I’ve been going back and forth on my rating for this one, because it took a WHILE before it drew me in. Had I not committed to reading an ARC, I’m not sure that I would’ve stuck with it – but it improves significantly once you settle into the characters and the writing style. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a romantic suspense novel that features two workaholic accountants (one of which is kind of an introverted cat lady), but that’s exactly what this is. It’s half serious, half sexy, with characters who are reserved during the day but heat up the bedroom at night. An interesting combination, right?
The story follows Alice, a bookkeeper who works on smaller accounts. She didn’t grow up with the best family, so she has some self-esteem issues and keeps mostly to herself. When she notices some discrepancies in her clients’ records, she looks into it and finds herself meeting Derek, an accountant from a prestigious firm. While things start out all business between them, it’s not long before they’re spending time together for personal reasons. They soon find themselves stirring up trouble that neither one anticipated, which is made even more complicated by the personal connection they’ve developed.
Something about the writing style took a long time to grow on me – I’m not sure if it’s the characters themselves (who are reserved and slightly boring individuals), or if it was the formal feel. Either way, it took some time for me to get into this, but I ended up enjoying it. There are still things I would change – Alice’s self-esteem issues grated after awhile, her assumptions about Derek were never fully addressed, and their connection was too business-focused for me to believe they’re in love at the end – but there was a lot that I liked. Enough that I would probably check out the next book in the series to see if that one works better for me. Herkness writes intimacy well (and I’m not just talking about the numerous steamy scenes), and I grew to like both Alice and Derek by the end. It’s got hints of suspense that don’t overwhelm the story, adding in a little action to keep things moving forward. Ultimately, this lands firmly between 3 and 4 stars for me – it didn’t blow me away but I liked it. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this serious, steamy romance.
She’s small-town business. He’s Manhattan high finance. Together they ignite in a novel about unexpected love and danger by Nancy Herkness, award-winning author of the Wager of Hearts series.
New Jersey bookkeeper Alice Thurber has a carefully constructed risk-free life. Everything in perfect balance. Until little discrepancies show up in her clients’ accounts. Most would ignore it. Not the impeccably precise Alice. In desperation she reaches out to a high-powered consulting firm for help. New York City’s movie-star handsome financial wizard Derek Killion reaches back. All he has to do is smile and Alice’s fantasies stir. A girl can dream, can’t she?
A cofounder of KRG, Derek’s promise is to advise small-business owners in trouble. He never guessed that assisting the diffident but sexy Alice would be so captivating and make it so hard to keep his desires in check. But just as intriguing is the alarming puzzle behind the computer glitch that’s unsettled his client. As the investigation unfolds, they must also confront an attraction too palpable to ignore. Every new dark twist they follow is only bringing them closer together—in passion and in danger.