Not Enough by Nikole Bloom

NOT
Not Enough by Nikole Bloom
The Enough Series #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (154 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

I am the self-proclaimed queen of abstinence.

After a failed engagement and years of being told I am not enough, I have given up on love. I am content in my life. I have a great job. I have a supportive family I have built over the years. My life is not exciting, but it is the life I have chosen.

That is until I inadvertently walked into Austin Black’s life. Austin is as beautiful as he is endearing and with a single plea for friendship, he pulls me in. He is an All-Pro quarterback and has women falling at his feet, yet he opts for my friendship in hopes it will lead to more.

I refuse to give him what he wants, but as our friendship deepens my resolve begins to weaken. Willing to take whatever I can offer Austin stands by my side seemingly content as friends.

Austin and I find a groove in life that works until the proverbial line is crossed. I quickly realize I have to face my past if I have any hope for a future with the only man to make me dream of one.

Is it possible to date someone without realizing you are in a relationship? Can Austin be the one to melt the fortress around my heart? Will it matter if he does? In my experience, love has never been enough.

Rylee swore she’d never be vulnerable again.

After a disastrous engagement, Rylee vowed never to fall in love again, and for a few years, she managed to keep that promise to herself. Everything changes when Austin moves into the neighborhood. His patience and kindness is unexpected and overwhelming. Suddenly, Rylee finds herself faced with a man who just might have a chance of capturing her heart.

Rylee is a nice woman who is beautiful and very successful. She has no problem hanging out with men, but never moves beyond friendship with any of them. Her reluctance to enter into a romantic relationship is completely understandable given what happened in the past. However, Austin proves from the moment they meet that he is different. He shows Rylee kindness and asks for nothing in return but friendship. They become fast friends and months fly by, though their attraction to each other always simmers under the surface. I feel that Rylee’s hesitance to take things further with Austin is unwarranted after a while. Rylee’s past is devastating, but Austin has proved time after time that he is loyal and completely dedicated to Rylee. He simply wants to be a part of her life in whatever capacity she allows. He has an enormous amount of patience, and I found it frustrating when Rylee continually found ways to distance herself from him. When Rylee and Austin finally take the next step, the sexual chemistry between them is explosive. The sex scenes are well written, but do contain some graphic language that might offend some readers.

Excluding Austin, Rylee’s circle of friends is limited to her brother Jeremy and his best friend Bode. Jeremy and Bode are nice, fun, and totally devoted to Rylee. I think they have potential to be good characters, but as it is they are simply used as muscle and eye candy to frame Rylee, and even that didn’t feel particularly natural or realistic. Consequently, they never moved beyond being types and didn’t truly come to life in my mind.

I must also warn readers that Not Enough ends with a cliffhanger. Toward the end of the story, some strange things happened to Rylee with dangerous consequences for those she cares about. The ending didn’t sit well with me. I would have been okay with an open ended conclusion if at least some of the plot threads had been resolved in satisfying ways, or if I’d been sure that Rylee and Austin would face the danger together. However, that is not the case with this book. When I finished reading, absolutely nothing is certain, not even Rylee and Austin’s budding romance. I can only hope Ms. Bloom has a happier ending for the couple in the next installment.

Despite these issues, I did enjoy watching Rylee and Austin get to know each other. Readers who enjoy muscular heroes and steamy romance might want to give Not Enough a try.

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