Game for Trouble

Game for Trouble - Karen  Erickson Nick Hamilton broke Willow Cavanaugh's heart when he walked away from her and their relationship six years ago. But now he's back and he is determined to make up for his past mistakes and win Willow's heart for good. When she needs rental space for her company at a property he owns, Nick takes a risk and makes Willow a deal; eight dates with him and she can have the space at a reduced rate. How can she refuse? But Willow is suspicious about his motives. Why would he blackmail her for dates when he walked away so easily years ago? Is it just a sick game to him, playing with her heart? Can Nick convince Willow that he is playing for keeps or will he loose at the game of love?

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Game for Marriage, which featured Will and Nick's best friends. However, I just could not get into Game For Trouble and my trouble was with the romantic story-line in general, the building of the relationship, and the heroine. Most especially the heroine though so I will start with her. Willow's character is indecisive and overly defensive. From the start she can't stand even the sight of Nick because of their past and her resentments over it. Though she constantly tells herself and anyone who listens that she is over him and what he did to her. Yet, every time she sees Nick she wants to jump his bones. Will can't understand why Nick wants to go on these dates with her and what the point of him blackmailing her for them is. Which had me constantly thinking, the many times this was brought up in the story, what else does Nick have to gain from these dates but spending time with you (Willow), you get the reduced rent, while he has to deal with your bad attitude. For you (Willow) it's a win! She was so back and forth about her feelings for Nick throughout the entire story line I had no idea where she was coming from at all, there was no rhyme or reason to her thoughts and actions, it hindered my ability to connect with her and believe that a relationship between her and Nick could be possible. Ever.

Nick is understandably confused by Willow's hot and cold attitude. One minute she is begging him to come in and take her to bed and in the next she is pushing him away and yelling at him to leave. Poor man. I felt bad for Nick because he really was a likable character but Willow turned him into a grump basically and really just affected his life negatively. I also didn't understand the big push from his PR people towards a relationship, it was unneeded in my opinion and just filler for the lack of a solid romance in the story. Their whole relationship seemed solely based on sex and negative feelings. And when it finally came down to do or die time, when Nick just laid his feelings all on the line for her, Willow basically calls him a liar and throws everything back in his face. She acted impudent and childish. I couldn't believe that this was a grown woman flying off the handle with no basis.

There was just that integral part in a good relationship and romance story that was missing here. There was physical attraction and a shared past but beyond that, nothing. No honesty until the very end and even then I still felt Willow's sincerity was questionable, no trust, no deep seated connection, no growth of feelings. It all just fell flat for me. The only thing I can say in the story's favor was that it was a fast read. I may give the next book in the series a try, just because I liked the first book so much, but Game for Trouble makes me a bit apprehensive about the continuation of this series.