Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox
My favorite bit about Sean: his stuttering gets worse when he’s nervous. When he’s large and in charge in the board room of the company he founded, he speaks flawlessly. His employees have no idea he stutters. But get him around his old high-school crush, Katie Clark (by the way, the hard k sound is the hardest one for him to say without stammering), and he clams up to spare his pride, because in her presence he can hardly get out a few syllables without a stammer.
Flirting with Disaster opens with Sean and Katie in a car together headed out of state on a case for the security firm they both work for. It’s Katie’s first time out in the field, and also her first time alone with Sean. These few lines set up the conflict nicely. The first is from her pov, the second from his:
She’d tried being nice to him, reminding him they’d gone to high school together and sat by each other in Algebra II and Trig. She’d tried ignoring him. She’d tried glaring at him and even, one embarrassing day, flirting with him. Nothing made a difference.
He didn’t speak to her. Not at all, not ever , not under any circumstances. It was extremely weird, and it drove her nuts.–Kindle Locations 115-118.
If he concentrated on work, he didn’t have to think about the fact that by refusing to talk to her, he was sparing his pride at the cost of treating a very nice woman like shit. He concentrated hard.–Kindle Locations 476-478.
The conflict was lovely. The romantic plot hooked me, and the external plot, which involves a mystery Katie and Sean must solve, had me turning the pages even when the romance wasn’t front and center. The stuttering was handled respectfully and competently. Sean was so believable as a romantic hero and a man who has struggled all his life with a speech disorder.
I gave this one 5 stars. Click on the image to check it out on Amazon. Ruthie’s the bomb. Happy weekend! Hug someone you love. Read a good book.