I fell for Max!

Falling for Max - Shannon Stacey

Quick summary
Town recluse Max Crawford is ready to meet someone, fall in love and get married. When he goes to the town diner for lunch (suggested starting place to meet people), part-time waitress Tori Burns immediately bonds with him and decides to help him with his plan. Neither one of them saw it coming when they fell for each other.


The issues
Max initially thought Tori might be too young for him (she wasn't). Tori has sworn off love and marriage after her parents' ugly divorce and aftermath, thinking she'd probably end up being like her mother (wrong...no one could be that nasty).


What works!
Max is glorious in all his geekdom and honesty. Tori is a natural who immediately recognizes his assets and brings out the best in him. As the setup is for her to prepare and coach him for other women, their relationship developed from acquaintances to friends and ultimately to lovers. It was fun with some great dialogue between them. It was sweet and romantic and when it morphed to friends with benefits, it got even better.


What missed
The ending. It just felt rushed after a really strong lead-in. Everything was pretty finally tuned and I was waiting for this magical crescendo that just never came. A short epilogue might have sealed the deal for me.


One more thing...
Some may find Tori's logic about relationships to be without foundation but I've certainly seen this in adult children of divorce, especially when they're forced to be in the middle of such acrimony between two people they love. It rang authentic.


The bottom line
This is a sweet story with a really good romance involving two interesting people. We get glimpses of some of the Kowalski clan but the focus was really on Max and Tori. I just wish the ending had been more...something. In spite of that, I really enjoyed the book overall.


(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)