Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LET ME BE THE ONE by Bella Andre

(The Sullivan's #6)
by Bella Andre
ARC Review
Published: November 23, 2013
Paperback Release: December 31, 2013, Harlequin HQN

My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️

After spending the last decade in Europe, sculptor Vicki Bennet is trying to get a foothold in the San Francisco art world. When she is cornered into a meeting with an important art critic who won't take no for an answer, she calls the only person she can trust to get her out of trouble. Her friend since childhood and the only man she trusts, Ryan Sullivan, pitcher, baseball star and ladies' man. 

Seeing one after the other of his siblings find happiness, Ryan Sullivan has become tired of his own empty hookups and longs for something more meaningful. He is on top of his career, has a great loving family and nothing to complain about, other than that he still has not been able to chase down that one person to make it complete. Until she calls out of the blue, she's in town and she needs him. Vicki.

Not about to squander the perfect opportunity, Ryan gladly jumps in to play Vicki's boyfriend. In fact, he feels quite comfortable in the role and if it keeps the creeps away from Vicki, all the better. The years since he saw her last have not diminished his feelings for her at all. But when he sees her accommodations, he immediately pulls rank and insists she move into his large home, where she will be more comfortable. 

After years of hiding her true feelings for Ryan, Vicki is terrified she will risk losing their friendship should she give in to the demands of her body and follow through on the urges the public displays of affection have lead to. But with Ryan's interests also obviously going further than friendship only, there is no holding back when the sparks finally flare up. Will the outcome have been worth the risk, or have they thrown away a valuable friendship??


Best Sullivan novel yet!!!

I have read all of the previous novels in this series, I've enjoyed them all, but this one stuck out. Perhaps I connected better with the characters, or maybe it was a matter of a slightly more believable scenario (other than the baseball star best friend, of course!!). It could be that this is the third book I've read in the past week and a half with friends turning to lovers, and I'm in the right frame of mind, but whatever it is,  the storyline struck a real chord with me.

Vicki, displaced often in her youth by way of the moving around of her military family, grew up never feeling quite certain of her place or her worth. Her one certainty was and remained her friendship with Ryan, who despite her moving around, stayed true via phone and email. She was swept off her feet right out of college by someone who played on her need for an anchor, but abused that need, leaving her with less. When Ryan re-enters her life, it turns out he is the one who was always her anchor.

Ryan had planned to make Vicki his much sooner, but was too late. His career took off and he revelled in what that brought him for a while, but that was only temporary solace. At the end of the day it left him feeling simply empty and alone. He craved the understanding and closeness he could see between his siblings and their loves and was pretty sure who could be that person for him. Vicki appearing in San Francisco was his opportunity, and once he had her in his sights, he was not about to let her go.

A wonderful gentle tentative exploration that turns combustible on a dime!! Written against the backdrop of the warm and welcoming Sullivan family, but without a lot of interference from them, this book was more of an independent novel than any of the previous ones. The focus was fully on the protagonists and their transition from friends to lovers, with some roadblocks to be dealt with along the way.

I love Bella Andre's writing, the romance is sweet, without being too cloying (a turn off for me); the sex is hot and sweaty, the way it should be (in my very humble opinion), and the dialogue flows like any normal conversation would, riddled with humour, sarcasm, innuendo and all other kinds of sub-language we use in our daily life. My favourite Bella book!!!!

✨A tight, spirited and sumptuous tale of transition.

**ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin HQN in return for an honest review.**


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