Owen eased through the open door. The crisp evening outside wasn't exactly swimming weather, but the water in the pool was kept at a steady 82 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Many years ago, a lifetime ago, it had been one of his chores to keep the water temperature of this pool steady. He'd been bawled out a couple of times for neglecting to do so, and his father had had to apologize for him.
He stopped just inside, in the shadow of some potted ferns, as he caught sight of two huge suitcases, bulging at the seams, and next to them a large handbag and a pile of clothing. Jeans, white T-shirt, lace bra, white G-string, flat leather sandals. A young woman's clothes. Expensive, too, judging by the shoes and handbag. So he had a rich girl skinny-dipping in his pool. She'd probably wandered into the wrong house. But how could she have gotten in when he'd locked up earlier? Had she broken in just for the hell of it? Whoever she was, he wasn't going to put up with any crap from her. He knew all about spoiled princesses.
His gaze zeroed in on the woman freestyling toward him. She swam head down, the wake from her strokes blurring her body. He couldn't make out her features, but there was something very familiar about her ... Then, as she tilted her head sideways to gulp in air, recognition slammed into him, driving all the breath from his lungs.
Paige Kerrigan. Rich, beautiful, spoiled Page Kerrigan—the owners' daughter who'd once ruled this pool house, the princess who'd mocked him in front of her friends, the tease who'd kissed him behind these same ferns and then rejected him for someone else—was swimming naked in his pool.
Memories roared in his brain, sending painful spasms through his muscles. Her splashing thrummed against his eardrums. His eyeballs felt hot and tight as he tracked her progress. Soon, very soon, she would reach the end of the pool, and she didn't have a clue who was waiting for her.
He strode over the bundle of clothing and stopped at the edge of the pool. His chest thumped hard.
She reached the wall of the shallow end at full speed. Stretching out, she slapped her hand onto the pool edge, breathing hard as she stood. As her upper body rose out of the water, moisture sluiced down her curves, turning her skin smooth and slick like liquid honey.
Oh God ... Owen's lungs seized at the sight of Paige's wet breasts. For the life of him, he couldn't wrench his gaze away. Then her earsplitting shriek broke the spell as she flung her arms around her torso.
"Who the hell are you?" she yelled. "Get the frig out of here before I call the police."
Owen blinked. That wasn't the reaction he'd expected, but then again he'd never been able to read Paige. "Funny," he drawled, "that's exactly what I was about to say to you."
Her gray eyes widened in puzzlement before stunned recognition flashed through them. "O-Owen? Owen Bellamy?" Her arms tightened around her chest. Retreating a few steps, she flicked back her wet hair with a toss of her head. "What are you doing here? Surely you don't still clean the pool?"
His mouth thinned. Despite being caught off guard, she'd found his weak spot, as always. But he wasn't the caretaker's son anymore; he wasn't the awkward sixteen-year-old in awe of the owners' gorgeous, pampered daughter. He was an adult—successful and wealthy—and he'd had plenty of beautiful women since her.
Folding his arms, he pinned her with a cool stare. "This pool happens to be mine now."
"Your pool?" She let out a light, incredulous laugh.
He grimaced at her snicker. "Yeah, my pool and my house. You're trespassing on my property, Paige."
Arms still wrapped around her torso, she lifted one shoulder. "I've never heard such nonsense. My parents would never sell our home, not in a million years—"
"I'm renting the place."
"Uh-huh. Signed a one-year lease just last week."
"But—but—I don't understand." A dumbfounded expression gripped her face.
For a second Owen almost felt sorry for her. Obviously she'd been kept in the dark by her parents, or more precisely her mother, the dominant force in the Kerrigan family.
Paige shook her head forcefully. "My mother would never rent her home to you."
She was right. As keen as Crystal Kerrigan might be to rent out her mansion, she would have balked at signing it over to her former caretaker's son, the moody teenager who'd caused so much embarrassment to her precious daughter. But luckily, McCarthy Construction, the private company in which Owen now owned a share, was the lessee on the rental agreement.
"Too bad," he retorted, "because she has." The lease was watertight; he'd made his lawyer double-check every clause.
A deep line creased her forehead. Despite her scowl, he couldn't help noticing that she looked amazing. Her teenage prettiness had matured into something dazzling. Her smooth ash-blond hair was slicked back, revealing an oval face with sculpted cheekbones, a straight, narrow nose, and lips with a perfect Cupid's bow. Large gray eyes fringed with thick lashes studied him suspiciously. Her neck was slender, her shoulders and collarbones delicate. Her arms banded across her chest didn't conceal the fullness of her breasts, while the semi-opaque water hinted at the rest of her body. What an incredible body ...
Heat seeped through him, a flickering trail of desire. Owen bit the inside of his cheek. Fourteen years ago, Paige Kerrigan had kept him tossing feverishly at nights, and tonight her effortless, haughty beauty was wreaking the same havoc. Why did she still affect him so much?
He stared down at her. "So are you going to tell me what you're doing in my pool?"
* * *
Paige shivered, not just from the water cooling on her skin, or Owen Bellamy gazing down at her, but also the way her heart had lurched at his sudden reappearance.
Owen Bellamy. Oh my God. When she was sixteen, every glimpse of Owen had scrambled her wits. His father had been the caretaker, just one of the many staff employed by her parents, and Owen, the same age as she was, had helped out with his dad's chores. He should have been practically invisible to Paige, but she'd found it impossible to ignore him, as much as she tried, and oh boy had she tried.
Soon after the school dance debacle, Owen had left Burronga, their quaint country hometown, and moved to Sydney to start a building apprenticeship. She'd prayed never to see him again, had made a huge effort to forget him, and she'd succeeded. She hadn't thought about him in years.
But now, without warning, he was back in her life, a life that had gone spectacularly off course in the past year. And he'd just seen her naked boobs. God, could life get any better? These breasts had already caused too much mayhem in her life.
"Uh, do you mind if I get dressed before we talk?" she asked, rubbing her cold upper arms.
"Go right ahead. I don't mind." He stood there, not looking like he'd move any time soon.
Through his spread-out legs, she glimpsed her clothing next to her suitcases. "Really? You're going to stand there and watch?"
One corner of his lips lifted briefly. "You used to like me watching, didn't you?"
Oh God, why did he have to bring that up? Years ago, his clear green eyes had tracked her faithfully as she'd sauntered around the pool in her skimpy bikini, aware of the effect she had on him and excited by her strange new power. But even then, she'd sensed the force behind his reserve, and in the end she'd found out that she couldn't tease him with impunity.
"But I'm not wearing anything," she protested, flustered by his eyes, her memories.
"So I noticed."
Oh, he was so infuriating she wanted to stamp her foot. Which was hard to do when she was in a pool, buck naked in front of her former pool boy.
She tilted up her chin. "You know, I've drunk about a gallon of coffee today and haven't visited the bathroom for hours. If you keep me waiting here in your pool, I might just have to go here ..."
His eyes widened. "You wouldn't."
"Oh, I would. I can't hold on for—"
"Yes, you can." He pivoted on his heel and walked to the door, where he halted with his back to her.
Shivering, she hoisted herself out of the pool and hurried to her clothing. With no towels around, she had no option but to yank her clothes on over her wet skin. The jeans chafed her legs, and a whiff of chlorine clung to her hair. She really needed a warm shower, but if Owen was the rightful tenant, she'd have to leave. Where could she go at eight o'clock at night? She couldn't afford a hotel, but—
"Are you decent yet?" Without waiting for her reply, Owen spun around. Those rapier-sharp eyes scanned her from top to toe. Did he like what he saw? Hard to tell ... Wait, why did she care at all what he thought of her?
"Didn't you say you needed the bathroom?" he asked.
"Did I? Oh, that can wait."
"I thought as much." He continued to stare at her, like he always had, only this time he purposely wanted to disturb her. And he succeeded. Tiny prickles raced up and down her spine.
"Tell me what's going on," she burst out, unable to bear his scrutiny any longer. "Why are you renting my parents' house? Don't you live in Sydney these days?"
Sighing, he jerked his head toward the house. "Let's go into the kitchen. Then you can tell me what you're doing here."
The ominous tone in his voice had her back stiffening, even as she knew she had no choice but to obey his command. Head held high, she picked up her handbag and stalked out of the conservatory. She'd meant to leave her suitcases behind, but a clacking noise alerted her that Owen was pulling her luggage along. She walked into the main house and through to the kitchen.
Although her mother never cooked, she'd always had the kitchen renovated every few years. It made for good publicity to have Crystal Kerrigan, the TV chat show host, photographed in her kitchen doing homey things like lifting out a batch of fresh scones, never mind that her mother didn't know how to bake and wouldn't let such fattening food past her lips anyway. The kitchen was currently done up in French provincial decor. The limewashed cabinetry and the enormous chandelier hanging from the artfully distressed rafters were familiar, but the vast oak refectory table in the center of the room wasn't.
Owen motioned her toward the heavy ladder-back chairs. "Take a seat."
She sat at the table. He took the seat opposite her and rested his arms on the polished wood. He linked his fingers together, the shrewd, assessing expression returning to his eyes.
"How did you get into the house?" he asked.
"The spare key hidden in the garden."
"Spare key? Where's it kept?"
"Under the stone crane just outside the conservatory."
"So you just walked in and disarmed the alarm system."
"I used the old code." She looked at him pointedly. "You can't have changed it."
"I've been meaning to do that." He frowned at her. "Where's your car? I didn't see it in the driveway or the garage."
"I took a taxi."
His green eyes widened incredulously. "From where? Not all the way from Sydney?"
Situated in the rolling green hills of the Southern Highlands, Burronga was a two-hour drive from Sydney. If she'd hired a taxi for the journey, it would have cost her hundreds of dollars.
"No," she said. "I got the taxi from the train station."
Still the disbelief shone from his eyes. "You caught the train? You?" The base of her neck grew warm. "Oh, lay off the sarcasm, will you?
Yes, I came down from Sydney on the train."
Her flight from London had landed in the afternoon. From the airport, she'd caught the train to Central Station, then changed to the Southern Highlands line. She had arrived here exhausted and jet-lagged, dragging two bulging suitcases, her only possessions in this world. The spare key unlocked the outer doors of the conservatory. As soon as she'd seen the cool, inviting waters of the pool, she'd stripped off and dived in, seeking to wash away her tiredness and worries.
"You didn't tell your parents you were coming here?" Owen studied her with frank curiosity.
"They're used to me coming and going when I please." She faked a lackadaisical shrug. "I don't need to tell them every single detail of my life." Like the fact that she was flat broke, or that her life was a mess and the thought of having to start all over again made her break out in a cold sweat. She didn't need to tell her parents any of that. Especially not her mother.
Owen leaned back in his chair, stroking his chin. His hands were broad and tanned, the backs flecked with light hairs, the fingernails square-cut and blunt. Worker's hands.
"Where's that husband of yours?"
Her lungs constricted in a sudden spasm. She'd anticipated his question, yet still it affected her, much to her disgust. "Ex-husband, you mean," she retorted.
His hands dropped to the tabletop. His thick dark eyebrows shot up.
"Since I divorced him, what else?"
He let out a soft whistle. "You can't have been married more than a year. I never thought you'd be the type for a quickie marriage." He paused, and for the first time that night, a sheepish look came over him. "Uh, sorry. That was tactless."
Maybe, but he was only voicing what other people thought. Owen had never been the courteous type. He didn't mince words, and strangely she didn't mind on this occasion.
"No need to apologize." She laced her fingers together, keeping her tone even. "Seth and I were married for a year before we separated, so I'm not quite up there with Kim Kardashian."
"Seth ..." Owen mused, rubbing his chin once more. "Seth Bailey, right? Yeah, I remember reading about your wedding extravaganza in some women's magazine while I was waiting in a checkout line. You had a huge marquee on the front lawn of this house."
Paige felt her lips thinning at the mention of her "wedding extravaganza." Was it really less than two years since that event? How worked up she'd been as the big day drew near. Her mother's celebrity status had meant a glossy magazine was willing to pay for exclusive rights to the wedding. She'd hesitated, not wanting her day to be turned into a circus, but her mother had persuaded her to agree. After all, Paige was a minor celebrity in her own small way, after her half dozen appearances on Crystal's show chatting about the goings-on of the Sydney social scene. As part of her PR and marketing job, Paige attended plenty of parties, and her boss was happy for the extra TV exposure.
Paige had been secretly terrified that something would go awry with the wedding. Just a couple of weeks before the big day, she'd discovered that Seth had kept a secret from her. He'd been previously engaged, to a local girl from Burronga no less, and had jilted her on their wedding day. That should have been enough warning that Seth Bailey wasn't the right man for her. But she'd pushed aside her worries, partly because she believed Seth genuinely loved her, partly because, after all the hoopla, canceling her wedding at such short notice was unimaginable.
"I remember reading you and the husband were moving to London," Owen said. "Is that where you've been since the wedding?"
She nodded. "Seth's still there."
Excerpted from One Real Man by Coleen Kwan, Kate Fall. Copyright © 2015 Coleen Kwan. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my first Coleen Kwan novel, and despite reading the third book from the series without having read the previous ones, this didn't confuse me at all. There was enough back story included in this book that it can be read as standalone. The concept to this book was just so different from what I've always read. It's usually, rich guy meets poor sweet girl, and she turns into a Cinderalla, from rags to riches. How about a turn around? When Cinderalla was the favorite daughter before her father remarried? Stuck up, spoiled princess turned broken maid. Owen Bellamy, former pool boy of the Kerrigan household, has never let go of the angst and hatred for the Kerrigans and their fellow fancy elite "friends". And now, after all those years, he's become the temporary owner of the said mansion and the pool he used to clean. Everything seemed fine and dandy, until his childhood dilemma appeared right when he least expected it. Paige Kerrigan returns home after being broken by a nasty scandal that ruined her marriage, her career and almost everything in her life. But the downside is, it's not her home anymore, and the pool boy her family and friends had somewhat "mistreated" during her childhood days, is now the owner of her house. To make things worse in her case, Owen offers her a housekeeping job and a residence at the employee's quarters at the back of the mansion. Let's just say the cottage isn't mean for a classy girl like Paige. Owen wants to get back at Paige for all the things she and her family had done when he was young, and now, he's got her wrapped aorund his finger. My, how the tables have turned. Everything about this book was just complicated and angsy. My feelings for this book were just all over the place. One minute I love it, the next I'm frustrated. Kwan creates characters that are absolutely realistic and very delicate. None of their actions ever felt forced; the drama perfect and heart clenching. But amidst all the drama, a sweet romance between two enemies turned lovers bloomed althroughout the book. One Real Man is a book that will make you want to clutch your heart, and feel loved at the same time. If you're looking for a sweet romance read, with a little mix of "I can't be with you, because we're both so different" drama, then this is definitely right up your alley. *ARC courtesy of Publisher in exchange for honest review
Excellent read! This is a great reunion story. Home after a humiliating breakup, Paige Kerrigan never expects to find Owen Bellamy living in her parents house. Owen was the family's pool boy when they were teens and although Paige was crazy attracted to him, she snubbed him for coming from a poor family. Now it seems the tide has turned and Paige is the one in need of a job. The attraction is still there but can the hurts of the past be forgiven if not forgotten?? You will definitely want to pick this one up and give it a read. I highly recommend it.
A sizzling romance between two people who considered each other enemies. Paige was a rich and spoiled teenage girl and Owen was a rebellious boy from the wrong side of the track. Now they are both grown ups and a lot has changed. Owen has a successful business and renting the house of his former employers. While Paige is divorced and broke. Now circumstances have reversed their situations. Owen offered her a job as his housekeeper and she took it out of desperation. As it turns out that he is still not over the way she treated him so many years ago and he still wants revenge. As he gets to know Paige he realises how different she is from what he had always presumed. The chemistry between the two is off charts and in the end they decided to get their "unfinished business" out of the way. Things get out of hands when bothe realised that they were in love with each other. The refuse to admit it though and that leads to more misunderstandings. In the end all gets well and two enemies got their happily everafter. I really liked this book. It is a good romance novel and I'd recommend it to all romance lovers.
I enjoyed this book. Nothing earth-shattering, but it is a good curl-up-with-it-on-the-couch, feel-good romance. A quick read.
This is the first book I've read from this series, and I enjoyed the story of Owen and Paige. Classic case of rich girl down on her luck, and the poor boy done well for himself. I enjoyed the characters, and liked the side characters enough I'd go back and check out their stories as well. This definitely worked as a standalone. I love the entangled line of books, I always find quick, fun and affordable reads!
3 stars One Real Man was a quick read, with an enjoyable storyline. While the storyline was good and held my interest I just wished I had connected to either Paige or Owen. I kept waiting to be swept away with their love but that didn't happen, even by the end I wasn't convinced that they had found their happily ever after =(
"One Real Man" by Coleen Kwan was a sweet bliss novel. Paige Kerrigan grew up as a rich spoiled teenage girl who lived in a mansion of a house. Owen Bellamy was the caretaker's son and helped take care of the pool at the Kerrigan household. Owen had the biggest crush on Paige. Now that they are all grown up Owen is renting out the Kerrigan house and Paige ends up coming back home to find that Owen is living in her parents house. Owen has offered Paige a job as his housekeeper to one try to get some revenge on Paige and two help her out since she is homeless and jobless at the moment. The situation causes to stir up old feelings between the two of them. Owen isn't over the way that he felt about Paige or the way that she treated him. As the two get to know each other again, things may end up differently. "One Real Man" was a cute bliss novel but not a favorite of mine. I found myself becoming bored with story half way through the book. I think the story could have been a little more entertaining but I think it was sweet all the same. Kwan is a great writer, so I am not totally sure why the story was slower this time around. I still like reading Kwan's books. The romance is still sweet and I think Owen and Paige make very interesting characters. Owen and Paige are both very stubborn characters, so I have to say that they were the ones that saved the story for me.
A fun sweet, clean romance. A reunion is sorts. Paige returns home down on her luck and it only gets worse. She has found out her parents have rented their house to their former pool boy, Owen. To make matters worse Paige had a crush on him in high school, but she was the rich girl and he was the poor boy. Now the table has turned, rich boy/ poor girl. Paige evens takes on the job as his housekeeper. Sparks begin to fly between the two of them, but not all good. Can the past stay in the past. I really enjoyed this fun romance. This is the third book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. I relieved this book from the publisher for an honest review.
fantastic 2nd chance read full of passion and verve ****A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*** Nice story with a different slant of on the same ole stories you normally read.Where instead of the usual story of the” poor girl in High School makes it big”, try its where the Rich Girl is now broke and down on her luck. Paige has returned to her parents’ home needing to let some things calm down in her personal life because of the divorce , needing for once to have her parents give her guidance and comfort when she came face to face with her family ‘s former pool boy turned rich man who now rents her parents’ home. Owen offered her a job as his housekeeper and she took it out of desperation. Paige needs a job and cant afford to not have one and can’t reach her parents. Owen isn’t giving Paige the job out of the goodness of his heart…try out of “revenge” for perceived injustices he felt she did to him in the past. Whether they happened really happened or not. Owen and Paige made a great couple. Once they got past the money issues, her parents being an issue and just focused on themselves, their chemistry set the book pages on fire! Not to say there were not some tense moments and times I was in tears commiserating with the heroine but you will love the ending. My rating: 4.4 stars ****
One Real Man by Coleen Kwan was a good read. It was actually a beautiful and unique read. The main characters are Paige and Owen. Paige once had everything during that time she was not a nice person, Owen was the help on her parents estate. Now Paige has returned home to lick her wounds and Owen wants revenge for the way she treated him. A reversal of fortune book that is a beautiful story. Received a copy of this book for an honest review.
Paige is having a bad year. She has divorced her husband, he has posted a nude video of her dancing, her family has just lost a lot of money, and she is broke. Paige trying to hideout at her family estate and avoid friends and colleagues. Little does she know that her parents have rented the the estate to their former pool boy, Owen. He has returned to his home town for business, and is in need of a housekeeper. Paige takes the job and they slowly overcome their shared history. This was a well written novel, but I found difficult to connect with both of the main characters. I appreciated the setting and liked the author's style. I would give this story 3.5 stars. I was given ARC copy for an honest review.
This story was well written with a unique storyline and had a lot of potential. However, it fell short. There were a few surprises I didn't see coming that made the story interesting. But, there were also times when I didn't feel a connection to the characters or the story. I wouldn't say I regret reading it. I was just expecting more. This story is part of a series and works well as a stand alone without having read the others first. ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Kim for Read Your Writes Book Reviews I love the Real Men Series by Coleen Kwan. I was extremely excited to find out there was a new book in the series. Unfortunately for me, One Real Man didn’t live up to it’s predecessors. One Real Man is a very good story in concept. You have a down-on-her-luck “rich” girl who ends up being a housekeeper for her former pool boy. And not just any pool boy, the boy who captured her young heart and attention years before. I really really wanted to like this book, but the whole book was about classism. Rich people being downright rude, thinking they walked on air and belittling those who were not in their same class. There were plenty of opportunities throughout the book to have Paige really and truly realize that the life she used to lead as a rich snob wasn’t really who she was or wanted to be. But even with her having no money and no place to go, she constantly had to remind Owen that he was still a pool boy at heart and would always be beneath her. Owen years later still has a chip on his shoulder. Hey, I get it, at sixteen Paige embarrassed him and broke his heart. He wants to get back at her for the way she treated him. But he’s overcome his days of being a pool boy, to being co-partner of a construction company. Time for him to get over himself. Honestly, if I wasn’t a fan of this series and if I hadn’t kept hoping against hope that Paige would be humbled by her current situation, I would have stopped reading the book. **Received a copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest unbiased review.**
One Real Man is Colleen Kwan’s third book in her Real Men series. Paige Kerrigan has led a charmed life having everything that she’s ever wanted. Owen Bellamy has lived a hard life losing his mother when he is young, trying to help raise his sister and then, unfortunately, falls for the wrong girl. The fallout from his encounter with Paige forces him to relocate while Paige continues on with her life and even marries. Little does Paige know that Owen eventually overcomes his childhood and finds himself living in her family’s home. When Paige returns home, after a failed marriage, she encounters Owen in her parents conservatory. The roles are reversed and now Paige, who is penniless, works for Owen. She helps him learn how to work with elite members in the community trying to obtain funding for his housing project. I really loved Owen but Paige’s early treatment of Owen bothered me. I love second chance romances but this book, to me, was slow moving and took too long dealing with their past. I was happy to see Paige help Owen’s sister realize that she was moving in the wrong circles and apply that knowledge to how she dealt with Owen in the past. I’d like to disclose that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Owen Bellamy was the pool boy and the caretaker's son, at the Kerrigan house. Growing up there and often teased by the princess, Paige Kerrigan, he thought himself in love with her. To Paige, Owen was the lowly caretaker's son, that kissed her every chance he got for two weeks when they were sixteen. She, being a Kerrigan, was ashamed of her feelings for the hired help. When the school dance came up, Owen assumed they would go together but she went with another boy. Owen caused a scene, was kicked out and then he moved to Sydney shortly after. Now, 14 years later, he's back with his own fortune. What will the princess think of him now? This was an entertaining story full of revenge and mixed messages. There was definitely attraction between Owen and Paige with a lot of resentment from the past. They must overcome their differences with social standing and work on forgiveness. Paige's ability to gain control of her life is impressive, especially when it could have been so easy to fall back on her parents. I can't wait to read more from this fabulous author. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Amazing how your feelings develop as you grow up! Paige Kerrigan is running to her parents’ home after a messy divorce, a vindictive ex-husband, nasty internet footage of her and travelling half way round the world. She’s broke, tired and fed up. Little does she know her parents aren’t at home, indeed they’ve leased their home for a year to a construction company and the person now living there is their ex-pool boy and caretaker’s son, Owen Bellamy! Owen has made a great success of his life after being humiliated by Paige when they were both sixteen years old – a thoroughly spoilt teenager she was his princess until, ashamed of her feeling for him, she rejected him very publicly at the school dance. He’s now all grown up and, to Paige, he’s still extremely attractive. Their roles have now changed – he’s the one with the money and home. She’s still an ice princess but he realises she’s struggling and offers her the chance to be his housekeeper. Can he break through the ice to her heart this time? Can they resist temptation? Changing finances and social positions have dramatic impacts on the lives of both these characters but not on their innate nature and feelings. Their angst and turmoil are portrayed throughout the story, showing how these affect their behaviour and reactions to each other. I love how the author avoids being tempted to go into detail about sexual activities – they wouldn’t enhance the story and it really doesn’t need them -she trusts her readers to be mature enough to know what happens in our imaginations, without touch by touch instructions. . . . This is a lovely second-chance romance between two people who loved and then became enemies. Will love win through the obstacles to help bring them together again? Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating! Though there was quite a bit about this book that I highly enjoyed, there was also a huge chunk that I did not. I was back and forth with my rating trying to decide just how much I was going to let the stuff I didn't like truly bother me. But I was happy with the way it ended and lots of this and that somewhere in the middle so I feel okay with my rating and I'm going to try and focus on all of the positive here. When I read the blurb I thought the storyline was an interesting concept. I mean the rich girl and the gorgeous pool boy? There's a hot fantasy if I've ever heard one! But then to have the rolls suddenly reversed from rich girl and pool boy, to rich boy and housekeeper? That just sounded too funny and intriguing to pass up and in a lot of ways it was. It also gave the book an opportunity to really amp up the tension between these two. And tension there was. Both the sexual and aggravating kind. It was very enjoyable. The characters I wasn't feeling as deeply as the storyline. I liked Owen quite a bit. Though at times he really let his past get in his way. He would switch from being a halfway decent guy and actually kind of admirable for how he built himself up from nothing, to suddenly being extremely defensive and jumping to conclusions on how people viewed him in a second. It never really bothered me though, what it did do was end up making me feel really bad for him. He overcame quite a bit and really made something of himself yet a huge part of him was still holding onto his past. It took me a long time, we're talking close to the end of the book, before I fully liked Paige. Sometimes you have your people with money who are still humble and kind and humanitarians. They actually care about more than just bettering themselves. And then you have the people like Paige and her family. They were a huge sore spot for me. She was just so full of herself and cold and hurtful through so much of the book that even when she had her moments where she started to seem a little more human and a little less robot it almost didn't even matter to me. She goes through a dramatic change though from start to finish so by the end I actually found her to be a decent person. Besides my irritation about Paige and her family, and I guess this isn't so much a complaint as it's just what threw me off a bit, was the fact that there were quite a few phrases in here that really went over my head. It's maybe because it's set in Australia so they're Aussie phrases like "That's dingo's kidneys!" Which I took to be something bad because the person who said it was ticked off at the time. But it's just not the type of thing I'm used to hearing so I had to do quite a few double takes to make sure I'd read things correctly. Kinda humorous but it just caused it not to flow well for me. I haven't read any of the other books in this series and even though I wasn't madly in love with this one I plan on, at some point at least, going back and reading book one. The couple in that book make quite a few random appearances in this one as they're friends with Owen and eventually Paige as well and I really liked both Ally and Nate. I liked both of them instantly and I really want to read their story. Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!