First, let’s get this out of the way, the title and cover of this book are AWFUL. So awful that I almost didn’t read this. I also almost didn’t read this because I vaguely remembered reading Reid’s Neanderthal Seeks Human and there being something about the writing that irked me. I had the same issues with this novel and it all came crashing back, but I tried not to be too judgemental WHICH IS REALLY HARD FOR ME GUYS, but it helped, I guess, because I ended up enjoying this more.
Ashley is part of the knitting group that the main character of Neanderthal Seeks Human belongs to in Chicago, and she’s called home to Tennessee when she learns that her mother is in the hospital. She travels home for the first time in eight years, having left before to go to college and start a career, but also to escape from her horrible father and six horrible-ish brothers, who all reveled in making her life a living hell when she was growing up.
When she returns home, she visits her mother in the hospital and learns that she’s dying. YEP PRETTY HEAVY FOR A FLIRTY ROMANCE NOVEL, HUH? Anyway, she also discovers that her rowdy group of bearded brothers have all grown up and become (mostly) good citizens and people. They welcome her back with open arms, for the most part, and she begins to get to know the men they’ve become.
There’s a new man hanging around the house, though, her brother’s boss and friend, Drew. Ashley describes him as a quiet, Viking-like sort and he immediately draws her ire by, I don’t know, being quiet and quoting Nietzsche. (To be fair, he sort of compared her to a cow.)
Now, without the addition of the “mother dying” plotline, I would have thought that Ashley’s immediate dislike of Drew was a bit much, but since her mom was dying so I’ll forgive her the extreme emotions. She had a lot going on.
Ashley has to navigate her mother’s imminent death, her growing feelings for Drew, the return of her deadbeat father, and her complicated feelings regarding her childhood with her rowdy band of bearded brothers. It’s a lot. I found myself moved by her plight and was super cheered by the happy ending (because, come on, you knew there was a happy ending).
However. There is an epilogue, told from Drew’s point of view, that I found SUPER weird. Not just because the shift in narrator was jarring, but because he didn’t speak like a real person. But, like an alien or a robot who had been programmed to act as Dreamy Romance Hero. I didn’t care for it. So maybe skip that, if you decide to read this.