Advanced Reading Copy
Published: October 19, 2013, Melanie Codina
My rating: 5 of 5⭐️
For most of the five years after the death of her husband, Allie Baxter had steered clear of her friends and family. Too raw and guilt-ridden to be faced with their unwavering love and support. But she is back home now and quickly absorbed back into the fold, keeping up her quick and ascerbic banter with her soul-sister Gillian and their circle of close friends, almost like old times. Except for the one new addition, Mike Lawson, Gilly's one-time date and Allie's new neighbour. Single father, funny, attentive, hot as hell and, oh yeah, widowed as well.
Mike Lawson had managed to make a good life with his son. Not that it had been that easy at first, but eight years allows for a decent amount of healing. Not since his wife had he been as interested in the opposite sex as he was in Allie Baxter though. Prickly and sarcastic most of the time, she was also gorgeous, loyal, funny and so much fun to mess with. Of course he was biased since he was pretty much in love with her, not that Allie was ready for that.
The fact that Mike was able to stir feelings in Allie that had been quietly dormant for five years, really pisses her off!! She isn't stupid, she knows Mike feels more than just friendship for her, but she is not ready to let go of her husband........or her guilt. But Allie can't deny that each time he is more and more difficult to resist. Damn her hormones for waking up!
Bit by bit, Mike sees cracks appearing in the walls that Allie so carefully has erected, and everytime he sees a new crack, he makes sure to wedge it open a little more. Not too much, he is patient. Just enough so he doesn't lose any carefully gained ground. He WILL have her, and she wants him too, he can tell. She just is not ready to admit it, but is getting there and when she finally lets him in, the reward will have been worth his patience. He knows it.
Another gorgeous, funny, engaging story you just don't want to stop reading, even after you see the words THE END, by Melanie Codina.
I am now so hooked on this author, this series, this group of characters, I couldn't bear to miss one book. So rich and diverse in personalities, compelling in context and with characters nicely fleshed out and completely and utterly human and fallible.
Melanie writes with a bite and humour to give an edge to the sometimes heavy substance tackled, without making light of the seriousness of the subject at hand. A humour that sits well with me, an edge of sarcasm and an ad lib quality that reminds me of the back and forth I enjoy with my (many) siblings.
Melanie's 'men', although diverse, have some qualities in common like a fierce protectiveness for their women-folk, which doesn't seem to interfere with their (good) sense of equality and their healthy respect. Smart men!! For the most part.... A man wouldn't be a man if his Neanderthal didn't make an appearance from time to time!
Melanie's 'women' are no shrinking violets, awaiting rescue. Instead, they are overall self-sufficient (sometimes overly so) and capable individuals who know how to be friends as well as lovers, and are not afraid to dole it out or take it as is necessary. But honestly, what woman doesn't ever have a little silly or emotional 'episode', right? Right!
I loved this book, and it's predecessor LOVE REALIZED, and will whole-heartedly recommend them. Simply very good books, no ifs, ands or buts.....
✨Yes, moving; Yes, feisty; Yes, freaking hot; And yes, 5 pure Stars✨
***ARC received in return for an honest review.***