Basic Training (Harlequin Blaze, #238) - Julie Miller

Well, that went fast.

 

A friends to lovers plot, this one especially egregious in that the H has known the h since she was 14, has been besties with her all that time, neighbors, etc...and has suddenly noticed she has T&A. Oh, he's been celibate for a year due to a training accident. He's a Marine, in whatever their version of special forces is (military guys have to be special forces to qualify for heroes, don'tchaknow). His position is up in the air due to the extent of his injuries (and numbnuts' attempt to force healing by overdoing the therapy, resulting in a strained knee). He's home for...R&R. Heroine was asked by his dad to be his physical therapist.

 

Heroine has been secretly pining for him for years, particularly after a drunken kiss some 12 years ago - which he remembers everything but the identity of the girl. Ironic since he commented to her after a bit of action in a roach coach that he'd held every girl up to that girl's kiss for comparison and they'd all failed.

 

Somewhere along the line, she comments that the whole town has set her up to be the next resident spinster. Gauntlet dropped.

 

The initial "plan" was for him to give her ah...tips? during the 2 weeks in exchange for her physical therapy. The book took place over just a few days, during which...a former friend/rival/douchebag who'd had a thing for the h's sister and had attempted sexual assault on said sister(only to be interrupted by H) some years previous, attempted to get revenge on the H by attacking the h (who used to play softball and found a handy bit of pipe or something). This of course, forced the H to confront his feelings for the h.

 

So why 4 stars? Characters are actually likable. Story isn't unduly contrived. I mean; I suppose if you could ignore that he'd apparently failed to notice the h being female in 18 years - or at least, a female to bone... And maybe his being celibate for a year made him a little (or a lot) desperate whether he acknowledged it or not. And he gave thought to that - that his lack of action in the last year made him see his bestie in ways he hadn't before...or was it feel? After all, his first thought after she left following a welcoming hug and a chat was that she had tits. So I dunno. It was an easy read and I didn't put it down mentally rewriting it with myself as the h with the H writhing in pain at my feet and clutching his groin. :D