REVIEW: King & Queen of the Bouncy Castle (King & Queen series Book 1) by Diane Michaels
To jump inside a bouncy castle is to risk falling…
Living in a tiny house built for one, Caitlin only has room in her life for Mr. Right Now. Even though the bad boys she dates keep letting her down, they’re a whole lot more fun than…
Dan dreams of his happily ever after. One in which Caitlin has a starring role. But women like her don’t fall for awkward, Star Trek-quoting men like him.
After having done their best to avoid each other, they are forced together to deal with an increasingly problematic bouncy castle. Dan has the chance to prove himself the hero, but will he save the day? And will his efforts be enough for Caitlin to learn she has room in her heart for a nice guy like Dan?
Dear Ms. Michaels,
Since I read and enjoyed another of your novellas, “Watching the Grass Grow,” when I saw this series I decided to give it a try. To be honest, it took a little while for me to get into the story partly because it was initially hard for me to feel comfortable with the hero and heroine. Dan initially comes off as immature and Caitlin as judgmental. Then the big “duh” hit me as I realized, “yes Jayne that’s exactly how they’re supposed to be. Okay then, let’s see what she does with them.”
Initial impressions didn’t start Dan and Caitlin off to a good start when they met. Caitlin’s best friend married Dan’s brother but Dan was still in college (read immature as he’s two years younger than Caitlin) and Caitlin has often let looks over character sway her in her dating choices. Time altered not and now Caitlin is set in her “Dan avoidance” ways while socially awkward Dan still yearns for Caitlin to notice him. But by this point he’s realistic that this probably won’t happen. S’okay – he’s not going to go stalker or anything and accepts that friends might be the best he can hope for.
Caitlin usually tries to stay on the other side of the room from Dan though he’s stopped acting like an overactive and untrained puppy around her. What he does do is douse himself with Brut aftershave and spend lots of his time playing video games. While he’s not actually living in his parents’ basement, he’s not far from it. Meanwhile she’s living on her own in her tiny house and hyper independent though she admits she wasted five years of her dating life with a loser she should have been able to see through. Maybe she needs to get out of her house too, she acknowledges.
Helping arrange a children’s birthday party (they both love Dan’s niece and nephew) sets them on a collision course for a weekend that changes a lot. There’s a slight villain of the piece who gets Caitlin and Dan to begin to rethink themselves and each other. By the end of the story, they’ve both begun to change. What I ended up liking is that they do this not only for the other as much as on their own for their own benefit. Dan decides he’s going to get out of his social isolation and see where that takes him whether it impresses Caitlin or not. She realizes that her auto-choices in men needs a rethink independent of how it might affect Dan.
They also sit and talk about comfort levels, what makes a good first or second date. Caitlin also realizes that Dan’s explanation of his favorite Star Trek – The Next Generation episode has got her thinking about communication styles. Plus they see that they laugh, have fun and feel accepted by each other. There are slight hitches and half steps back along the way but this happens in a way that feels realistic and more believable than if everything was smooth sailing. I’m glad I read past my initial hesitation and look forward to the Roller Derby setting in book 2. B