Stroked #1


Megan Quinn


My love for the quirky humor and sweet story of Hustler by Meghan Quinn & Jessica Prince had me excited for this one. The premise of a hot swimmer who has earned himself the moniker of The Silver Stroke because he can’t win an Olympic gold medal for the life of him? Count me in! So why only 3 stars? I’ll explain. 

Reese has been a swimmer since he was a teenager. He was an Olympic contender twice and while he managed to win many silver medals he never made it to the top. These next games are going to be his last ones, his last chance to take home gold. Of course his concerns are about his future, what’s after his athletic career? His agent comes up with the idea to secure his future by getting into a fake-relationship with a reality show star, Bellini. 

Paisley is a sound engineer who made a carrier-ending mistake when she didn’t turn off a microphone she was supposed to mute. She misses her job and wants to get back into the industry in Hollywood. Her best friend helps her to get her foot back in the door when he manages to get her hired for an assistant position for a reality show talent.

When Reese lays eyes  on Paisley for the first time all he can think about is how lovely and beautiful this girl is, who is supposed to be his and his fake-girlfriend’s assistant. Paisley can’t mess her chance up so she musters every bit of strength to resist this gorgeous and kind guy with the interesting tattoo. How long will she be able to keep him at arms length?

Reese and Paisley were both likeable main characters. Reese the jealous, a bit edgy, possessive alpha-guy with a sweet side and a funny sense of humor, Paisley an adorable heroine with a few contradictions. She could be completely awkward around Reese and the next time she was self confident. The sexual chemistry between our main characters was  off-the-charts hot. Reese was a dirty talker alright and his sweet cuddly side was unexpected. 

I had a major problem with reading Bellini’s point of view. It was a self-praise fest about her beauty, greatness, kindness and superiority. In her POVs she not only praises herself, she degrades the people in her environment, talks down to them and is generally an extremely hateful secondary character. She also has the habit of giving people weird names. Now, I usualy wouldn’t mind a counter part to the sweetness of a lovestory but in my humble opinion it was overdone. I didn’t see the point of hearing Bellini’s voice, it distracted from the story. It did nothing to enhance the journey of Paisley and Reese and I started to skip Bellini’s chapters.

The story generally trickled along the first two thirds of the book without major ups and downs (except my irritation with Bellini) and would have profited from less Bellini and actually more story. As it is it these chapters felt more like fillers than anything else. The pace of the last third was more to my liking and it picked up then and made it still an enjoyable read. The quirky sense of humor I liked in Hustler is present as well and I had a couple of laugh-out-loud moments, yet that wasn’t enough to wow me.

I am convinced that Meghan Quinn can do better, the secondary characters were interesting and I’m sure if this author issues a gag order on Bellini I’ll be picking up the next in the series as well!

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