Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Decidedly Off Limits by Stina Lindenblatt

Title: Decidedly Off Limits
Author: Stina Lindenblatt
Released on: 11/7/2016
Source: ARC from author
Links:  Goodreads -
Amazon -


Best Friend Rule #1: never want the guy’s sister.

Trent Salway is one of San Francisco’s hot up-and-coming-under-thirty bachelors. A highly successful mutual fund portfolio manager, a workaholic, and a ladies’ man, he’s got everything he could possibly want…except one thing.

Physical therapist Kelsey Quaid dumped her ex-fiancé six months ago because she was tired of not even being a distant second to his career. Which is why despite secretly crushing on her big brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember, there’s no way Kelsey can go there. One workaholic in her life is more than enough, thank you very much.

Before Kelsey’s brother leaves on his Navy SEAL mission, he asks Trent one simple request: make sure Kelsey isn’t dating any assholes while he’s away. As Trent does his best to do just this, he and Kelsey spend more and more time together. Sparks fly, as do a few items of clothing, and the next thing they know things are getting physical between them. Now, Trent has to decide what to do about the woman he’s falling for—the one whose brother would take him down faster than he takes down the enemy. And Kelsey will have to decide if Trent is just another workaholic or if he’s decidedly off limits.

My Review

Brother's best friend/Best Friend's brother is one of my favorite tropes ever, so I was super excited to see what happened in this one that combined the two.  Add in the fact that it was also not-so-unrequited love on both sides and I was hooked from page one. 

I loved what Lindenblatt did with the story here, giving it to us from all angles, and really sucking me into the upcoming drama. Though the story was Kelsey and Trent's, I loved the rest of the characters and their bonds as well.  

Kelsey broke up with her fiance because she felt he was more in love with work than her, and she didn't want to play second fiddle.  Kelsey wants a love like that of her best friend, a man she knows desires her and wants to spend time with her.  Though she's had a crush and been in love with her best friend Erin's brother, Trent, who also happens to be her brother's best friend, Kelsey doesn't believe he can give her the love she wants, so it's best to keep her feelings to herself.  

Trent has feelings for Kelsey, but he knows he can't act on them because it would risk his friendship with his best freind, but also could harm his relationship with his sister. But the more he watches Kelsey try to move on from her broken engagement, the more he wishes he could be the man for her. But Trent knows he isn't the kind of man Kelsey deserves. 

When Trent starts spending more time with Kelsey, under the guise of watching out for her as her brother requested of him, things begin to change and the lines they'd both drawn start to disappear.  But can these two figure it out and work things out together?  

I really enjoyed the banter between Kelsey and Trent, their comfort with each other while also at times feeling at a disadvantage.  Their chemistry was strong, and it made me wonder why those closest to them couldn't see their true feelings, even as they fought to hide them.   This story was delivered in a great way, a friendship between two people born of their relationships with other mutual connections, feelings that had been withheld for a long time, and ultimately risks that could be taken or not.  

Decidedly Off Limits had me laughing while also making me frustrated at the characters. I swooned, I wanted to bop Trent on the head. This book took one of my favorite tropes and gave it a fresh spin that not only grabbed my attention but captivated me and had me falling in love right alongside the characters.  

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