Stinger, By Mia Sheridan

Grace Hamilton was the girl with a plan. She knew exactly where her life was going and prided herself on always achieving her goals. It was who she was, and how she lived her life. She never stepped outside the lines, and never considered what she might desire and whom she was actually trying so hard to please. Until him…Carson Stinger was a man who didn’t play by any rules except his own. Working in the adult entertainment industry, he didn’t care what others thought, and took each day as it came, no direction, no plan. He knew what women wanted from him and believed it was all he had to offer. Until her…

When circumstances forced them to spend several hours together, they walked away changed. But for two people who never should have meshed, overcoming the reality of their vastly different lives wasn’t possible. At least not yet…

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. The first two books in the series need not be read to enjoy this book. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this
book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

This book really took me by surprise.  When I began reading it, I absolutely did not expect it to take me where it ultimately did.  I was blown away, and there are very few I will ever say that about.  This book deserves the slow clap that gradually gains momentum.   Seriously, it was a “Oh Captain, my Captain” Dead Poet’s Society kind of moment for me when I finished this.  (Did I just completely date myself there?)  I just didn’t see that coming from a book that I thought at first glance would be a sexy romp between a porn star and law student.
Carson Stinger is a straight male porn performer.  He’s in Vegas for a convention where he literally runs into Grace Hamilton in the lobby of the hotel where they are both staying.  Grace is about as rigid and straight-laced as a person can be.  She’s a law student who has a plan, and when I say plan I mean she must write things down in pen so she can’t deviate from them ever.  She thinks he’s gorgeous until she sees his nametag “Carson Stinger, straight male performer” and knows that he’s with the porn convention.  Sure, she’s being horribly judgmental, but can you blame her?  I don’t know many women who would go for a porn star, no matter how hot he is.  Anyway, they are thrown together in what turns out to be a very fortunately unfortunate situation and realize they have more in common than one would assume, not to mention sizzling physical chemistry.  They decide to spend the weekend together, and in doing so, are irrevocably changed.
Carson is one of the best male characters I have had the pleasure to get to know in a long time.  He’s had a hard life, but manages to be very grounded and self-effacing (thanks Granny!).  He’s hilarious as well, which is always a winner.  And he’s sexy as hell.  Really can’t go wrong with that.  Grace is also a very endearing character.  She’s driven and also has a quick wit and vulnerability about her that draws you in.  What I found genuinely wonderful about reading this book is that in the journey these two take over the course of a five year period, they change in ways while they are apart that bring them  closer together.  The book has an underlying message to it about life that is quite beautiful.  Life is messy, life is complicated, life is ugly, life will let you down as much as it lifts you up, life is unpredictable, life is unfair, life is lovely.  Life is wild.
It’s also rare for me to read about a relationship in a book that has so many realistic elements to it.  The ease between Carson and Grace is something that echoes in real life relationships, and I really connected with that. Not to mention, the writing style and plot development make it difficult to put the book down.  This is one of those books for which I ignored everything going on around me (sorry kids! Sorry husband!) in order to finish…I literally could not stop reading it until I finished it.  As I said, it really took me someplace I didn’t expect, and I can’t imagine you will meet anyone who reads this book that can give it less than a stellar review.  It’s just that good.