Review

I received an ARC of this book from Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review and as part of the book’ blog tour promotions.

This book incorporates a few well-loved tropes in the world of romance novels. However, they were incorporated so well that any reader can’t help but enjoy every single page. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read the first two books in this series. While this book reads as a standalone, I have to say that I missed out on two books that I would undoubtedbly have enjoyed as much as I enjoyed this book.

I loved this book for many reasons. First, there’s the sibling’s-best-friend/best-friend’s-brother trope. The hero and heroine have always been in each others lives, even if they were always in each other’s faces. The opposites-attract trope is also here. We have a serious and responsible hero and a heroine who’s the most unlikely woman for the kind of man that the hero is.

I loved both main characters because even if they were each other’s opposite, they were very well-written and consistent. The chemistry is evident from the get go. I also liked the kind of people they were individually. The author did a wonderful job in writing a smooth sailing story that seamlessly flows. I will definitely go back and look for books 1 and 2 as well as wait excitedly for book 4 of this series.

Excerpt

Gracie had given up on sleep and crept downstairs to sit in the bay window of Shane and Cecilia’s new house. She hadn’t wanted to stay, insisting that the couple should be alone on their first night, but they’d refused to listen. Seeing how Mitch and Maddie stayed as well, Gracie didn’t have a great argument for going to a hotel.

            She sighed. Her body was exhausted but her mind wouldn’t let her rest, so here she was, in the dark, amidst half-empty boxes.

            The city skyline was lit up, still awake and alive despite the late hour. Back home it would be pitch-black and dead silent, the sky filled with nothing but a million stars. She stared up into the sky, gray with light pollution, and missed the comfort back home.

            Tonight had confused her. She’d kept her promise and been nice to James. Some of their antagonism seemed to have broken. She should be thankful. But she wasn’t.

            And the thing she hated most was that she couldn’t stop thinking about him. She’d been lying in bed, staring at the newly painted ceiling, unable to stop replaying every interaction she’d had with him today. Sure, she focused on the things that annoyed her—like how he’d had ahi tuna for dinner and berries for dessert, while she’d gorged on molten lava cake—but she didn’t like how she couldn’t stop.

            “I thought I heard you,” Cecilia said, and Gracie about jumped out of her skin.

            “Shit!” she exclaimed, looking over her shoulder. “You scared me.”

            “Sorry.” Cecilia came over to the window seat alongside her. “Shane says he’s going to put a bell on me so he knows I’m coming.”

            “I guess all those years of ballet make you sneaky,” Gracie said, scooting into the corner to give her friend more room.

            Cecilia laughed. “I guess so.”

            Gracie gave Cecilia a sly smirk. “Although, if Shane doesn’t know you’re coming, he’s doing something wrong.”

            A wistful, love-soaked expression floated over Cecilia’s face. “Nothing wrong there. The man is a deviant.”

            Not surprised at all, Gracie grinned. “You lucked out, Ce-ce. I wonder how the professor got so straitlaced.” She cringed. Why on earth had she brought him up?

            Cecilia cocked her head to the side. “What makes you think James is straitlaced?”

            She blew out a long breath. Stupid. “Please. Look at him. He’s wound so tight he’s bound to be a dud in the sack.”

            “His ex-girlfriend looked more than willing to take him back,” Cecilia said. Gracie shrugged, turning her attention to the window, silently cursing herself for bringing up James. The image of him smiling down at the pretty Lindsey irritated her in a way she refused to contemplate. “The skyline sure is pretty. So different from Revival, don’t you think?”

            Cecilia was silent for a long time before she sighed. “Gracie, why don’t you just admit it?”

            “Admit what?” Her heart rate kicked up a beat.

            “You’re attracted to James.” Cecilia’s words were blunt, hard blows to the chest.

            Gracie’s head snapped back and she scowled. “I am not!”

            She wasn’t. He bothered her. Everything about him irritated her. She scowled at Cecilia. “Don’t confuse tension with attraction. It’s not like you and Shane.”

            “But it is something. Come on, admit it. You don’t think he’s the least bit sexy?”

            Gracie could only stare at her, openmouthed. “Of course not.”

            Yes, she conceded that he was quite good-looking, and he looked pretty hot tonight, but he wasn’t her type at all. And he was not sexy.

            Cecilia shrugged. “I think you’re lying to yourself. You like him, Gracie. You’re just too stubborn to admit it.”

            “How could you possibly think that? Can you even imagine?”

            “Let me ask you this: How long after meeting James did you break things off with Charlie?”

            Gracie couldn’t believe this. She shook her head. “They have nothing to do with each other. I broke things off with Charlie because I was tired of coasting. Things had gotten routine and comfortable. It’s just coincidence the events coincided.”

            “Hmm . . .” Cecilia’s voice trailed off, and she tucked her long legs underneath her.

            “What?” Gracie asked, cringing at the defensiveness in her tone.

            Cecilia smoothed down her tank top. “When’s the last time you went on a date?”

            Gracie blinked, then blinked again. “I went out with the new football coach.”

            “But you turned down a second date.”

            “So?”

            “I’m just saying, you haven’t gone out with anyone since you met James, and that seems a bit odd.”

            “I live in Revival, where I’ve known everyone since birth. New people are hard to come by, but I’ve dated plenty. I just haven’t met anyone who interests me. Simple as that.” Gracie watched the lights blinking on the top of the John Hancock building. There was no relationship between her dry spell and James. None at all. She’d never been great at commitment. Unfortunately, she was like her father that way.

            “What about sex?” Cecilia continued her probing, looking for meanings where there weren’t any.

             “What’s that?” Gracie laughed, meaning to sound breezy, but instead the sound came out a bit choked.

            “You know Charlie would take care of any itch you have, and you’ve told me often enough he’s great in bed, so what’s stopping you?”

            “Not James.” Gracie frowned, blowing out a deep breath. “I don’t want to fall into that pattern again. Is that so hard to understand?”

            “Nope, not at all.” Cecilia looked at her, her face soft in the lights of the window. So different from all the hardness she used to carry around with her. “I guess I’m wrong.”

            “You are.” She was.

            Gracie did not have the hots for the professor. She thought of the flare of awareness she’d experienced in the closet when he’d stood so close to her. The way she’d dug her nails into her palm when he’d smiled at his exgirlfriend. The idea that kept slipping into her mind of them in bed together, maybe even right now.

            No. She refused to even think about that. Absolutely refused.

Reading Order [book-series]

Book 1 – Take A Chance On Me

Book 2 – The Winner Takes It All

Book 3 – The Name Of The Game

Book 4 – As Good As New

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