Cherry Girl is a spin-off of The Blackstone Affair Series by Raine Miller. That series, especially the first one, Naked, is one of my favorite series. Cherry Girl features Neil and Elaina, characters that were in the Blackstone Affair Series, but quite honestly, I remembered very little about them beyond their names and that they worked for Ethan Blackstone. Cherry Girl takes place in England and the characters are British (though they seemed a bit more Americanized, I guess because they are written by an American.) The book can absolutely stand alone, but ties in to the Blackstone Affair Series nicely as a prequel.
Neil didn’t have much of a family, and at 17, he was basically taken in by his best friend, Ian’s, family. Ian’s little sister Elaina is seven years younger, she had a major crush on Neil since she was ten. Basically, nobody would ever live up to her dreams of Neil. Even when she was a young teen as he shipped out on a tour of Afghanistan.
“Be really careful over there, Neil. I want you to come back.”
He had feelings for her as well, but she was too young.
“Don’t you ever change, Cherry Girl. Stay how you are right now. You’re utterly perfect“
As tragedy struck her life, Elaina acted out and had been a rebellious teen who was into boys, booze and drugs while he was away.
When Neil came home on leave and Elaina is 18 though, things really changed for them, and there was no going back.
“Please don’t make me wait for you any longer,” he pleaded. I can’t do it, Cherry. I just can’t.”
Neil is kind of a wimp, despite being a soldier. When they finally make love, here is what Neil thinks (really? do guys think like that?)
“She’d given me the most beautiful gift”
Then here, I got close to throwing in the towel:
“I held on to my Cherry Girl. I held her up against me heart, in that little rowboat on the idyllic lake, at the splendid English Estate that felt like something out of a Dickens novel, and knew pretty much what complete happiness felt like for the first time in my adult life.”
He was just a little too schmaltzy romantic to me.
The couple was perfect. There was no doubt of their love or their future, until POOF! It was all gone because of one bitchy move. Elaina was a total idiot!
Really? You’ve loved someone for years and you just walk away, cut off all contact, with no discussion at all the night before the man ships off to war??? Who the fuck does that!?
Cut to 6 years later and they are both working at Blackstone Securities. This is when the book picked up and I really began to enjoy it. Neil manned up a little, and I enjoyed them as a more mature and somewhat jaded couple. While I thought they got over their years apart way too quickly, I still enjoyed the second half.
- Neil is a Jimi Hendrix fan and the lyrics are used in the book!
- The cover is gorgeous.
- The glimpses at Ethan …sigh…
- The fact that Elaina wasn’t a sweet innocent virgin.
- Great sex. Raine is good at that (except I hate the British terms ‘spunk’ and ‘quim’ but I’m used to it now from her).
- The tragedy that struck Elaina…I mean, I didn’t like it, at all…but I like the unique way it was brought into the story, especially the fact that it was a British person.
- Switching points of view was clear and easy.
- Neil was a PUSSY! Ugh! He was a girl, and an overly dramatic, cheesy romantic one too.
- Seriously Elaina? you’ve loved him your whole life and you go and do THAT?
- And you- you fucking wuss Neil…seriously? You let that shit fly???
- Elaina’s family. WTF? Make her see the truth despite what she says.
- Neil – spying from the bushes? Really??? You are a complete pussy.
- The formatting was like triple spaced in my copy gifted from Raine via Amazon and I couldn’t change it.
Rating: 3.75 stars 4 heat
I love Raine Miller as both a person and an author. I still love the Blackstone Affair series, but I find her male POV’s a little too desperate and over-the-top in needy love. I love the guys through the women’s eyes, but when we are in their head, they seem like overly in-love pansies. (But really horny ones, that part is good.) Cherry Girl just had too much wimpiness on Neil’s part, and too much stupidity and misunderstandings wasting too many years of their lives. If you love someone so much, you FIGHT for them!
Purchase Cherry Girl by Raine Miller