Heavier and steamier than the cover implies, this was another solid addition to the series. I loved the hero, who is a genuinely good guy secretly yearning for love that he doesn’t believe he’ll ever have. And I also kinda loved the fact that both characters were older, with a successful, confident, 45-year-old heroine and an almost-40 hero. They’re both set in their ways and have established lives when they become neighbors, which adds another layer of interest to the story. I sincerely enjoyed a significant portion of this, though the middle dragged for me – I wanted them to have a conversation. Our hero’s secret was also not what I expected, and I’m going to spoil it in the next paragraph, because it’s sure to be triggering to some readers. For me, it was a unique component that worked, and I enjoyed the tension and level of depth that it created.
The story follows Maggie, a business consultant who has been called in to save a large family business. Maggie travels constantly for work, and is used to people hating her – she has been responsible for thousands of people losing their jobs, after all. That’s left her with a hard shell around her heart, and traveling around the country hasn’t made it any easier to form connections. So when Maggie’s newest neighbor turns out to be a sexy, muscled firefighter, she certainly doesn’t mind the view. And when Maggie discovers that Ryan is actually a giant teddy bear of a man, selfless and kind, she might just find her heart melting a little bit. But, unbeknownst to Maggie, Ryan has sworn off relationships. His father passed away from ALS, and there’s a fifty percent chance that he’s inherited the same death sentence. So they’re both commitment-adverse in their own ways, but it’s difficult to keep that in mind as sparks fly between them.
We find out about Ryan’s father early in the story, so I don’t mind spoiling that element. Plus, it plays a big role in the plot – he’s a man who craves love and family, but feels that he can’t have it. Ryan knows that he could get sick at any time, and he’s unwilling to bring someone else into that situation. That certainly added plenty of heartache to the story, as we see this kind, loving man removing himself from the dating pool and letting that secret eat away at him. Maggie makes his perfect partner, because she’s strong and independent – but certainly wouldn’t mind having someone in her life to brighten her days. The sexual tension between them is apparent from the start, and this was a lot spicier than I anticipated, even having read the previous book in the series. It easily reads as a standalone if you’re just jumping in. My only real issue was that I was frustrated by how unwilling Ryan was to have a conversation; it’s one thing to not want to get involved with someone, it’s another thing to lie and evade the truth. He also seemed more willing to give up Maggie than he was to take the test that would determine his fate, which didn’t sit right either. But I think Nix navigates the complexities of his potential diagnosis well, and I liked what it brought to the story. So this was a solid 4-star read for me: I liked the majority of it, but I can identify a few things that I wish were handled differently. I received an early copy, and am voluntarily leaving a review of this neighbors to lovers romance.
They’ve both got good reasons to fight falling in love, but they can’t resist the overpowering attraction pulling them together…
Wicked Witch. Ballbuster. The Terminator. Those are just a few of the nicknames I’ve earned in my professional life. As the executive consultant King’s Creamery has brought in to save them from financial ruin, I have to decide which employees get the ax. I can’t afford to make friends or get chummy with my new neighbors.
Try telling that to the enormous, hunky fireman next door who’s annoyingly determined to make friends with me. It’s not enough that the guy saves kittens from trees, tosses tree trunks around while wearing a kilt, and has a body that makes Thor look puny. He also works out shirtless in full view of my kitchen window. I might be secretly obsessed.
When a newspaper exposé turns the whole town against me, my hot fireman neighbor steps up to act as my protector, and my secret obsession threatens to turn into a case of serious feelings. But I can’t allow that to happen when I’m only here temporarily. I’ve got to keep my walls up to protect the heart everyone thinks I don’t have.
My new neighbor might act like she wants nothing to do with me, but I’ve seen her watching me from her window. I can tell she likes what she sees, and I love pushing her buttons—a little too much. I’ve got no restraint when it comes to this woman.
Now I’m screwed because I can’t get her out of my head. The more time I spend with Maggie, the more I suspect she might be the soul mate I’ve been waiting for all my life.
Of course I’d find her now when I can’t risk letting her get too close. If she does, she might discover the secret I’ve been keeping from everyone.
Soul mate or not, I’ve got to let her go. Even if it kills me.
PINT OF CONTENTION is book #3 in the King Family series set in the small town of Crowder, Texas, home of the King’s Creamery ice cream company. Each book is a standalone, full-length contemporary romance that follows one of the six King siblings as they find and fight for love.
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Wyatt King isn’t looking for love…because he’s already found it.
Too bad she’s off-limits. He’s not going to be the jerk who messes around with his best friend’s little sister, so he keeps his feelings bottled up and settles for acting as her protector instead.
Andie Lockhart’s dreamed of kissing Wyatt for as long as she’s known what kissing is. But since he’s dated nearly every woman in town but her, she’s long since accepted he’ll never see her as anything more than his best friend’s tomboy little sister.
When a real estate developer threatens the beloved old house Andie inherited from her grandmother, her white knight Wyatt swoops in with his handyman skills to save the day. But the more time they spend working on the house together, the harder it becomes to ignore their irresistible attraction.
Until the night an accidental kiss blows the lid off those feelings they’ve both kept buried.
After that, things between them get a lot hotter—and a lot more complicated. Forbidden love, broken promises, family secrets, and jealousy all threaten to tear them apart. If he intends to hold on to the woman he loves, Wyatt will have to put everything on the line.
My Cone and Only is book #1 in the King Family series set in the small town of Crowder, Texas, home of the King’s Creamery ice company. Each book is a standalone, full-length contemporary romance that follows one of the six King siblings as they find and fight for love.
About the Author:
Susannah Nix is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Texas with her husband, two ornery cats, and a flatulent pit bull. When she’s not writing swoony, relatable romances, she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, and watching British mysteries on TV. She is also a powerlifter who can deadlift as much as Captain America weighs.
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