The Truth About De Campo
Since finishing my 30 book 2014 reading challenge I have awarded three books worthy enough of five stars (or a perfect score), and by perfect I mean “OMAGAHREALLY GREAT BOOKS”.
The Truth About De Campo is one of those reads this year.
The third (and final) story in the Delicious De Campos trilogy by Jennifer Hayward, this one follows the baby of the De Campo brothers, Matteo De Campo (who actually isn’t really a baby, but a full-grown, hunky-ass man in his mid-30s xD).
So yeah Matty finally finds his match. The little playboy who kept poking in and out of the other two stories is tamed by a larger-than-life Quinn Davis. As far as heroines go Quinn is my hands-down favourite of the two other ladies starring in this trilogy.
Which works because Matteo is my favourite of the De Campo guys—win-win!
What I liked about this book kinda matches with what I enjoyed about the second story (Gab/Alex) and what I felt lacked in the first story (Riccardo/Lilly).
There was more substance to this tale, and although the Harlequin Presents/Mills&Book Modern Romance line is the home of over-the-top financial fantasies complete with wealthy alpha males I still felt that Quinn and Matteo’s story wasn’t overwhelmed by all that…fantasy.
Like sometimes it could be too much and Ms. Hayward really avoided that by doing a number of things:
1) Quinn isn’t useless. She isn’t a damsel-in-distress and she actually has a history and problems and dreams and a LIFE outside of the romance. Matteo doesn’t just come in like a (effin hot) fairy god…father and sex away all her problems.
2) The internal conflict was totally plausible. I’m not going to ruin it because these category romances are pretty short (think ~50K), but trust me—some great conflict building! Taking away the wealth and the power of this couple, you’d still be left with a story that can be held together by the tantalizing pull-and-push of H/h’s motivation and goals.
3) Usually I’m wary of the alpha male heroes of this particular category of Harlequin’s romances, and it was a huge problem with Riccardo from the first book. Matteo, unlike his older brother, is not an alpha a-hole. Ms. Hayward pulled off confidence without toeing the fine line into A-holelandia. Matteo knew his stuff, but he also knew how to shut his mouth. His flattery wasn’t cheesy and he wasn’t a sneak. The guy knows what he wants and he knows how to get it (and keep it).
Of course I could sit here on my comp and go Hulk-like on my keyboard gushing praises about Matty, but I’ll let you all read the story and prove me wrong…you know if you can.
And though at this point it seems redundant…