Flirting with Disaster

Flirting with Disaster  - Ruthie Knox
*Stands*

*Shuffles feet*

*Glances up*

*Opens mouth*

*Blurts*

“I LOVE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!”

There, I’ve said it. There’s no taking it back now. I love them and I’ll never give them up even if most of them drive me batshit crazy because every now and then I stumble across one like this and it makes all the ones I hated totally worth it. 

What can I say? I have a lot of pet peeves. I hate drama-for-drama’s sake, get ragey when there are innumerable miscommunications that could have been avoided if the characters had simply spoken to each other and don’t even get me started on what petty jealousy does to my facial expressions.

This book was decidedly free of all those overused tropes. Everybody say it with me:

“HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH!”

Glancing at the cover, you can probably figure out that there’s some schmexy in this. There is. Oh boy, there is. These characters have fantastic chemistry. What the cover doesn’t tell you that this book is gut-busting funny at times. Just look at my updates for a few examples. Katie, our female lead, tends to overshare when she’s nervous. It was her internal monologue that really had me cracking up though. 

Not only is she funny but she’s able to recognize her faults and wants to fix them, not for a man, not for anybody else but for…wait for it…HERSELF. How refreshing! You see, Katie has been a doormat. She’s a helper, a fixer, she sees a pity case or a problem and she just has to get involved. The man she was with took complete advantage of this and then dropped her. So now she’s moved back home and is trying to pick up the pieces and make some changes in her life. She’s working for her brother’s security firm as an office manager and wants to test her skills in the field. That opportunity comes along with a partner. 

Enter Sean, the leading man. He is leg-humping attractive. And not just physically. Dude is a hacker. With a stutter. 

NERD LUST: ACTIVATED

Don’t even think about crushing on him because AngelaSarahand I already have a Sean Sharing Schedule worked out and there’s no room left in it for any of you interlopers. 

Katie has always been a weakness for OUR MAN and she brings the stutter he thought he’d left in his youth bubbling back up, so instead of speaking to her and embarrassing himself (awwwww), he remains silent. She takes it the wrong way. At first. 

Here’s part of why I loved this book so much. Where a lot of other authors would draw out this drama, Knox didn’t and this theme is repeated throughout. Because Katie isn’t a moron she quickly realizes that there’s more to Sean’s silent treatment than the dislike she’s subscribed it to and together they work out a way to communicate until he can bring himself to speak to the girl he’s had a crush on since high school. 

Though a lot of this book involves their interactions, there’s a side character that takes up a portion of it as well; Judah Pratt, aging music icon and the man they’ve been assigned to protect. I didn’t really like him all that much at first but he really grew on me as the story progressed and I was continuously curious as to what he was keeping from our MCs until the big reveal nearly 3/4 of the way through. I really liked how much the book focused on their assignment and the mystery surrounding the threats Judah was receiving. 

One of the main reasons I enjoyed this book as much as I did was the realism. One of my closest cousins has a stutter and reading about Sean and his difficulties, specifically the words he gets hung up on and the ways he distracts himself away from his speech to make it easier, felt incredibly accurate to me and well researched. Not only that, but his hacks were detailed as well. There wasn’t much glossing over of his computer wizardry. The obsession with cracking codes, the descriptions of his methods and his ideas about hacks related to their case rang true. 

Both Katie and Sean’s problems also felt real, not only as individuals but as two people struggling to figure out their feelings for each other and what exactly those feelings meant. I loved the character progression in these two, especially Katie. It’s so nice to read about a female lead that can recognize when she’s being silly, overly emotional or is falling into old, unhealthy patterns and can also put a stop to these things. 

This book was such a breath of fresh air for me on so many levels and I’m so happy that I picked it up after seeing the above-mentioned Sarah’s review. If you’re looking for a romance novel that stands out from the pack in a great way, I highly recommend this one.