OK I admit, 3 stars are probably a bit harsh. But I am not generous with my stars. I will give it 3.5, my best offer.
I read the book with enough enthusiasm. I like how Joanna Shupe tells her story. It is fast-paced and very focused. I did not skim-read any part of the book. The entire 352 pages are necessary for the story to progress. The tension held up well until the end of the book. No premature I love you. It is a full length romance of 2 people coming together. Her characters are reasonably tempered. While they do get upset or angry, they act accordingly and proportionately. No hissy fits or tantrums. Both Nick and Julia have been right to anger but they did it with self-respect.
I however, have the impression that this is an early work (I have no idea how many books Shupe has written. She is a new writer for me). I say that because the book is full of cliche and the interactions between Nick and Julia are somehow fake to me. The twists and turns are all understandable. I can see why she has written the book the way it is. I just don't particularly believe that what has transpired between Nick and Julia is enough for them to forgive each other.
Both of them need forgiveness, I'd say. Unlike similar stories I have read, I could not find it in my heart to sympathize with either Nick or Julia. They both have done rather despicable things, albeit with reasons I could understand. As a reader I kind of want to tell them both: serve you right. Their relationship seems to be very sexual. This is one of those books that uses sex as a glue to keep a couple together. I cannot help but feel that their relationship is a little cheap.
I would be interested in seeing how Joanna Shupe develops as a writer. I am partial to her storytelling style so I enjoyed reading this rather typical romance with all its overt sexuality and cliche. Shupe kept me interested through all that. I should endeavour to read another book from her.