Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.
As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…
Let me just start with this:
Oh my Cole...
This book and Cole are just perfect. Cole isn't the young boy being protected from his mother by his big sister and her boyfriend anymore. He's a tall, hot and tattooed. He's made a name for himself as tattoo artist managing and tattooing at one of the best tattoo salons in Edinburgh, INKarnate. And I think he made me swoon so much I think I'm mush right now. Damn, the boy grew up!
Cole has managed to leave his past with his mother behind him and, for those who have read the rest of the series, you'll know just how horrible it was for him. He is successful and has his amazing family and friends behind him. All is well and then Shannon is employed by Stu, the tattoo salon's owner and his life is flipped upside down and inside out. He wants her and he starts flirting with her but he has no idea that Shortcake, that's the nickname he bestows on Shannon, has a dark past that means she's instantly put off him despite her obvious attraction to him.
I loved reading the push and pull with these two and my heart broke for Cole when Shannon called him out and hurt him far worse than she ever could have imagined she would. After that a wall goes up and I hated that because, at the start, I loved reading their interactions and I was willing for them to start getting along again and eventually they did. Thank. God.
And yea, let's just talk about that, their first night together, I have just one word to adequately describe that: HAWT. Cole is all grown up and knows how to please a girl. Just saying...
Of course, this wouldn't be an ODS novel without a fair whack of heartbreak and horrible pasts. Shannon's past is harrowing and when I read it my heart went out to her. Not only did she go something I wish no woman would, but she lost her family and friends in the process and, her brother landed up in prison for protecting her, something she blames herself for. I loved watching Shannon develop with Cole and open up. With each chapter you read you could see her opening up more and more. Then they make it to Italy and you see just how much Shannon now trusts Cole. I loved that. Really loved it.
Of course, there's only a part of Shannon's past that Cole can heal but he encourages her to see her brother and her family and try mend the bridges. She's successful with her brother but not so much her parents and sister. Let me just say I HATED her family with a passion. Especially her sister who judged Cole based on his looks and didn't have a kind word for him. I think her sister was the main reason Shannon made the colossal screw up she did and it almost cost her things with Cole. But it didn't and Shannon, on the recommendation of her brother, Logan went big and got her man back by asking him to marry her in front of all his family. That made me mushy too. So did Cole's engagement to her at their party to celebrate her proposal to him. His words were just beautiful and summed this book up for me.
Of course, the ODS series wouldn't be the series we adore without the supporting members whom we have all come to love over these last five books as we've read them fight their demons and find the love they deserve. They're all in here and the all welcome Shannon with open arms and are prepared to do the same for her brother when he gets out of prison. That scene with Brandon and Marco sums these guys up for me, they see when one of their own or someone that person loves is in aid and rushes to help them.
Plus, we got some new characters in her too, Rae, Stu and Simon who work at the salon with Cole and Shannon. They were awesome, especially Rae whom Shannon lands up living with. Shannon really needed them in her life too and along with Cole and his family they helped to save her and find the love she deserved.
I don't know if there will be another book in this series, but I hope there is and I hope we get to see Logan, Shannon's brother, find love!