(Jackson Girls' Night Out #0.5)
by Victoria Dahl
Release: July 1, 2014, Harlequin HQN
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
"Some men are off-limits. Close friends of your ex-husband, for instance. Or firefighters who work in the same building as you. Yet despite her best judgment, librarian Lauren Foster can't help noticing fire captain Jake Davis whenever he jogs by…shirtless. They've always been friends, but all it takes is one not-so-chance meeting at a local bar and one not-quite-innocent walk home to ignite a fierce, uncontrollable desire between them.
Widower Jake Davis has tried to ignore the spark he feels whenever Lauren's around, but once he sees her curves in a little black dress, there's no turning back. No matter how often she says she's all wrong for him, the sexy, outspoken divorcée is driving him wild in the best possible way. Maybe she's just blowing off steam. Or maybe he can convince her to fan these flames into something deeper, hotter and truer than they ever expected…."
Hurray!!! Let's hear it for mature protagonists!!
Totally excited to see Victoria Dahl tackle a hot and blistering, albeit way too short, sexy story about real adults who have 'paid their dues' in responsibilities and raising families and have finally discovered that life isn't over yet!!
The story introduces Lauren and Jake, who have known each other for donkey's years, have noticed each other, but because of their life before they ended up single, feel they need to keep that same distance. Except one night they don't, only to find that the superficial attraction that was always shimmering on the perifery was promise of an intense chemistry, full of surprising depth and revealing the other in an even more attractive light.
The slight initial hick-ups and uncertainties that come with the ripple effect of reinventing an existing relationship, are all but forgotten with the promise of an unexpected future.
This novella could have been a lot longer if it had been up to me. That would definitely not have been a hardship. I think a bit of story was left on the table, but since this is the beginning of a new series, I'll keep my fingers crossed that we will see more of Lauren and Jake, because that was a delicious appetizer!
Victoria Dahl has captured both the boldness and self-acceptance that comes with age, as well as the tentave reach for a new shot at love.
✨Short, sweaty and satisfying!!✨
**Copy provided in return for an honest review**