A Scandal in Scandinavia
#1.5, Capital Kisses
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She had no intention of letting romance interfere with the road trip of a lifetime.
Missy Karlsen is on a mission to remake herself after a quitting a toxic friendship, and a dream trip through Copenhagen, Olso and Stockholm is her chance to find her balance.
She’s not supposed to be knocked off it by the first man she sees when she lands in Scandinavia.
Rik Scholz thought the bus tour would be a routine undercover operation to find out if the tour leader was indulging in an illicit side hustle. He’s surprised to find himself wanting to spend more and more time with a lovely American who has a fascination for Scandinavian crime novels.
Rik can close his case, but he can’t get Missy to trust the feelings growing between them and since he has secrets of his own, he’s reluctant to push for more than he deserves.
Can they be more than a road trip romance or will Missy’s messy past and Rik’s secrets throw them off course?
For readers who love road trips, sexy times between older women and younger men, and a little heart-in-mouth intrigue with their heart eyes.
Sweet but short
I haven’t read the previous novel, but the defining conflict that shaped Missy’s decision to go on this trip is explained, several times, so I don’t think I missed anything that would affect this story.
I picked this up because it was set on a tour of Scandinavia, and because of that, I would’ve enjoyed more travel descriptions. As it was, it felt like they spent a lot of time on the tour bus, (and a lot of time with Missy sleeping on the bus!), though maybe that’s exactly what happens on these tours! There’s not much tension, as we already know who the bad guy is, and while there’s a little bit about a possible co-conspirator on the trip, there’s not really much time spent on that, either.
“She also wasn’t quite sure what she’d been thinking when she agreed to meet Rik for a ride. Whatever that meant. Past Missy knew what she would like for it to mean, but Present Missy tried to subdue Past Missy with a chokehold. No f***ing somewhat random strangers. She was done with that part of her life. Fizziness, okay. F***ing, not so much.”
At 35, Missy has realized that she’s not proud of the person she is, and this trip is meant to be a chance for her to find herself. Sleeping with Rik is exactly the kind of thing “old” Missy would’ve done, so she, understandably, blew hot and cold on her relationship with him. Rik, however, unlike the guys she’s used to, is very sweet, and is confused by Missy’s freezing him out. At the end of the story, though, I did believe that they had a chance for a HFN relationship, and I would’ve liked to see more of it.
Overall, I liked this, but it just felt compressed. I wished it had been a full-length novel instead. But still, I enjoyed what was there, so I’ll give this 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4.
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.