Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
What do you get when you mix a little second chance romance, a handsome Hollywood movie star, a woman with a secret occupation, and some romantic suspense? The answer: Prescott Lane’s newest book, Knox. Knox is the first book of the Merrick Brothers’ series, and it’s a great start to a duet of books that mixes some sensuality with some sweetness.
Knox follows the second chance romance of Mae and Knox. Mae and Knox meet as six-year olds, and their love affair begins. Throughout high school and college, these two fall deeply in love, but Knox’s interest in making a career in Hollywood derails their future. This story begins five years later. Mae still lives in Knox’s hometown, and she is a secret radio show host. One night, Knox hears Mae’s voice, and he is reminded of his reasons for loving her. His mission becomes winning her over. However, Mae’s heart was broken in the past, and she is reticent to try again with Knox. Will Hollywood’s Sexiest Man win Mae’s heart again?
Overall, I loved this story. For much of the it, Knox is a dreamy romance hero. He wants a life with Mae that he inconveniences his life for her. While his motives are oftentimes selfish, it’s purely due to his love for Mae, and romance readers can’t help but love a hero who is driven by his love. My one criticism of Knox is his inability to realize sooner that Mae was the missing link in his life. Lane crafts his character to realize it after hearing her voice. At that point, there is no turning back, but his re-interest in Mae seems quick after staying away from her for five years. Even more, throughout the story, I questioned by he didn’t fight for her more in the past. That being said, Knox easily makes up for it in the present. You root for him to finally get Mae, but Lane carefully creates enough tension between these two for a time that you are engaged to the very last page.
Additionally, Mae is so likable. This is a woman who was spurned by the only true man she’s ever loved, and she morphs that pain into a lucrative career. Even when Knox comes back to Haven’s Point to woo Mae, she maintains this inner strength in the face of her deepest heartbreak. There are a stoicism and intelligence with Mae that the reader cannot help but adore. However, Mae also becomes the impetus for the tension in this story. For obvious reasons, she fears a relationship with Knox, making his journey towards bringing her into his life difficult. As the story unfolds, Mae’s battle against her self and her love for Knox lends the gravity to Lane’s Knox. And it’s reasonable. Every step of the way, as Mae fights her interest in Knox, you believe it. That is my favorite part of Lane’s newest book.
Lastly, Prescott Lane doesn’t make it easy on her reader. While her hero and heroine struggle for their second chance happy ending, she incorporates a bit of suspense. Interestingly enough, for most of the book, this plays a backseat to Knox and Mae’s evolving relationship. However, when it feels necessary to shake up their relationship, she incorporates more of that romantic suspense to add layers to her book. This makes the story more compelling. Additionally, the ancillary characters of this book, namely Mae’s grandmother, Gigi, provide some humor and wisdom to Knox when Mae and Knox’s romance feels slow. There is a great mix of tension, $exiness, wit, and mystery.
The reason I stole a ½ star back from my review revolves around the style of the writing. Prescott Lane lays out her story well, and it flows for the most part. Sometimes, however, the word flow feels stilted, and you find yourself slowing down as the story progresses. That would be my only criticism of this story. However, I am now officially invested in The Merrick Brothers, so much so that I already preordered Ryder’s story, book 2 of this duet.
In love and romance,