Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Rating: 3
Eden Riley left her high school geek days far behind. Or so she thought. But when she returns to her hometown and comes face to face with the local heartthrob, sparks ignite like a chemistry set on crack. Super-smooth Nick Lancaster sets her nerves jangling and thrusts her libido into overdrive. But can the former geeky girl overcome her insecurities and jump his sexy bones?
Nothing suits former jock and debate-team star Nick more than sparring with the one-time nerd. He’s just itching to get up close and personal with her high-velocity curves and tangle with her on the nearest horizontal surface.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, all bets are off when Cupid draws back his bow and Nick has only twelve days to convince Eden she belongs with him, in his heart and in his bed.
I love being surprised, and this book surprised me.
Eden Riley, former high school geek and current florist, has had a crush on Nick Lancaster since their days on the high school debate team. Granted, they didn’t run in the same circles, but they always managed to push each other’s buttons. After high school, though, Eden went to college, moved to NYC, and tried to make a new life for herself. Nick never got his degree and ended up marrying his high-school sweetheart, only to watch that marriage end after eleven unhappy years. When Eden moves back home, Nick makes a point to get her back into his life. He just doesn’t know how. After all, he was a jock and she was a punching bag for many of the “cool kids” in school. But Nick is more than he seems, and he’s eager to see if Eden has thought of him as often as he thought of her.
On the surface, the plotline of Ms. MacKall’s book seems familiar. One’s hot, one’s not, but they always thought of each other as something special. Yet beneath the surface is a wealth of emotion and strong character development. Eden is sensitive about her weight, which is at a healthy size 14, but not what the modern ideal of beauty would classify as desirable. She remembers Nick as a popular kid, and believes him now to be a playboy, chasing skinny blondes and not looking for anything serious. Thus when he proposes they take advantage of the flower shop’s “Twelve Days of Love” Valentine’s Day gimmick, she figures he’s after one thing.
I loved Eden. She was incredibly real to me. Her insecurities, her fears, her hesitance to believe anyone would find value in her were very authentic, even when she was maddeningly convinced she isn’t attractive enough to hold Nick’s interest. Ms. McKall skillfully crafted Eden into a person rather than just a name on a page. Similarly, Nick’s interest in Eden, even with the cliché setup, managed to come across as fresh. His desire felt real, as did his pain at the thought that Eden’s insecurities would keep them apart.
This book was well-written, emotional, and oh yeah, hot as all get out. Do yourself a favor and put TWELVE DAYS OF LOVE on your credit card. You won’t regret it.
5 Tea Cups!