Reforming Jake by Leslie Kelly
Why This One: I enjoyed the first book in this new series by Leslie Kelly, BringingDown Sam, that I knew that it was a no brainer that I’d be getting and reading this one too. I’ve read and enjoyed a number of her books over the years. She’s written some good book for the Temptation and Blaze lines with Harlequin, but this is a single title book.
Steam Level: Quite hot
My Thoughts: We meet both the title characters of this book, Jake and Leanne in BDS, but it’s not necessary to have read that one first. Jake is the 2 day older brother of the hero Sam of the first book. He’s pretty bitter and with reason. His mother was the mistress of Sam’s father who was married to Sam’s mother. He married Jake’s mother off to a real SOB who had no qualms in letting Jake know he was unwanted. While part of him resents Sam for being the son with the golden goose, part of him also knows that Sam had nothing to do with circumstances. Indeed, when Jake announced who he was, Sam broke of the relationship with his father. This all happened in the first book.
This book opens up just after the wedding of Sam and Eve from the first book. Jake was a jerk and gave a not so brotherly kiss to Eve and Sam had punched him. Eve’s best friend Leanne followed him outside to ring a peal over his head for being such a jerk at his brother’s wedding and makes him leave. But not before he flirts outrageously with her. Of course this even steams her more, but she does admit, if only to herself, that while he is a pain in the ass, he is one fine looking pain.
They next run into each other when Jake has been arrested and called Sam to come bail him out. Sam is still on his honeymoon, but Leanne gets the message as she’s doing a bit of cat sitting and comes to bail him out. Again he flirts outrageously with him and while she finds him disturbingly good looking, she still doesn’t jump at his charms. But when he keeps popping up to rescue her from attacks and stuff, she does admit to the attraction between them and it isn’t long before nature takes its course.
I really, really liked this book too. Jake is about as opposite as they come from Sam. Sam is relaxed and easy going whereas Jake is more of the bad boy kind of hero, though he isn’t a bad boy at all. He had a rough upbringing and joined the army. After his stint there, he became a cop until he moved to the town as Sam and opened up his own private detective agency. He and Sam are still working on their relationship and at this point they seem to relate more by Jake getting punched by Sam for various offenses. But Jake figures he deserves most of them, the chip on his shoulder being what it is.
He’s gone for Leanne in a very short period time but doesn’t feel like he’s good enough for her, though he will take what he can get and be grateful for it. He sees through her mask more than most people though he’s still taken in at first.
Leanne makes for a great heroine in her own right. She also had a lousy childhood. Her mother was a flaky single mother and Leanne was more the mother role. She holds no bitterness, in fact is grateful to her mother for passing on a passion for color and design. Leanne is a successful interior decorator, though she works for a real prince of a fellow – not. She’s kind of going out with him though it’s not serious at all and as time goes on and she begins to compare him to Jake, she sees she has to write him off. He doesn’t seem to care about her and all and undermines her constantly.
Growing up poor, she has a certain picture in her head of what she wants and Jake’s not it. But she does see him for the great hero he really has turned out to be.
This was a nice light read with very likeable characters. I’m so glad I’ve found Leslie Kelly again and I do believe I will be doing some ‘shopping’ to get more of her backlist. I can’t ask for anything better than that.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
Is this a reread book? Yes