I think if you look at my prior reviews you will notice how often I need to confess in my reviews. So here goes…Confession: This is my first Staci Hart book. I didn’t read the first three books in this series, and I know what I’ll be doing when I remove myself from ARC City and read my very full Kindle library. That being said, Well Suited reads easily as a standalone. You do not need to read the three other books to read this one. It will make you want to read those immediately, at least it did for me.
Well Suited is the fourth (and I believe, final) book in The Red Lipstick Coalition series. It tells the story of Theodore (Theo) and Katherine (Kate) . Theo is the brother of Tommy, a character in Hart’s Work in Progress, and Kate is the friend to the girls in the other books in the series. Kate is a buttoned-up librarian who eschews feelings, namely love. Logic and science are her friends. Theo believes in love, and he hopes to one day marry and start a family. One night, they go dancing with their friends, and Theo and Kate feel an undeniable chemistry. Theo is drawn to Kate, while Kate feels the same connection. They engage in a seemingly steamy one-night stand, but Theo wants more after the night. Unfortunately, while Kate is attracted to him, she relies on logic to help her avoid him, wanting to avoid her attraction to him which are grounded in “feelings”. Until she finds out she is pregnant. Once Kate realizes she’s pregnant, she contacts Theo to inform him of her pregnancy and offer to allow him to be a part of the baby’s life. Believing he will decide to relinquish his responsibility, Kate is surprised when Theo is thrilled, asking Kate to move in with him and his family so he can participate in the pregnancy and child-rearing. Kate agrees; however, she is intent on keeping the relationship platonic/friendly, which is unfortunately difficult as she feels a connection/attraction to him. Their friendship grows into deeper feelings, yet Kate doesn’t “do” feelings and the situation becomes complicated. Therein lies the struggle of this story.
What I Loved about Well Suited
- First and foremost, Theodore. I loved him. From the start, he endears himself to the reader because he is just. so. amazing. He really “sees” Kate in a way that her friends and, definitely, her family do not. It is this level of attention that allows him to anticipate her needs and wants throughout the story. He makes only one error in caring for her, but it is such that your heart actually breaks for him instead of Kate. He is chivalrous, caring, and thoughtful. He is the type of man who allows the h to be herself while offering more support. I was sold on him “hook, line, and sinker.” “The upside to my unforeseen path was that I didn’t have to wait to find a suitable mate. I’d already found one.”
- The other characters. Kate’s friends, Amelia, Val, and Rin, represent the possibilities of relationships for Kate. They become her foils, illustrating her disdain for relationships and feelings through their experiences. They balance her and become her “voices of reason” at times. These four together embody all that is right with womanhood. They support, trust, and love each other, leaving cattiness out of their relationship. Additionally, Tommy and Theo and Tommy’s mother, Sarah, provide more of Theo’s story. They represent his support and his past and present. Without them, he cannot be the caring hero, as he provides support for them just as he does for Kate. He practiced his caring nature on them before Kate. Lastly, Kate’s parents provide the comic relief along with the strife of the story. They are everything Kate refuses to be, and the contrast between the two provide some of the comical moments of the story. However, Kate’s mother also underscores Kate’s need for order and logic.
- The story. Staci Hart fleshes out Kate and Theo’s story well. She draws us in month by month until the end, and the reader cannot put the story down because there is a HEA to be had. There are so many moments in this story when there is peace between Theo and Kate, but just around the corner, “winter is coming” because the H/h have different goals. As the reader, you anticipate this, and it pulls you along.
My Struggle with Well-Suited
- Katherine/Kate. I love a strong woman heroine. When a heroine is confident in herself, I swoon, just as I do for a strong hero. But Kate, quite honestly, reads like she has Asperger’s. I struggled to connect with her because she is too stubborn. Believe me, I understand her past and the waves it creates in her present, but she creates struggles in her life when they aren’t necessary. Yes, I know this is a romance, and this is necessary for the development of the story, but I wanted to like her more. Quite honestly, I thought she was fairly mean to Theo, and he patiently loved her through it (which leads me back to the first bullet point of my list above). Maybe if I had read her in the first three books, my view of her would be different, but in this book, her character made it difficult to read at times.
Katherine and Theodore are not opposites. They are simply two sides of the same coin. Through their story, Staci Hart’s Well Suited suggests that we can oftentimes miss the blessing in front of us because we cannot move beyond our fears. Katherine almost misses on finding her HEA because her fear of love blinds her to her soulmate. Thankfully, she realizes it before the book ends, reminding us that it is never too late to open our hearts.
In love and romance,