Too CharmingToo Charming by Kathryn Freeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Defence barrister Scott Armstrong is way too charming. Suave good-looking, a lady-killer image and far too many notches on his bedpost, he’s definitely someone single-mum DS Megan Taylor should avoid. Not easy when Scott, smitten by the feisty woman who is the complete opposite of those he prefers his short-term relationships with, pursues her with relentless determination to win her over. Megan has been there though, charmed by just such a man. She’s adamant, for her daughter’s sake as well as her own, she won’t go through the pain of that kind of heartbreak again. Throw the fact that Scott and Megan are on opposite sides, Scott defending the villains Megan has worked hard to bring to justice, and you have a cauldron of frustrated emotion waiting to spill over.

Scott, though, is not the emotion abuser Megan is convinced he is. The author does a fabulous job of peeling away the layers, giving us glimpses of his past until we see the whole of the man whose charm is in fact the suit of armour he hides his vulnerabilities behind. I particularly loved the way Kathryn Freeman handled Scott’s backstory. How, you can’t help but wonder, can such a successful, handsome, smooth-talking man have had anything but the odd blip in his life? No spoilers, but aside from the fact that Scott is naturally, instinctively caring of Sally, Megan’s daughter, his tragic family history is what makes him so determined to make sure even the lowest criminal gets a fair trial.

There are hiccups along the way, a crime case which brings that history and all of Scott’s vulnerabilities to the fore and slowly we see these two coming to see each other’s perspective. Scott begins to understand Megan’s determination to put the bad guys away. Megan realises that Scott’s own heartbreak is what drives him. Can she open her eyes to the fact that he truly loves her though? Can she open her heart? You’ll have to read to find out. If you want an intelligent, riveting romance with a difference, this book is it.

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