Jul 06

Ain’t Doin’ It by Lani Lynn Vale Review



Coke Solomon has lived a full life.

He’s a retired army drill sergeant, so he is more than used to getting his way.

And if he can’t have it his way? Well, let’s just say that’s never happened before…

At least not until Cora Maldonado walks into his life, demanding he fall in line, or she’ll find a way to make his life hell.

He finds out fast that Cora marches to the beat of her own drum, and a lot of times that drum takes her farther away rather than closer to where he feels she needs to be.

He can’t stand it.

He wants her, and he has to have her.

It doesn’t matter that she’s twenty years younger than him, and has a father that would rather see him dead than have his baby girl anywhere near him. Nor does it matter that his ex-wife is highly offended that she’s been replaced with a much younger woman.

Despite the odds stacking against them, he’ll fight for what he wants.

His ex-wife, her father, and their age difference be damned.


I’m really enjoying Lani Lynn Vale’s Simple Man series with its pairings of everyday, regular guys with quirky, fiery heroines. What makes this particular series stand out is that it’s a second-generation series with one of the parties in each of the Simple Man couples is a child of one of the couples from Vale’s debut series, Freebirds. With that comes something that Vale’s devoted fans absolutely love: numerous appearances throughout these stories by favorite characters from many of her previous series, not just Freebirds, in these books. That creative element—the blending of the old and the new—coupled with Vale making her usual magic with sexy yet unconventional romances amid absorbing suspense plots, and this is a series that truly speaks to me as a Lani Lynn Vale fan. Although her books are all individual, standalone stories, they do, however, overlap and intertwine and crossover in such an innovative way that it makes the entirety of her collective works feel almost like a loosely connected, long-running serial or even, perhaps, a soap opera.

Ain’t Doin’ It features a hero who has sworn off women after a particularly nasty divorce. The owner of a salvage yard and towing company, Coke’s ex-wife is still in his life, taunting and torturing him and generally making him and their daughter miserable. Cora is younger than him, and she’s a bit of a loner. She moved to Hostel to be closer to her friends and a bit further away from her parents. Don’t mistake that as her having daddy issues, she most certainly does not, but her father, Gabe, an original hero from Vale’s first series, is a tad on the overprotective side.

Coke and Cora are neighbors, and from their first meeting, the sparks flew between them. As much as Coke tried to fight his feelings for Cora, it was a losing battle that he ultimately just surrendered to. Where he had been conditioned to accept volatility, verbal abuse, infidelity and constant arguing in his marriage, he got none of that from Cora. Despite her eccentric nature, she was kind, thoughtful and caring – things he’d never experienced from a woman before. A bit gruff and standoffish, Coke was a tough nut to crack, but Cora’s patient determination wore him down. She builds plenty of unique humor and fun, interesting details into this steamy romance along with an exciting suspense plot.

Ain’t Doin’ It is another stellar addition to this fantastic series from the talented Lani Lynn Vale. This love story was fresh and entertaining with an edge of intrigue and Vale’s wild sense of humor. Ain’t Doin’ It by Lani Lynn Vale gets five smooches from me!

~ Danielle Palumbo