by Toni Aleo
I have really enjoyed dipping in and out of this series and while the stories are connected I feel that they all stand well on their own and this is no exception. Now I will say that this hasn’t been my favourite of the series but that isn’t to say that I didn’t like either Bree or Vaughn, I did, well actually I liked him more than her but that might just be me.
Fr all intents and purpose this pair have spent so long at each other’s throats that there always had to be something more underneath the surface and in this we get to see the scab of tension that surrounds the pair of them be picked away (sorry that isn’t a particularly nice analogy, but it is accurate) and actually get to see what makes them both tick.
Vaughn seems to enjoy riling Bree and with her job as the reporter for the Assassins he has more than ample opportunity, she tries to be professional but there is no hiding the level of antagonism that they have for each other …both on and off screen. She knows her hockey and he knows women and this is a scenario where neither of them was willing to let the other have the upper hand, he hated that she asked dumb questions and refused to succumb to his charm, while she hated that he flirted with everyone but never seemed to give her anything but crappy interviews and the cold shoulder. Or at least that is how it seemed.
Vaughn has issues with trust , we learn as the story unfolds that he had a particularly painful situation that he hasn’t ever really gotten over and it is because of that , that he has serious commitment issues, he doesn’t believe that he can or should ever have another relationship but he knows that he wants more with Bree, something has to give and he battles with how he feels emotionally for much of the book, I loved the fact that the author used such a strong man, a proper man’s man to illuminate that insecurities hit deep and they hit hard, no matter who you are, Bree knew what she wanted once they got their act together it was him that required almost constant reassurance and that was a refreshing change.
Vaughn hides more than one secret, he has a gentler more philanthropic side to his nature that he keeps well out of the spotlight but when their paths cross and Vaughn is in a position to assist Bree’s brother (without realising who he was) they are on a path that was always going to take on a life of its own. Bree’s brother Rod has Down’s Syndrome and she is his primary carer, she does everything she can to make sure that he has the best care she can give him but he is in the wrong facility and rectifying this is something that Vaughn can definitely help with but will she take his help…for Rod’s sake?
There are barriers of all sorts to be broken down and stereotypes to be dismissed and I think the author did both with absolute aplomb, no-one would have ever considered not only what Vaughn did but why, and that was the way he liked it, care and consideration cost nothing but even when he was left with almost nothing his softer side, the hope and dreams that he had poured into Nate’s Way and the reasons behind it defined him, that was the real Vaughn Johansson.
I am looking forward to seeing what happens next and I hope that we get Well’s story and that there is more than a little something, something going on between him and Wren! Because if ever there is a man that is going to step up and help her when she needs it most its him!
Topic: Delayed Call by Toni Aleo
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