Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Draw Me Close (Hearts and Crafts #3) by Nicole Michaels should have been a feel good romance about two former lovers reuniting after years apart because of external conflicts. The external conflicts are big here, which make sense why the hero and heroine would remain apart for almost a decade, and why the heroine is still hurting over the hero's deceit and betrayal. What the hero has done to the heroine is unforgivable in my eyes, mainly because of the way it's presented. It feels false and unrealistic, and also a trope found in some romances like this that usually make my eyes roll. It involves lying and cheating basically, which the hero tries to explain isn't exactly lying and betrayal because the girlfriend he was with, while he cheated on her with the heroine in college was acceptable because they were on a break. But the hero got sloppy. Within weeks of cheating with the heroine, his then girlfriend got pregnant. In turn he dumps the heroine and marries the girlfriend, having a horrible marriage, thus getting a divorce, leaving him open to reconnect with the heroine and make amends just because she was the one who got away, and he still lusts for her.
Lindsey is an amazing interior decorator who's slowly going places. She writes for a lifestyle blog that has exploded, which is highlighted in the last two books in this series. Lindsey is working on a house for one of her blogger partners, who is getting married. Her fiance's friend is Derek, an architect who Lindsey has a past with. Lindsey and Derek met in college and had a fling. Lindsey thought it would become more, but then he ended up dumping her. What she didn't know at the time was that Derek was on a break with his long time girlfriend. But right before he ends up with Lindsey, his girlfriend got pregnant. Wanting to do the right thing, Derek marries his girlfriend, leaving Lindsey heartbroken. Now Derek is divorced. His ex-wife is a witch who manipulates him over their son. But Derek wants to make up for lost time with Lindsey, who he has to work with. Lindsey is still upset and angry over Derek's cheating and dropping her. She tries to maintain his distance, but he won't allow that. He cajoles and begs her to listen to him, and let them be friends. He can't change the past, but Lindsey was always the one woman he loved, even though he did try to give his marriage a go, EVEN thinking about having more children with his ex-wife at the time.
Derek essentially tires Lindsey out that she has no choice but to forgive him or at least humor him. She slowly begins to trust him again, and within a few months, they're lovers again. But Derek's ex-wife is threatening for full custody of their son if Derek continues to be with Lindsey because she knows Lindsey was the woman Derek was with while on their break, even though he still had sex with her and got her pregnant (keep in mind this is a few weeks before he is intimate with Lindsey at college).
Draw Me Close just rubbed me the wrong way form beginning to end, mainly because of Derek and what he pulled not only with Lindsey, but with his ex-wife, who is purposely portrayed as a witch so the reader will want Derek and Lindsey together. Because of the premise with Derek and his past with Lindsey, I just couldn't connect with the story or their lover's reunion. I wanted a better man for Lindsey because Derek didn't deserve her. He came across as a big mistake from her past, one she didn't needed to help her with her future. I didn't believe their HEA. I was rooting for Lindsey to walk off in the sunset, a proud confident woman without Derek. That didn't happen.
Pass on this one because of Derek and his weak excuse on why it was okay for him to be with Lindsey even though he wasn't honest with her or his then girlfriend at the time. Not my idea of what a romance entails.