Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hometown Heartbreakers, Book 8
Hero: Kevin Harmon
Heroine: Haley Foster
Date of Publication: February 1, 2003
Started On: March 12, 2011
Finished On: March 13, 2011
My first experience with Susan Mallery certainly turned out to be a delightful one. Completely Smitten has been sitting in my to-be-read pile for ages since I got the title off as a recommendation from one of the discussion threads on Amazon. Coupled with the fact that I was craving for a short and light read that would captivate me from the beginning till end together with the high ratings my friends on Goodreads seem to have given for this title sealed the deal for me and I enjoyed every minute of Haley and Kevin’s journey towards happily-ever-after.
31 year old U.S. Marshal Kevin Harmon is stuck in the middle of Kansas after spending the better part of the day hauling a convicted felon across state lines to a nearby prison. Kevin had grown up never knowing his biological father but nevertheless had grown up in a well rounded family environment with his fraternal twin Nash and their mother and stepfather Howard. Kevin’s tendency to land in the wrong kind of trouble one time too many had in the end landed him in military school which is where Kevin had learned to turn his life around and become a law enforcement professional. The last thing he is looking for when he sits down at a bar in the middle of nowhere looking for nothing more than a beer, food and a bed all in that order is the blond, blue-eyed woman who walks in, who looks completely out of place in the bar with a less than ideal crowd.
25 year old Haley Foster from Western Ohio is the only child of a widowed Baptist Minister. The death of her mother had meant that Haley had 50 or more women looking out for her whilst she was growing up. The expectations of the congregation had been what had mapped out Haley’s life, having always forgone her dreams and wants to go along with what her father and her fiance had wanted for her all her life. The final straw sees Haley driving out on her own to experience life and the wild side of it, when she meets the broodingly handsome Kevin Harmon who rescues her from the imminent trouble she stirs up when she walks into the bar.
From the moment Kevin rescues her from the 3 thugs surrounding her, he starts mumbling to himself “Why me?”. Temptation he has never thought he would feel start edging in as he spends time with Haley and though Kevin tries his damnedest to mind his own business and keep away from the tempting Haley, before the night is through Kevin finds himself helping a very drunk Haley who is hell bent on making a pass at him to her room.
A string of events that follow lands these together on a road trip which would take Kevin back home and Haley on her way to Hawaii, somewhere she has always wanted to visit all her life. Along the way, Kevin and Haley both find in each other what they have both been missing in their lives, as friendship tinged with red-hot desire that edge them towards falling in love for the first time in both their lives.
Completely Smitten is the kind of story that would make you fall head over heels in love with both the hero and heroine. The gruff and tough hero doesn’t stand a chance around our sunny and optimistic heroine who has every intention of experiencing the wild side of life. Even though Kevin tries to resist Haley and the way she so effortlessly charms him into falling for her, Kevin tries so hard to do the “right” thing by Haley and keep his hands off her. I loved how the feelings between Haley and Kevin developed, though their relationship is one tinged with sexual zing right from the very first moment itself.
I liked the premise of the small town girl taking care of the big and experienced U.S. Marshal who doesn’t know what hits him when Haley sashays into his otherwise bleak life and lights it up with her infectious smile and her tendency to embrace each and everything in life with open arms. The way Kevin takes care of Haley’s desires, and makes her feel sexy and wanted and loved at the same time are one of the best moments in the story.
Though I would have loved it if Kevin would have come after Haley even though he lets her go because he loves her and wants what is best for her, I still loved this sweet story that I very much enjoyed. I certainly would be on the lookout for other such swell reads by the author in the future.