It is hard for me to admit defeat and say I couldn't finish this book.
This book has all the spice that would appeal to me; an smart heroine who reads and likes books, a tortured male hero and the premise of getting these two into bed. However, I found the execution lacking. Pippa at first sounded smart and terribly naive, I thought it would pass but it only intensified to the point where I started thinking 'How can a girl so smart be soo stupid?" I thought Maclean would finally dispel the veil of sexual intercourse for Pippa by having her speak to one of the professional girls down at the gambling club but the author doesn't and it is because the entire story hinges on Pippa's ignorance and having Cross ease her into sex. It sounds interesting but when you spent 54% of the book seeing the heroine stumble and fumbled for answers that are as clear as day and as easy to find as dust and lint on her dress it gets tiring.
There was no sexual chemistry between Pippa and Cross, she is always oblivious to his sexual advances and sometimes reads like a 13 year old girl. In fact, her whole relationship and "research" with Cross started to come across as creepy as Pippa did not know what she was asking and therefore she could get in too deep without meaning to. Keeping a girl in the dark when her reputation is hinging on the balance is not cute or comedic, it is cruel and frustrating. Cross and Pippa's interactions begun to read force, their supposed "chemistry" felt awkward.
I'm so upset, I really wanted to like this book.