The Rub Down by Gina SheldonThe Rub Down by Gina Sheldon
Published April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Forbidden Romance
Format: eBook
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Dark room

Luke Stratton spends his days making clients moan in pleasure. His hands hold the ability to drive a woman to the brink of ecstasy. As a rule, his professional touch is the only thing he gives any female client. Until a Boston marathon trainee seeks his services.

Bare skin

One year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, Alexa Williams must overcome horrible memories of that day. She struggles to put her fear aside to meet the challenge of the run. A rigorous training schedule leaves her body aching, and with Luke’s help, Alexa finds soothing release at The Rub Down.

Healing Hands

Will Luke hold onto his rules and let Alexa go, or will they be able to cross the finish line together?

Luke Stratton is a masseur and the owner of Boston’s high-end spa The Rub Down. He has his hands on beautiful women day in and day out, and to avoid scandals, he and his business partner swore never to date any clients. But Luke never felt attracted to any of his female clients until he met Alexa Williams, who needs his therapeutic help for prepping for the Boston Marathon.

Will Luke be able to keep his hand off her?

What I loved about this book:

  • The idea of it…

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The flat storyline
  • The boring characters…
  • The lack of context and side-character evolution

I stumbled onto this book because one of the authors I followed on Goodreads had rated this as a five-star read – and since the plot sounded interesting, I though why not?

While the opening of the book was pretty funny, the rest of the book really couldn’t keep me entertained. The pace was excruciatingly slow and with very little action. The storyline remained quite flat all along the book because it only evolved around Luke and Alexa waiting for her to run the Boston Marathon to finally get it on.

You would have thought that the fact that Luke and his business partner had a “no-dating-clients” rule would have made the storyline a bit more complicated, but it the end it came way too easy. Not much happened to really get a rise out of me. There was a small twist in the plot around the 80% mark, but it the issue disappeared as fast as it came up.

I also disliked the fact that there was only very little background on the main characters and even less on the side characters. That’s perhaps one of the reasons why I couldn’t really find the connection between Luke and Alexa – it was insta-lust that slowly transitioned into something more. Well, Luke and Alexa had some cute moments and interactions, but it wasn’t enough to make the bond come to life in my imagination.

Everything evolved around the Boston Marathon, and why Alexa is so insistent on wanting to run it. She wasn’t able to get to the finishing line the year before, as the Marathon was victim of terrorist attacks – so now she wants to put her fears behind her and do that thing. But that whole (non-)issue was just way too drama-laden and occupied way too much space in The Rub Down. I was so annoyed at how big a deal the main characters made out of it!

Last but not least, I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing either, because the author has a tendency to call out one too many details in a way that makes the character who is narrating sound slightly weird. It just didn’t flow so well and feel very natural.

Anyway, I’ll keep this review short, The Rub Down unfortunately wasn’t for me, because it deeply lacked in terms of storyline and in terms of the characters.

Detailed Rating
2 Stars
2.5 Stars
3 Stars
All the feels
1.5 Stars
Overall: two-stars