Friday, November 26, 2010

Not Your Usual HARDWARE

Have you ever read one of those books that just seem to have everything it needs to be a perfect romance? Hardware by Sara Brookes was one of those books.
HardwareAllison is a regular at The Perfect Shot, a coffee shop on her way to work. Allison walks in one day to find the shop under new management, with a long line and only one employee behind the counter. Having barista experience, she steps in to help only to discover it’s their computer system that is slowing them down. She leaves her business card, recommending a fix to their current system, but not before she catches the eye of Patrick, one of the brothers who now own the shop.
Since I measure a book first by the hero, Patrick offers my first measure of perfection. He feels genuine, a dominate male with the manners of a gentleman. A story that brings to light the struggles of a man trying to merge society’s image of masculinity with his own desires while fighting against his father’s legacy of abuse is few and far between. Patrick’s struggle makes him real and his insecurities and fear of losing Allison lent depth to his character.
When Allison, a female computer guru in their small town, returns to install the new system at The Perfect Shot, Patrick is taken by her passion for her work. He imagines this passion could extend to other parts of her life and he hopes to be a part of it. When they go to the movies on their first date, Patrick tries to keep it light - priding himself on his ability to be a gentleman – but he can’t keep away from her. One flaming kiss in a dark theater and their romance ignites.
I need to feel the love to love the book and Brookes was able to pull it off masterfully. While much of the book is focused on their chemistry in bed, an equal amount of time is also spent on their evolving relationship. Allison is a strong woman with confidence in her field of expertise – computers, gaming and hardware – but lacks confidence as a woman. Imagine spending your life so heavily inserted into a male-dominated industry. Allison is often just one of the guys so she enjoys the different type of attention Patrick gives her.
Patrick may be a gentleman but he also prides himself on knowing how to please a woman. He tells Allison early in their relationship that his sexual preferences include bondage which intrigues her. She allows Patrick to guide her into a new world where she discovers a deeper passion than she’s ever dreamed possible. Comforted by his dominance in the bedroom, she becomes more secure in herself as a woman.  The light bondage theme is more tender than most books on the subject which would allow a reader new to the BDSM topic to explore without feeling overwhelmed, much in the way Allison did herself.
Hardware is firmly centered on the relationships of the characters which feel genuine and immediately draw the reader in. Brooke’s ability to draw pictures with her words and to stir emotions puts the reader directly into the story and forms a connection to her characters. As they struggle with coming to terms with their new relationship and taking their love to higher and higher levels, the reader can’t help but cheer them on.
Instead of all that awful holiday shopping at overcrowded stores, stay home and curl up with a cup of coffee and spend some time in Gatlin Falls, Virginia.  This book deserves a leisurely read.
RATING: Four Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can be found using the following link:
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