Advanced Reading copy
Originally Published in e-book: February 2012
Published: September 24, 2013, Harlequin MIRA
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐
As one of the youngest of the Sullivan clan, Sophie and her twin sister Lori, being the only two girls, always fell under the protection of their six big brothers. Sophie was supposed to be the quiet and 'nice' twin, at least that's how everyone still saw her. But she had enough of being 'nice' and invisible, especially to Jake, who had started coming around as a friend of the boys since she was five and she has been head over heels for him all of those twenty years. No more nice for Sophie.
Jake McCann is a good friend to the Sullivans and since he owns a series of pubs, he has offered to help out manning the bar at the first Sullivan wedding. He has virtually been part of the family since he was a young boy, since his own home life was not the greatest. He had been immediately drawn to his friends' youngest sister Sophie, and that had not changed after all these years. In fact, it has been all kinds of torture, but he would never act on it, he never was and never would be good enough for her.
When Jake sees Sophie all decked out at the wedding and attracting all kinds of attention, he can barely hang on to his resolve not to act on his feelings for her. And Sophie is not helping. In fact, she follows him home and proceeds to annihilate any resolve he had. All he sees, feels, hears and tastes is her.........that is, until reality creeps back in, and panic wraps itself around his throat. Sophie's feelings of euphoria descend rapidly into utter despair, when she finds herself abandoned without a word. These are her worst fears come true, she threw caution to the wind, put herself on the line, and lost, big time.
Sophie can't sit around and lick her wounds for too long, she is not the poor little wallflower her family takes her for. So before too much time has gone by, Sophie finds herself on Jake's doorstep once again. This time however, with a firm plan in hand, one where she keeps all control. Except, when Jake opens the door and hears her out, he is quickly able to turn the tables on her again, but this time he is playing to keep her, forever.
Such a sweet story with that little bite of heat, to give it a tad more interest!
I enjoy all the books in the Sullivan Series. All set within a warm family dynamic, with enough sibling rivalry and bickering to make it realistic, but a strong and solid basis of love that will always be enough to drag the family through whatever they encounter.
Each book can be read as a standalone and they need not be read in sequence necessarily, but of course it does add to the reading pleasure if you do.
Jake and Sophie have been eyeing each other since they were kids. Each thinking themselves not good enough for the other, for different reasons, although of course equally dismissible. The biggest real obstacle they face is the family. For Jake it would be dating his best friend's little sister, which apparently is a big no-no with guys. For Sophie it is the family's disapproval of Jake, given his 'fast and loose' history with women. And I would think for both it would be the risk that if things were not to work out between them, friendships and family dynamics could become quite awkward. But the reasons they make up in their minds are just bad inner dialogue and it shows, because once Jake knows what goes one in Sophie's mind and vice versa, the issues seem to dissolve between them and the only thing remaining seems to be family. Ahhhh, but then comes the matriarch, who keeps a quiet but very close eye on all of her chicklets and in a single sentence is able to break through thick layers of tension and neutralize the situation. I love strong but silent mother types!! I wish I was one.....strong I am, silent.......not so much.
As we know and love of Bella Andre, she writes about romance with smouldering heat. A strong sensual, sexual pull you always seem to feel between the characters, and although not graphically descriptive, her love scenes are erotic, sultry and sweet. The women have a backbone and are rarely, if ever, pushovers and the men, although Alpha in nature, generally have a wide soft streak for the women they care about. Wonderful, gentle reading.
✨A spark sets off a firestorm, when 'Nice' turns naughty.✨
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA in return for an honest review.**