Love Not at First Sight, an all new charming and emotional contemporary romance from author Sarah Ready is available now!
When your soul mate is the man you loathed at first sight…Book Two in Sarah Ready’s Soul Mates in Romeo series sparkles with tension and a delicious helping of swoon-worthy romance.
Veronica Diaz loves her career, her friends and the great outdoors – she has no room in her life for men. In fact, she knows there are only two types of men in the world: players and wanna-be players and she wants nothing to do with any of them.
So when a psychic informs Veronica that her fated soul mate is Frederick Knight “The King of Players,” Veronica does what any sensible woman would do – she runs.
A twist of fate lands Veronica in the depths of a pitch-black cave system with a man she’s never met and can’t see. As Veronica and Sam struggle to survive they open up, share their secrets, and risk their lives for each other. Soon Veronica starts to wonder if maybe not all men are players, and maybe she can trust Sam enough to fall in love.
The only problem: Sam is actually Frederick Knight. The man Veronica swore she’d never, ever, ever love.
In fact, she loathed him at first sight.
And if they make it out of the cave alive, and Veronica sees him for the first time, she’ll loathe him again. Won’t she?
But maybe, sometimes you can only see who someone really is when you can’t see them at all? And maybe you can only fall in love when it’s not at first sight?
“This will easily and unequivocally be one of your top reads this year.” By Bookaddict (Chasing Romeo, Book 1 in the Soul Mates in Romeo Series)
I kick my legs, fighting to pull the woman to the surface. I have a hold of her beneath her arms. She’s a dead weight and I pray that she’s okay, that she didn’t get hurt in the fall. The icy water urges me to kick harder. There’s no light. I can’t tell up from down. I’m going on pure instinct, and a prayer, please God, let me be swimming toward air.
I kick harder. My heart pounds in my ears and my lungs ache. Maybe I chose the wrong direction. Up was down, or down was up and I’m swimming to the bottom of the water. I start to panic. Then, just when I’m about to turn around, reverse direction, we break the surface. I gasp, drag in a harsh breath then cough and sputter. I draw the woman’s head higher. Float on my back and hold her against my chest. She coughs and sputters.
Then, “Are you okay?” she asks. Her voice is ragged and soft.
Before I can answer, her head falls again to my chest and her body goes limp.
My blood goes cold.
“I’m okay. Are you alright?”
She doesn’t answer, she lies heavy and still against me. I kick my legs to keep us at the surface and feel for her pulse. I let out a sigh of relief, it’s strong and steady. At least there’s that. She shivers and I’m reminded of how cold the water is. Like an ice bath. We’re going to get hypothermia if I don’t get us out of it soon.
But I can’t see. There’s no light. I dropped my phone when I went to grab her. I saw her flashlight fly from her grasp. Then I remember my watch. It’s a waterproof divers watch, a twenty-thousand-dollar piece that my sister bought me last year for my birthday. She laughed because she said she’d spent my money to get it. I’ve worn it ever since. Thank the Lord. I press a button on the side and the display glows. It gives a dim light that barely illuminates the space around my hand. I hold up my arm and twist the watch in the air. The light catches on the white stone and reflects around the cavern. The water that was black in the pitch dark is turquoise and clear where the light hits. There. About twenty feet away I can just make out what looks like water hitting rock. I can’t be sure. The light is too dim. But I swim that way because right now it’s our best chance.
I’m breathing hard and shivering harder by the time I reach the rock wall.
“We made it,” I tell the woman. I lift her onto the rock first, roll her onto the surface and then I climb out after her. Water sluices onto the rock and runs around us. It’s cold. It’s too damn cold. I feel for the woman’s pulse. It’s still strong, but her skin is like ice and she’s shaking.
“You’ll be okay,” I say. I keep talking, because it’s so dark and quiet in here that any voice, even my own, is better than the silence. “I’ve never been so scared as when I saw you fall,” I tell her. I keep my voice low and soothing. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of here. Or even if there is a way out. My phone is gone, hers is likely in her pack which is still up on the stalagmite at the top of the crevice. To be sure I pat her pockets. Carefully. I don’t want her waking up thinking I’m some creep taking advantage. Nothing. They’re empty. Not that a phone could get reception down in the depths of a cave.
“We’ll get out of here,” I tell her. I put my hand on her arm. Dang, she’s cold. “I’ll get you out of here. I promise.”
I hear a scratching noise and then a rhythmic crunch, crunch, scratch. The hair on the back of my neck stands up. There’s something else here with us.
I hit the display of my watch and look around. Nothing. I can’t see anything. I hold it over the woman. I can barely make out the shape of her face.
She shivers again and I make a decision. I have to get her warm and I have to get her to help. I think the most urgent thing right now is getting warm.
Body heat. But first we need out of these soaking wet clothes.
I kick off my shoes and socks and then pull off my T-shirt. I wring the water out of them and set them out on the rock. Then, I strip down to my boxers and wring out my shorts. I’m too cold to feel awkward. I jump up and down and rub my hands over my clammy skin. Then I kneel down next to the woman.
I untie and pull off her hiking boots and socks. Then I work the soaking wet long-sleeved shirt over her head. I wring it out and put it next to her socks and boots. I feel around in the dark for the buttons to her pants. The skin of her stomach is cold and taut.
I find the button.
Suddenly, her hand lashes out and grabs my throat. She squeezes and I freeze.
“Take off my pants and I’ll kill you and leave your body in the dark.”
OL–once again I didn’t read the entire book blurb before choosing to read a book (I got to “she runs” and went, sure, this sounds cute, CLICK) so imagine my surprise when our hero and heroine spent the majority of the book lost within an extensive cave system, fearing for their very lives…unable to see each other’s faces and unaware of the other’s last names…it was more of a survival story than a rom com, but that’s OK.
Surprises are fun, right? 😉 At least in this instance it worked out, anyway, thank goodness! (And as long as it continues to, I’ll never learn, LOL) Love Not at First Sight is definitely in the running for most unique premise of a romance for this summer’s “read” shelf, if not for all of 2021. The “not at first sight” bit of the title became more and more clear, the further I read… 😉
Sam and Veronica’s story, though not exactly what I was expecting, was an entertaining read. Though I find it hard to believe they never tried to look at each others’ faces (his watch was enough to illuminate their route, at least somewhat, but they never caught a glimpse of their faces?) it definitely gave the big reveal all the umph it deserved. Veronica’s predictable (second) runner was aggravating to say the least, but her grand gesture was EPIC. I have no idea how accurate the cave bits were (or weren’t), but they sure made for exciting reading!
Love Not at First Sight is the second book in Ms Ready’s Soul Mates in Romeo series, but it would work fine as a standalone too. The details you need to know about the series (the slightly creepy soul-mate-seeing lady) is explained early on and a good 75% of the book is just Veronica and Sam, all alone and in the dark, so…
This was my first book from this author, but probably not my last! At the very least, Chloe and Nick’s story (Chasing Romeo) is on my TBR now, so… 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.
Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.