The second time’s the charm – for this couple, AND for me with this book. I’m new to the series, so I was expecting a sweet cinnamon roll hero (as the series title describes) and a rom com (as the cover implies), so I was… taken aback… by the level of hostility between these two. There’s a TON of bitterness between them, some hot hate sex early on, and plenty of proof that the opposite of love is indifference, not hate. So I set the book aside for a few days, recalibrated my expectations, and went in fresh. And it was pretty great once I knew what I was in for. Whitney does an excellent job of showcasing just how deep the feelings run between these former high school sweethearts, and my heart HURT for them and the time they’d lost. Insecurities and misunderstandings got in the way the first time around, but they are clearly two people who have used their time apart to learn and grow – and they’ve never forgotten how good they were together.
The story follows Faith, a woman who runs an educational nonprofit that’s in need of immediate funding, or it won’t be able to operate. And who is in charge of the grant money she desperately needs? None other than the love of her high school life, Leo. Back in the day, Faith was the one with money – she comes from a wealthy family, and it was always a sticking point in their relationship. Leo never felt like he was good enough for her family, and one emotional betrayal from Faith seemed to prove him right. Twelve years later, Leo is now the one with the financial security, and it’s a balm to his pride, even if seeing Faith again opens up that old wound that never healed. They both hate the way things ended, and they both kinda hate each other for the way they reacted, so the years apart have done no favors to their relationship. But working together brings reminders of the way they were, and that might just be a problem.
So I was expecting a rom com with a sweet guy, and this is… definitely not that, lol. It’s got some lighthearted moments, but it’s actually very angsty and the hurt between Faith and Leo runs deep. They haven’t seen each other in over a decade, and they’ve both grown and matured in a way that makes the loss bittersweet. They needed those years apart to become the people they are now, but they still have the strongest of connections between them. I really wasn’t sure that I liked this for awhile – Leo is just SO angry and bitter – but it was obvious that Whitney is a skilled writer who knows the subtleties involved in rebuilding this relationship. Second chance lovers are likely to appreciate the slow build in love and intimacy. Ultimately, I liked this quite a bit once I altered my expectations. The only thing that continued to bug me were the repeated references to the sexual experiences they’ve had in their time apart – not something I love to be reminded of during steamy scenes, for example. Beyond that, this was very solid, and I would not hesitate to read more from the series or Whitney – it easily reads as a standalone as well. All in all, not what I was expecting in any way, but certainly a good read. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this second chance romance.
Faith Fox grew up rich, but she burned that bridge—and her trust fund along with it—after her parents drove away the only boy she ever loved.
Leo Morales grew up poor, and although he carved out a fulfilling career for himself, he never forgot the humiliation he endured at the hands of Faith Fox’s family.
Then Leo’s offered a job in his hometown, and he finds himself in an unexpected position: he’s now the one with the money Faith needs to keep her non-profit afloat.
The pair reluctantly agree to work together, but their unresolved issues (and their unquenchable lust) keep boiling over—and that’s before they get stuck in the woods with only one tent, where they discover that second chances can be twice as hot.
About the Author:
Sara Whitney writes sexy, sunny contemporary romance that’s unforgettable and unputdownable. A multiple award-winning author, Sara worked as a print journalist and film critic before she earned her Ph.D. and landed in academia. She’s a good pinball player, a great baker, and an overly excitable freelance TV writer who probably has an opinion about your favorite show.
Sara lives in Illinois surrounded by books, cats, and half-empty coffee cups. Keep up with her latest news by subscribing to her mailing list at sarawhitney.com/subscribe or join her Facebook reader group at facebook.com/groups/saras.squad/
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