Saturday, July 4, 2015

Review - Operation: Date Escape by Lindsey Brookes

Operation: Date Escape
by Lindsey Brookes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Kim Killion
Release Date: June 13, 2013

Since her divorce two years before, Kelsie Collins has been determined to guard her heart and steer clear of seemingly ‘perfect’ men. An easy task considering the kind of men her matchmaking mother and her best friend, Nanci, keeps setting her up with. She allows them to set her up, knowing their hearts are in the right place and that there is no risk of her letting any man close enough to hurt her again. Her growing experience in ways to slip out of those ‘dates from hell’ prompts her to start writing a bad date survival guide. One aptly titled - OPERATION: DATE ESCAPE. And it’s during one of those escapes that sexier than sin firefighter Cole Maxwell comes to her rescue.

Cole isn't sure what to think when the sexy redhead he’s just ‘rescued’ from a bad date informs him that he’s too ‘perfect’ to date. That’s a first. He’s had relationships end because the women couldn't handle the risks that go along with his chosen profession, but never because he’s too perfect.

When his crew gets called out to rescue someone who is stuck in a tree, Cole finds himself once again coming to Kelsie’s rescue. This time he’s not about to let her get away without agreeing to give him a chance, even holding her high heels hostage to make it happen. She finally gives in and things heat up between them like a 3-alarm fire. But there’s more than passion between them and Cole sets out to prove to Kelsie that he’s nowhere near ‘perfect’, but he is the ‘perfect’ man for her. Can he get past the wall she’s built up around her heart? Or will he end up being just another chapter in her book of men she ran from?

*Operation: Date Escape was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist as well as a finalist in the American Title III Competition put on by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing.*

This was such a fun read! I wasn't too sure what I was getting into when I started the book, but after the first few paragraphs I just knew the characters were going to keep me laughing, and by the end of the first chapter I knew there was going to be a good story to go along with the laughs.

For the most part I really liked Kelsey. Despite carrying the scars of her cheating ex-husband, she is willing to continue putting herself out there – of course this is in the form of blind dates that have been set up by her mother and best friend. Rather than hurt their feelings, she goes on the dates, and I loved the whole idea of her turning her “escape” scenarios from these dates in to a book. Normally I like my heroine so have a bit more spine, but in this instance, Kelsey’s inability to hurt anyone’s feelings sets up all sorts of crazy date escapes, that ultimately lands her in the arms of Cole.

Cole was great. I loved how he quickly identifies Kelsey’s m.o. – she’s a runner – and it was fun but sometimes frustrating watching him try to get her to see past his “perfect” label. His relationship with his fellow firefighters was so much fun to watch, and I looked forward to every scene with them. I give him credit for the amount of patience he showed with Kelsey…he hung in there even when I was at the point of giving up on her!

The supporting characters in this book were great. Nanci (with an “I”) was a total riot – with her unique collection of B.O.B.s she keeps in her curio cabinet, to just about everything that comes out of her mouth, she was the perfect best friend for Kelsey. Kelsey’s mother was a character – from her insistence that Kelsey needed a boob job to her wedding cake tasting, you just never knew what she was going to do next. And Cole’s best friend and fellow firefighter Joe was the perfect sidekick for Cole and even more importantly, the perfect match for Nanci – I loved the secondary story line between the two.

If you like a quick moving story with plenty of laughs, a bit of steam, and one sexy firefighter, then Operation: Date Escape is a definite must read!

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