Ensenada Escapade (Destination: Desire #6) by Crystal Jordan #mf #review @crystaljordan


Ensenada Escapade

On a road trip straight from hell, things take a wrong turn—straight to heaven.

Destination: Desire, Book 6

Back in junior high, Ben Hudson tried the pull-the-girl’s-ponytail route to romance with Nora Kirby. It was the start of a decade and a half of mutual antagonism, which masks how desperately he’d like to get his hands on the grownup version of his boyhood crush.

Then he overhears Nora planning to drive to Ensenada, Mexico, to pick up her stranded younger sister. Oh, hell no. No way is she going alone, even if he has to resort to blackmail.

The last thing Nora needs on this trip is a pushy, antagonistic lawyer who’s been a thorn in her side for years. She’s a nurse—she can handle an emergency. But she’s not sure she can handle long hours within arm’s reach of the most attractive man she’s ever met.

Predictably, they spend much of the trip bickering. Then, somehow, kissing. And it’s mind-blowing. Desperate-for-more, knows-she-shouldn’t amazing. When the chips are down, they make a great team—but when the crisis is over, will they retreat to their respective corners?

Warning: Contains two stubborn people. A smooth-talking lawyer who knows when to play rough, and a no-nonsense nurse who doesn’t know whether to kiss him, or kick him. Naughty sex in all the best positions—up, down, upside down, and backwards.

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I have not read any of the previous books in the Destination: Desire series, but I didn’t feel as though I was missing out on anything because Ensenada Escapade was a hoot! While I wouldn’t call the initial interactions between Ben and Nora witty banter – they were far too antagonistic for that – over the course of the novel, as they spent time together and found more common ground, their interactions became fun and flirty. That is, until they zoomed past flirty and found out how combustible their chemistry truly was.

 

We find out rather quickly that Nora’s tormentor, Ben, has had a crush on her for years and never moved past the playground-style antics for communicating it – rather than pulling her pigtails, he now pushes her buttons quite effectively. It’s a pattern of behavior that Ben wants to break because he wants Nora to see him as the man he is now and not her adolescent tormentor. When he overhears her agreeing to drive to Ensenada to rescue her younger sister, Hazel, after having pulled three days of 12-hour shifts, he blackmails his way into the car to insure that Nora makes it there and back safely. After witnessing them together for a short period of time, it’s easy to see why Ben has had such a hard time changing his antagonistic ways – Nora rises to the bait spectacularly. When Ben unexpectedly lays one heck of a kiss on Nora, the blinders to the sexual chemistry between them are ripped off and they find out they communicate physically so much better than they do vocally. Seriously, Nora and Ben are unbelievably compatible in bed and this makes for some scorchingly hot sex scenes. And things just keep heating up once they rescue Hazel and her three classmates, return them to school by way of the emergency room (oh yeah, that was a laugh and a half), and take the scenic route home back to Half Moon Bay. But when they get back, Nora has to decide if Ben is worth the risk to the heart she has guarded so fiercely.

 

Because we get to see the story from both Nora and Ben’s points of view, we’re privy to their inner thoughts, thereby letting the reader find out early that Ben’s been crushing on Nora since they were kids. Access to their inner monologues enables the reader to understand why Nora begins to soften toward Ben and then why she fights so hard against seeing where their relationship could go once they return home. The addition of the phone call from her mother underscores Nora’s reticence and made me want to smack her mother. The road trip itself was pure entertainment as Hazel and her classmates provided some much needed comic relief – and common ground for Nora and Ben to work together to corral the kids while they dealt with the Mexican police and an ER visit. Fortunately for Ben, the Kirby sisters have no problem getting involved in one another’s lives and both of Nora’s younger sisters helped Nora pull her head out of her arse and recognize that a future with Ben could be everything she wanted. Ensenada Escapade was a fun read and I hope to go back and read the previous books in the series, especially Nora’s older sister, Anne’s book.

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