Although I knew form the previous book that the relationship between Akira and Dominick was only temporary, I have to admit to hoping that in each other they would find that missing piece that would make them truly happy. They were so good for each other and found healing in each other’s arms. Alas that was not meant to be.
Those familiar with the series know that there is something undefined that sparkles between Ford and Akira. She seems to have a love/hate relationship with him. So it should come as no surprise that in a ménage series, one of the men in Akira’s love triangle is Ford. What did, however take me by surprise was the lack of balance in this particular ménage. If there is one thing I’ve been able to count on in the previous books in the series was that the characters manage to balance each other out perfectly. Not so in this case. Sommerland paired up a barely healed (she is still damaged emotionally on so many levels) with two thugs. Granted, Ford is trying very hard to redeem himself, although how he thinks doing a scene with Akira’s roommate will seem the least bit redeeming is beyond me, but let’s face it… He’s a reformed thug in a suit. Cort on the other hand is a thug with a heart of gold and a soft side, but still a thug. How these two men in particular can be paired up with someone like Akira who is afraid of men, I’ll never know.
Unlike the other books in the series where the reader can see why the characters would choose to be together, I couldn’t see that here. The reason why Akira would agree to a ménage relationship isn’t clearly defined. I could see the reasoning for the relationship between Akira and Cort. The feeling and love between those two was palpable. You could feel it in every action, every word. But other than Ford being like a brother to Cort and Cort refusing to do what he has always done and stepped aside when they are both interested in the same woman, I could see no reason for Ford to be a part of the relationship. Sure, Akira is physically attracted to Ford, but it’s plain to see that no matter how often she says she cares for Ford, the one that truly owns her heart is Cort.
So although I enjoyed Delayed Penalty, I have to say that for the first time, it didn’t quite do it for me. I loved Cort and Akira. They were perfect together. Adding Ford to the equation just felt as if the author just needed to add a third person to make it a ménage. Not really necessary to the story and romance, he just happened to be single and convenient.
Reviewed by Iris for Cocktails and Books