Title: Just Like That
Author: Erin Nicholas
Series: Book #2 in The Bradfords series
Number of Pages: 264 pages
Release Date: 15 June 2010
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle Store
Grade: 5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Some rules just beg to be broken.
Danika Steffen can take care of herself. Watching her mother slowly succumb to muscular dystrophy convinced Danika that total independence is the only way to go. Anything that needs fixing, she's got the tools. So what if she's never had an orgasm. No one really needs one, right?
Sam Bradford is good at two things: his job as a paramedic, and seducing women. Being dependable? Not so much. Losing his father at age fifteen tore a permanent hole in his life, and now he's determined never to let anyone need him that much. Enjoying women, though, is definitely on the menu. As long as they understand his unbreakable rule: one night only. Until a date with Danika Steffen ends not in her bed, but with a trip to the ER.
Danika may have a broken wrist, but Sam's the one suffering-an intense case of guilt. And instead of doing things to her, he only wants to do things for her. Which would drive her crazy if not for the sneaking suspicion that Sam needs a little TLC too. And damned if she doesn't want to be the one to give it-
Warning: Contains an I-ll-do-it-myself girl who can fix anything, a commitment-phobic guy who can't fix anything, and a whole new way to look at butter. Yes, butter.
In Just Like That we learn more about Sam, the middle sibling. Sam is the ultimate carefree, commitment phobic laid back casual guy, flocks of women are at his feet and he loves women: he loves giving them pleasure and enjoying them, but that is all. He has some serious rules: he doesn't sleep twice with the same woman, never sleeps with her after sex and he doesn't do any other leisure activity like watching a movie together or just talk. Having read about all three siblings I have to say Sam is the one who took their father's death the hardest, and he is the one who couldn't really cope with it or move on. He is a deeply hurt, scarred guy who is terrified of losing again someone he cares about and that is why he doesn't want to let anyone near and grow to love them. It is his self-preservation mechanism.
He is a lady's man through and through and that's why Danika's sisters have chosen him to help out Danika by giving her her very first orgasm! Yes, that is how these two meet: Danika is at a bar with her two sisters, discussing her problematic sex life (or lack of) and Sam and his friend Ben overhear the whole shocking conversation from the neighbouring table, since Danika's sisters don't really care about keeping it down. Of course Sam is intrigued by the challenge and that is even before he catches his first glimpse of Danika, after that:
"She swayed closer. His eyes focused on her lips for a moment and he felt a suden need to kiss her. Not just a desire to kiss her, but a demanding, do-it-or-die need."
What makes Erin Nicholas' novels stand out are the amount of humour infused in the story: usually love scenes and seductions are written in a sensual, steamy way, but in Erin Nicholas' stories you could very well laugh out loud at a line in the middle of a hot and steamy scene and that gives the whole relationship (and story) a different aspect, which I most certainly like.
Just a quick example (it was so hard to narrow down all the quotes)
"Now let's say you were going to seduce a guy. You knew you were going to see him later at a party. What would you wear?"
"My black bra and panties, I guess," she finally said.
"Did you buy those because they are sexy?"
"No. I bought them for my aunt's funeral."
Sam coughed and looked over at her again. "Excuse me?"
"Oral sex is like knitting?" Sam repeated. "This I've got to hear."
But what the reader discovers through the story is that Sam is not just the perfect lover but he is a generous and thoughtful guy: he plays Santa's elf to an 80 year old lady (sneaking into her house once a week to repair anything that is broken or needs to be fixed), his heart is made of gold, he just doesn't like to display it. I was very moved reading about what an amazing and great guy he is and how insecure and afraid he is. Losing his father at 15 and having his mother leave him at 5 caused permanent damage. My heart went out to him and I was glad to see Danika was there offering him support and love, even if Sam didn't know that was what he needed.
And again what one has come to know in Just Right (Book #1 in the series), being a romance novel does not necessarily mean that it is all fluff and candy. In Just Like That there are serious conversations about heartache and grief, and learning about Sam's and Danika's pain in losing their parents gave more substance to the novel.
Of course besides the emotional depth, the chemistry between Sam and Danika was once again phenomenal (though maybe due to their emotional tangles or because of Danika's personality, compared to Book #1 I felt it was tamer here, but still pretty steamy).
Ater finishing Book #1 I was eager to revisit the supporting characters and was so glad to see them again! Dooley, Mac and Kevin are a riot and I love all the teasing and bantering between the guys. My favourite scene hands down:
(Sam on establishing some rules regarding Danika and what his friends can and cannot do:)
"Rule number one, no talking about her when I'm not around."
"I thought rule number one was no ogling."
"Fine." Sam gritted his teeth. "No ogling. Then no talking about her."
"What if we say nice things?" Dooley asked.
"No." Sam glared at the guy who had once pretended to be his probation officer to get him out of a blind date. "Rule number three, no watching her leave the room."
"Isn't that kind of like ogling?" Mac asked smirking.
Sam turned his scowl on the guy who had once driven him sixteen hours straight so he could enter a poker tournament. "Next, no thinking about her after she is out of sight."
"How will we know she's out of sight if we can't watch her leave?"
Sam gave up.
Verdict: You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll definitely pant while reading Just Like That, it is a keeper, and if you haven't bought this series yet (why? what are you waiting for?!) Now is the time!!
The Bradfords series:
#1 Just Right (Jessica's story) - you can read my review HERE
#2 Just Like That (Sam's story)
#3 Just My Type (Sara's story) - review to be posted soon
Come back next week to read more about Book #3, Sara's story (Just My Type).