Title: How to Misbehave
Author: Ruthie Knox
May Contain Spoilers
How to Misbehave didn’t click for me because of the length. This 96 page novella is hot, but I never connected with the characters. Ruthie Knox has a wonderful way of painstakingly developing her characters, and they were just getting interesting when the story screeched to a halt. My favorite aspect of Ruthie’s writing was missing, and that’s the careful unraveling of her protagonists’ strengths and flaws; by the end of her two longer novels, I was so invested in her characters that I wanted, no, demanded, that they have their HEA. The emotional depth was absent here, and though it is a fun, quick read, I was a bit disappointed when I reached the last page.
Amber is attracted to hunky construction worker Tony, but because she’s a good girl, she hasn’t acted on her attraction. A tornado and a few hours in a darkened basement change things for both Amber and Tony, and desire blazes between them. Tony tries to resist, though, because he isn’t one for a long-term relationship, and he knows that Amber won’t be happy with a one-night stand. She convinces him otherwise, finally finding release with Tony after two previous disastrous sexual encounters. Tony is a walking woman pleaser, and sure enough, Amber is devastated when he won’t even look at her afterwards. Oh. My. Talk about a heartbreaker!
Tony is suffering from guilt after a tragic incident in his past. He has convinced himself that he doesn’t deserve to be happy, and so he keeps himself aloof and never allows himself to have a serious relationship. He will just let his partner down, so why even risk it? Without more buildup, he just seemed a bit whiny and self-indulgent. His emotional flip-flop after meeting Amber wasn’t convincing and was too easily won.
While I wasn’t completely satisfied with How to Misbehave, I did enjoy the author’s writing style, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series, which is comprised of full-length novels. This novella is only .99, so if you’d like a taste of Ruthie Knox’s writing style, this isn’t a back place to start.
Review copy provided by publisher