Dear Goodreads Friends,I'm sorry to have to go against the trend here, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around a 1,000 plus page contemporary romance book. Someone please come let me know if Ms. Ashley ever decides to write one in about half of the space and I might be willing to check it out. Thanks.Your Exasperated Friend,Stacia XOXOXOI do think there was a good story buried among the rubble of excess character description, shopping scenes, and the home and garden report. However, my patience isn't up for reading page after page of gossip about who is who at the BBQ, what Mike's house looks like on the inside, and how much care and attention Vi put into her backyard. When a 'random' scene having nothing to do with the actual story drags on for pages, my eyes start to glaze over.This is contemporary romance (w/a side of suspense) - not the type of story which requires a lengthy word count, such as a high fantasy or historical fiction might in some instances.What I did like about this story :~ The Characters. I didn't struggle with Joe or Vi the way that some other people did. I didn't care that Vi hooked up with more than one man (guys do it all the time, after all...turnabout is fair play). The daughters were cute and fun to read about, although somewhat unrealistic sounding. I'm around teens constantly, and none of them sound like these girls. ~ The Chemistry. Joe and Vi had great chemistry and the sex was enjoyable to read. Almost all of the scenes involving Joe and Vi or Joe with the family were worth reading. I am always a sucker for men who want to own their women in the bedroom : He ground his cock in deep and demanded, "Who do you belong to?"~ The "scales" storyline. All of the dialogue involving the scales and weights was endearing and heartwarming.What I didn't like about this story :~ Mike's part in all of this. I have seen this pattern before with KA books. One of the heroes falls for the leading lady and she rejects him, so he gets a chance for his own book later. Eh...I find this method unnecessary. There are other ways to introduce a future character. Let him be the lonely neighbor who is closed off to the world, so we're all curious to know more about who he is.~ Editing issues. This is nothing new. FFS, passed and past do not mean the same thing. ~ As mentioned before - it was too long. I would also mention that there are too many characters. If we're introducing characters for future books, then it's probably better that we meet one or two at a time in each book, not 10 (or so) of them in one book.~ The obligatory love/drug reference. As if I'd miss this in any book. Shit, he was like a drug and I realized I'd been jonesing for him all day.~ The obligatory nicknames. Does every single book need to have nicknames? Is this a trademark? If so, can we get something other than BUDDY?!? Really...BUDDY?!? If some guy called me that, I'd hurt him. This ties with Daddy for being on the list of worst nicknames ever.~ Other than the Italian family, everyone sounded the same. Again, another recurring issue with KA books. In real life, not all men sound the same, not even if they're all alpha. So why does every man (and even an occasional woman) in these books (from various ethnic/cultural backgrounds and locations) sound like they all grew up in the same 2 block radius?Case in Point :Joe - "I'm not leavin' for two weeks not gettin' my fill of you.""Buddy, you want me fuckin' you with your girls in the house then you stay home. You don't, I hear your feet on the steps of my deck.""Split you in two, I fuck you harder."Mike - "You're comin' to my house. I'm makin' you dinner."Sam - "I'd hate to see you sittin' there, glarin' at me while I'm eatin' it. Shit's fuckin' ambrosia."Tina - "Know you walked out Cal's backdoor wearin' his shirt. Know you're stringing' along a good man like Mike. Know that's fucked."This author has the ability to deliver on great characters and story, if only she'd mix it up more with each book. I'd love to see some beta males, or at least an alpha who isn't the same controlling (yet lovable) jackass. If she could figure out how to make each book stand alone as something completely unique from the last book and work on possibly condensing and editing, then I really do think we might be looking at something great. I'm hoping that someday I'll find the KA book which truly works for me. I'd love to be able to give one of her books a rating higher than 3 stars because I see what could be. We're just not there yet. I had officially decided to take a break from KA books after Motorcycle Man, but this was a buddy read that I was talked into by a good friend who I simply couldn't say no to. I'm not sorry that I read the book because I did enjoy it in parts, even with my complaints. However, this will be my "official" time now to break from this author for a good, long while. You might see me read another KA book someday, when my memory is at least slightly fuzzy from my last read, so I'm not comparing details too closely in my head.