We met Carter and Vivienne in A Crazy Little Thing Called Love; Carter is the owner of the barbershop and Vivienne is the owner of the chocolate shop on the block where Simone and Roman’s businesses are. In ACLTCL, Carter was sniffing around Simone, much to Roman’s dismay. Simone and Carter build a friendship over time and I liked Carter’s easygoing and flirty ways. Even though we learned less about Viv in ACLTCL, I was looking forward to these two together. I had an idea of the direction Didn’t Mean to Love You was going to go with their romance…I was WRONG! Things are not always what they seem, lemme tell ya.
As we get deeper into who Viv and Carter are, I liked them both, yet they broke my heart in equal measure. Carter is the perfectly loyal son and big brother. Carter is also guarded and insecure. We learn that Carter’s easygoing ways, hide a multitude of hurt and uncertainty. Viv, on the other hand, lives her life full on…consequences and broken heart, be damned. Even though I wanted her to protect herself, I enjoyed Viv’s ability to be vulnerable regardless of her past scars.
When Carter and Viv finally stop circling each other and give in to their attraction, it’s oh-so-delicious. Like the best chocolate confection, I ate it all up and wanted more, more, more.
Then Carter had to go and ruin it for me. I couldn’t help but cry right along with Viv here, because my heart was as broken too.
In the end, it all works out — of course, but I was left feeling like Carter and Viv’s story wasn’t completely done at the end of DMTLY. Not so much because theirs didn’t end in an epilogue with a proposal, marriage and/or a baby. I felt this way more because Carter and Viv spent a good portion of their story not together together at all. That said, the happy-for-now ending made sense for Carter and Viv considering their journey.
Overall, a wonderfully real and emotional story that wasn’t anything like what I was expecting after finishing Roman and Simone’s book. As I read more by her, I’m loving CCJ’s ability to chuck the formula in her stories; each couple/book is its own unique awesome-sauce; thus, not predictable in the least.