I received this as an ARC from NetGalley.
I wanted to like this. I like friends to lovers trope. It's probably my favorite. I also like a quiet/brooding hero. And I'm great with a heroine who isn't perfect physically. But, it was frustrating.
So, Violet apparently isn't perfect physically. She's described as short with big boobs, a big butt and thick thighs. I don't know what this would translate to in the real world. But, she has some body issues. She thinks she's grown out of them, but she's pretty self-conscious. She's also a bit of a doormat.
Cain is quiet and brooding. He's loved Violet forever. But, so did Jeremy, their best friend. And Jeremy let it be known. Jeremy and Violet had been engaged, but Jeremy died while serving overseas with Cain. So, Cain has guilt. Lots of guilt about lots of things. And he treats Violet badly by being abrupt or just leaving, etc. She calls him on it. But, she goes back for more. REPEATEDLY.
It dragged on and on. Cain was somewhat in touch with his feelings, but couldn't express himself to Violet. Although, he talked to her more than anyone else. And Violet was so out of touch with her emotions, it was laughable. I don't understand how she could possibly delude herself in to thinking sex with her best friend for a few days and then returning to just friends would be okay. She barely even thought about it.
So, FINALLY, at the end, we find out there's a real reason for Cain's behavior. And he gets himself help. But the way he does it is wrong. And, Violet? I just don't know. I guess some people would admire her for her persistence, but I just kept thinking "doormat".