Review: Roman Holiday 1: Chained by Ruthie Knox

Roman Holiday 1: Chained: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance

May Contain Spoilers


I adore Ruthie Knox’s writing, so when I saw Roman Holiday on Netgalley, I was curious to check it out.  Roman Holiday is being released in a serial format, in two seasons.  Season One has five episodes, and Season Two will be released starting next March.  Chained is about 50 pages in length, and what a great 50 pages it is!


Ashley is grieving the death of her grandmother, the only person she felt that ever loved her.  When she learns that her grandmother’s vacation rentals have been sold to a heartless developer, and not left to her as anticipated, she’s even more heartbroken.  The run down vacation rental in the Florida Keys is the only place that’s ever felt like home, and she’s not going to let it go without a fight.  To stake her claim, she chains herself to a palm tree so the place can’t be bulldozed down around her ears.  What she didn’t do first is come up with a plan.  She’s dressed in a bikini and oversize shirt, with no pants.  Or food.  Or water.  Did I mention that advanced planning isn’t Ashley’s forte?

Roman, the ruthless developer, isn’t really as ruthless as he’d like to believe.  He keeps his life intricately organized, mainly so he can avoid messy emotions.  He has picked out the perfect wife, one who is as unemotional as he.  Carmen is perfect for him because she requires no risk; his life would be safe and secure with her at his side.  Since they both appear to have the emotional depth of two lumps of coral, they do seem to be like bookends on a shelf.  I have to tell you that I feel the slightest bit sorry for Roman, because he has no clue what is about to hit him.  Ashley is every complicated, messy, emotional nightmare he has worked so hard to avoid.  Sorry, buddy, but you never had a chance from the moment she chained herself to your palm tree.

I love the clash between Ashley and Roman.  They are complete opposites, and both of them regard the other with contempt because of it.  Ashley is the kind of girl who dives into everything head first, without giving her plan of action a second thought.  Things will work out, or they won’t, and she won’t spend much time regretting her actions either way.  While she hates failing, she hates not attempting to do something even more.  Roman, on the other hand, intricately plots and works through every decision before committing himself to anything.  Failure isn’t acceptable, and with his in-depth planning, there’s rarely the risk of failure.  Risk avoidance is Roman’s method of operation, until he meets that damn woman chained to his tree.

This is a very fun introduction to Roman Holiday.  I didn’t want it to end.  I was instantly drawn to both characters, and now I wonder how each will change the other.  Knox does a great job pulling emotions out of me.  Her stories are fun, angsty, spicy, and just plain hard to put down.  So far, Roman Holiday is no exception.  I am dying to see Roman’s cool exterior crumble under Ashley’s onslaught.  Agh!  Episode 2 can’t get here soon enough!

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Meet Ashley and Roman—complete opposites who can’t hide their attraction—in Episode 1 of Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday.

Ashley Bowman is having a bad week. Reeling from the death of her beloved grandmother, she returns to the Florida Keys only to learn that a heartless Miami developer has gotten hold of the crappy vacation rentals she calls home. Ashley has one day to clear out before Roman Díaz destroys the only place in the world that matters to her. Chaining herself to a palm tree in the bulldozers’ path seems like a good way to stop him . . . until she realizes she should’ve brought food and water. And pants. Also, it would help if the evil developer weren’t so ridiculously hot.

The last thing Roman Díaz needs is some sun-kissed blond protester getting her picture in the newspaper and messing up his plans. He bought the property fair and square, and the resort he wants to build on the site is the key to realizing his highest ambitions. But when a hurricane blows through, Roman has to hustle Ashley to safety if he wants to protect his reputation—and that means giving in to her unreasonable demands.

Roman needs to learn a little compassion, and Ashley’s decided to teach it to him . . . even if she has to drag him all over the Eastern Seaboard to do it.