According to Luke (Gospel of Love #1)

According to LukeBy Jackie Barbosa

Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

Luke Finley, the eldest of four brothers, is a committed serial monogamist. He’s all for one woman at a time, but not one woman forever. He knows a lifetime of fidelity just isn’t in his genes. But when his latest girlfriend kicks him out–of his condo–the woman he’s always thought of as “one of the guys” turns out to be the one woman who can rock his world and make him believe in forever.

Goodreads Summary

Luke’s a high-powered attorney living a high-class life with a plan that’s always worked: settle into a mutually beneficial arrangement with a beautiful woman for two years, spend six months building to a break-up and then move on.  Sometimes the women move in with him, but he never sees it as any big step towards anything permanent, so he’s a little surprised when his current roomie and bedmate Elaine dumps him six months early because he didn’t propose.  It seems that she thought moving in was some step towards an actual relationship.

Assuming he can count on his three brothers and their friend Lisa to take his side and agree he’s not commitment material when they get together for a beer, his youngest brother John sets Lisa up with him instead.  Luke is shocked to find that parts of him are suddenly very happy to notice she wants to be more than friends.  It only takes one night of blisteringly hot sex before he finds himself addicted to her – but then she’s the one who gets commitment-shy and he’s left to figure out how to think about someone other than himself and what he wants and what it’ll take to get Lisa to be with him.

I know this wouldn’t have worked as well as it did for me if it hadn’t been told in Luke’s first-person point of view.  I don’t even think I’ve ever read an erotic romance that has been narrated that way – I really enjoyed it.  It’s not necessarily a story that hasn’t been told many times before, but giving it that little twist really made it work.  I really don’t mean to be snarky here – honestly, this is the one time I’ll probably ever say that – but this somewhat short story seemed a little shorter because Luke thought about his penis a lot.  Not being a guy, I couldn’t tell you if it’s a thing but well, he did.

In spite of a lot of his emotional growth feeling like it was being forced along, I really liked Luke.  He thought there was something about himself that made him less worthy of commitment and he was keeping a heavy secret from his mother and brothers.  It made me want to smack him, but at least he thought he was doing it for the right reasons, reasons that I actually understood if not necessarily thought were smart.  He treated Lisa with a great deal of honesty and respect – he tried to give her what she asked for and for once, was proud and open with a relationship.

Undoubtedly because of the POV, Lisa was less of a presence and when she was seen through Luke’s eyes she was a sex goddess, a woman pulling away from him, a sex goddess and a good friend who was a sex goddess….  Her dialogue with him was warm and funny and she was obviously conflicted about Luke, but there was just less of her.  There were developments with her job that I thought were unnecessary, but I didn’t know enough of her character to even know whether or not they’d be believable.

There was a lot of very hot sex.  From Luke’s sole POV, it seems to read more explicitly, probably because he’s thinking like a guy.  Duh, I know.  But this is some wild, burn the sheets stuff because these two can’t keep their hands off of each other for hours.

My Summary: I purchased this on a recommendation and only because I knew it was going to be told from the male character’s point of view.  After reading it, I don’t think it would really have had the same emotional punch or been nearly as interesting had any other choice been made.  Even in a story this short, the author made me genuinely like Luke and really want him to figure things out and have his happily ever after.  I’m glad I took the chance on this and will be picking up the other brothers’ stories.

My Rating: B

Barbara

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