June 13, 2013

Review: Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox

Source: a review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Flirting with Disaster is the third book in the Camelot series, and it brings closure and a happy ending to Katie, the last Clark sibling. The previous book was a bit of a mixed bag, but this new installment worked much better for me, even if some of the same issues remained.

Katie is a people pleaser. She followed her husband to Alaska so that he could make his dreams come true, and in the process she lost herself and put her life on hold. So when her husband left her with nothing, she came back to her hometown completely defeated. Her brother gave her a job, which helped her get her life back on track, but she remains a work in progress.

Sean is back in town to sort his recently deceased mother’s affairs. It’s a deceivingly easy task, because although all he has to do is get rid of her clothes and sell her house, he’s also forced to confront the bad memories of a mother who was less-than stellar. He’s really bad at dealing with his baggage, though, and really good at ignoring them and hoping they will go away, which is why he’s staying in town far longer than planned.

That’s how Sean ends up helping Katie’s brother and partnering with her in an assignment that involves protecting a famous singer.

But wait, there’s more! Sean was in love with Katie during the time they were in high school together, and has been (mostly) pining after her. The problem is that he has a stutter that, after years of therapy, is somewhat under control. But he fears that the stress of being in town, plus the stress of being with Katie, will bring back the stutter, so he doesn't speak to her. Ever. So of course she thinks he hates her.

The conflict is mostly internal and not particularly epic (because Sean and Katie have issues, both as individuals and as a potential couple), which is perfectly fine. These are two people who must decide if they want and can make it work. In Sean’s case, he’s in denial of his need to find closure, but by having a relationship with Katie, all those things that need closure become front and center, and unfortunately for him, it’s impossible to get the girl without first dealing with the baggage. Katie, on the other hand, needs to learn how to hold on to her newfound sense of self. She finally learned how to put herself first, and now she must keep doing it. These are personal journeys that aren't entirely compatible with a committed relationship that demands negotiation, compromises, and sacrifices.

As was the case in the previous book, Flirting with Disaster comes equipped with its very own subplot and a secondary character that features prominently in the story. And just like in the previous book, the subplot felt unnecessary and intrusive. This character was quite charming, and I spent half the time thinking he was outshining the main couple, while the rest of the time I felt like he was invading the main romance. Worse, the suspense part was predictable and boring.

However, all the characters were full of life and personality. It’s impossible not to be immersed in their stories and invested in their happiness.  It’s what Ms. Knox does best and the main reason why I keep coming back for more. Flirting with Disaster is not her best, but it is a good book.

Grade: 3.5
Sensuality: McSteamy
Purchase: Amazon

Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.
Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.
Flirting with Disaster: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance by Ruthie Knox
Loveswept. June 10, 2013.


  1. Sounds pretty good but a don't rush to read it kind of book. I don't think I've ever read anything by Knox before.

    1. You have to read Big Boy (novella) and Ride with Me (category-length). Those two are amazing books.

  2. I thought this was a much better offering than her last one, but you're right on the money with that subplot business. I got a little bored when the focus was turned on Judah and I could see where that was going to end from a mile away.

    I liked that she didn't turn Katie into a hard, bitter woman despite what her ex had done to her, and I liked Sean even more. I thought the stuttering aspect to his character was very well done. It helped shape him, but didn't truly define him even as you saw he was having trouble around Katie. She does "normal people" (or at least not those billionaires, mma fighters, hunky cops etc) extraordinarily well.

    Are you interested in reading her NA when it comes out?

    1. I liked Judah a lot and at one point I even wished he was the hero, because Sean not talking to Katie got old really fast (something I forgot to mention in the review). But once the chemistry between Katie and Sean started developing I was just distracted by Judah. Although he was such an interesting, tragic character that I kind of wish he had gotten his own independent story, maybe a novella.

      The "regular people" thing is one of the things I love the most about Knox's books. Another author who does that really well is Meg Maguire/Cara McKenna (even her MMA fighters are regular people *grins*).

      I'm interested in reading her NA book, as long as it's a standalone or a series featuring different couples in each book. It sounds like it's going to be a series featuring the same recurrent character, though, which does not appeal to me at all. We'll see.

  3. Totally agree about the suspense part of the book. I was always SO antsy to get back to Sean and Katie...who I really enjoyed in this one. Especially the beginning when Sean wouldn't/could't talk to her. Sexy.

    1. Especially the beginning when Sean wouldn't/could't talk to her. Sexy.

      Is there anything you don't find sexy? ;-)

  4. I completely agree that Sean avoiding talking to Katie for the first 25% got old fast, and I found it rather unrealistic. I rolled my eyes at the times where he would type his responses on his phone or computer. That said, once he began talking to her, things got pretty good. I just can't wait for the Amber/Tony follow-up - they're my favorite Camelot couple.

    1. I just read the Amber/Tony novella and I think you're in for a treat ;-)

  5. I'm with Karen. A book to put on my radar, but no need to rush to read it. And it's already the end of the series? That was fast...

    1. Super fast, right? There's still one extra novella to go that will be out next month.


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