Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.
This was a pretty decent book. No major complaints. I think I lost quite a bit of interest, though, when the author compared an action of the hero to an action in the Twlight movies and invoked the dreaded names, Edward and Bella...
I liked the heroine, Julietta. She's tough as nails and knows her business. Her business is the family bakery where she has taken over the helm and assumed control since he father passed on. She had been at his hip since she was a little girl and learned everything she knows about business from him. So she is well prepared for anything the business throws at her. Until she meets her match in Sawyer Wells. I really loved Julietta's drive. She is all about business and has left no room for love or men. It seemed to me that the only break she gave herself was going to her mom's for Sunday dinner. I thought it really said something about her character that she has this one thing that grounds her. Such a pedestrian thing... dinner with Mom. But it really makes her seem more real.
Sawyer is no slouch. Oh my gosh, the way the author described him... it was exactly this that popped into my head:
I know, I know, I use him as my inspiration all the time. But THIS time, he fits! Sawyer has long hair that reaches his shoulders and its blonde, ranging from white to dark blonde. I mean, hello?! Anyways, oooh Sawyer has a nasty, nasty past. His folks died and he ended up in foster care and was left in the custody of a horrible person who abused Sawyer constantly with vicious beatings and starvings. So he's grown up, burying that part of him deep down inside. The reader finds out these awful facts as Sawyer remembers them at various points in the book. It was obvious that these demons are what has driven Sawyer to become the mega success that he is today. But it was very easy to see that although Sawyer didn't ALLOW himself to have any deep relationships, he desperately craved one. He picked up a young man who had pick-pocketed Sawyer at one of his hotels. After finding out that this kid was essentially living in a closet at the hotel, Sawyer offered him a job and a chance to make himself better. To me, that screams out that Sawyer wants relationships but he sort of keeps a distance from the kid, which shows that maybe Sawyer isn't sure how to go about it. I just loved him for that!
Sawyer and Julietta are really hot together. There may be a little bit of light BDSM but it's really not a big part of the book and it's definitely not heavy handed. Sawyer likes to be in control in the bedroom but it never brushes up against feeling wrong or dirty. Maybe the author did such a great job at describing Sawyer's background that it made it easy to understand why he would want control in all aspects of his life. Either way, the bedroom scenes are hot and anyone who likes romance will enjoy these scenes!
Even though the author referenced the Twilight books, which for me is the kiss of death, I would still recommend this book because the relationships feel real. I think that they feel real because they aren't easy, for one. For two, they aren't all happiness and roses. Sawyer has serious issues to work through. But Julietta is a very tough woman who has strong feelings about family and business. When Sawyer becomes part of BOTH of those worlds, you know he never had a chance! LOL!