In this sequel, Hagen (Your Tempting Love, 2017, etc.) focuses on another member of the Bennett family as Alice tries to snag her childhood crush once and for all.
“From carbs to sugar to Nate, I’ve always liked things that are bad for me,” says Alice. She’s adored the older Nate Becker since they were kids, but their five-year age gap and, later, his rigorous travel schedule as a TV producer nixed any chance of a relationship. Now, she’s a successful restaurateur, and he’s back home in San Francisco for three weeks, just enough time to help Alice pitch her new venture to the show Delicious Dining and to get under her skin. The mutual attraction is palpable, but Nate’s moving to London for work, and thanks to his twice-divorced mother, he’s wary of relationships. Given the circumstances, they agree to keep their emotions in check. In the realm of romance, it is unorthodox for both leads to be so candid about their feelings (without acting on them) so early on, but here, it totally works. It allows for even more shameless flirtation, and their honesty is justified by history, including cute flashbacks like the time Nate salvaged Alice’s prom night after she caught her date with another girl. But in due time, Nate’s charisma helps Alice seal the TV deal. It’s time to give dating a try, and hopefully his fear of commitment, her dread of being hurt, and their careers will not get in the way. Admirers of the first book’s pairing should be similarly drawn to the appealing Nate and Alice. She’s a savvy businesswoman, and he’s a perfect gentleman who handles plumbing emergencies, buys lavender essential oil to help Alice sleep, and displays a penchant for dirty talk. Fans should also appreciate nods to the rest of the Bennett clan: this tale is set a couple years after the first volume. Now Ava and Sebastian have 2-year-old twins, Christopher and Max, and Pippa’s remarried with a stepdaughter. Like the preceding installment, this engaging book works as a stand-alone but should also bring new readers into the Bennett fold.
A sexy, satisfying romance.