Review: THE RELUCTANT NUDE by Meg Maguire

Chipping away at her resistance, one touch at a time…

Fallon Frost’s late foster mother had done so much to heal the wounds of her damaged childhood. So when a lecherous developer plans to bulldoze her old home to make room for a strip mall, the practical, ordered life Fallon has built for herself is threatened.

Then he makes a twisted proposal. He’ll leave the land alone if she poses nude for a sculpture that’ll end up in his collection. Seeing no other choice, she heads for Nova Scotia—only to find something totally unexpected. A sexy, hot-blooded, infuriating sculptor.

Guarded, sexually detached Fallon is a challenge Max Emery can’t wait to tackle. Yet with each tap of his chisel, he uncovers a woman who rekindles a dream he thought lost. Home, family…love. And the closer he gets to her core, the harder it becomes to accept that he’s carving her naked body for another man’s eyes.

As progress on the sculpture almost grinds to a halt, their fragile fantasy world collapses under the weight of reality. Threatening Fallon’s one chance to save her foster mother’s land…and any chance she and Max have to find love.

Author: Meg Maguire
Series: standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2011, April 5
Format: eBook
Source: Bought via Samhain eBook-store

First line:
You’ve got to be frigging kidding me.

Memorable Scenes:
– When Fallon first spends the night at Max’s studio > “May I spoon you?” *sigh*swoon*

Fallon Frost is an ecologist. She’s down to earth and clear-headed but she’s also cautious and a little contrary.

Max Emery is a sculptor and the epitome of the creative artist type. He’s unapologetic, sharp-minded and direct but he’s also attentive and has this charismatic aura that draws you in immediately.

Once again I’m amazed at Meg Maguire’s characterization. With little captivating and subtle tidbits she creates her characters back-stories and personalities throughout the story and puts them center-stage of it all yet never losing focus on the rest of the story. With small clues she points you to stuff that makes you want to know the rest, the how and why of those tidbits of information. And in the end you realize she’s delivered on them and you ‘get it’.

Little by little you get to know her main characters and get inside their heads, see their hopes, dreams, fears and desires. Their dialogues and banter, they all slowly and gradually but surely bring you towards that point you know is coming and will be explosive!

At first I was waiting for that first sexual move, that first explicitly hot love scene and was wondering why it was taking so long. But reading on I realized it wouldn’t have fit the romance or characters and I came to the conclusion that I really liked how the sensual/physical aspect was built up step by step. It’s one of the things that made this book intense and memorable.

Meg Maguire’s writing is addictive and mesmerizing. Once you start you can’t stop reading. Towards the end I did have the feeling the intensity fizzled down a little and both the conflict and it’s resolution felt a bit sudden. This made the first 3/4 of the story better but overall I absolutely loved it. The set-up of this story was brilliantly done. Intriguing and revealing the full story in little bits at a time, I loved putting the pieces together and getting the full story clear.

If you love richly layered, emotional and excellently written contemporary romance, all I can say is: buy THE RELUCTANT NUDE, sequester yourself, sit back and enjoy the awesomeness that is Meg Maguire’s writing.

Favorite Quotes:
(Max) “Why bones? My trade is in surfaces,” he explained, fingers working. “My fascination is with the hidden. The internal.”

(Fallon) She met his eyes, unimpressed. “So you think. But there are good people and lousy people everywhere. You can’t write an entire place off because of the few assholes you encounter.”

“Damn. So have you…you know?” Rachel wiggled her eyebrows lewdly.
Fallon worked hard to suppress a smile. “What?”
“You know. Voulez-vous…couchez’d avec him?”

He shut his eyes and made a noise of the dirtiest decadence.

She breathed him in, his smell and his need and his mounting insanity. Intoxicating. She felt wicked, still safe in her underwear while this strong, willful man lay naked and bound and at her mercy.

Max shrugged. “I am willing to be normal, if it will have me. But anyway. I won’t put any pressure on you. I hope I’ll see you again. Maybe soon. But I waited thirty-three years for you the first time. I can wait another thirty-three.”


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