Until her new job starts in September, buttoned-up elementary school teacher Laurel Harris is at loose ends and in need of cash. Fortunately her best friend’s older brother is a single dad and desperately needs a nanny. Or so she’s told. She doesn’t anticipate him being such a menacing, muscled, and undeniably gorgeous man…or that he has zero interest in hiring a nanny.
Micah Crane will do right by his young daughter, no matter the cost. And right now, that cost is juggling parenthood with long hours at his bar and working as an enforcer for a notorious crime boss. He doesn’t need another complication in his life, but the sweet, frustratingly opinionated little blonde hell-bent on caring for his daughter stirs his blood like no woman ever has.
All it takes is a moment of weakness to ignite the lust blazing between them. A moment that will unravel their self-control and unleash all of Micah’s darkest secrets…
She opened her mouth, but before she could get anything out, he said, “How about we show you where you’ll be sleeping,” and walked out of the kitchen, gesturing for her to follow. Silently, she trailed him, her suitcase bumping along the carpeted hallway. With each step, she catalogued what she knew of him so far.
Right foot. Raising six-year-old alone.
Left foot. Has taken some precautions in keeping Shaelynn safe, but might need some help with that.
Right foot. His backside is really, really nice to look at.
Left foot. I wonder if those muscles under his back pockets feel as hard as they look—
“It’s only a two-bedroom apartment,” he said, suddenly coming to a stop. The movement was too fast, and by the time her brain caught up, she was already slamming into the back of him. Right against the butt she’d been staring at.
Oh my god.
He twirled fast and clamped his huge hand around the top of her arm to steady her, those brown eyes ticking from her eyes to her forehead to her ears, mouth, over her shoulder, then back to her eyes. The force of his stare triggered a nervous giggle from her lips.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, forcing her gaze to stay with his even though the intensity was making her a little dizzy. “I didn’t expect you to stop right there.”
“We’re at the end of the hallway,” he said, unamused.
Right. But… She pointed to where the carpet dead ended. “I couldn’t see because of your…”
Butt. Not a chance she’d admit that.
Your entire ginormous body blocking my view. Yeah, not that either.
“Because of…um, you,” she said, swallowing down what she hoped was all of her embarrassment.
Sweet…very sweet…good girl meets surly co-owner of a seedy bar and mob enforcer–and single dad of a six-year-old future princess…
At times, Laurel tips the sweet and innocent bit just a bit too far, but overall I liked her as a heroine. She’s a little too heavy-handed on the “teacher out to save the world” and gets annoyingly preachy at times (do we really did the whole don’t use red pens in the classroom lecture?), but when it comes to standing up for what’s right for six-year-old Shae, even when her parent is doing his best to be a scary a$$hat, Laurel’s fantastic.
Micah…well, he’s a “scary sex god” to be sure, but he’s also a total jerk for a huge chunk of the book. I get why he is–his backstory’s not a good one, and it definitely explains a lot–but his whole attitude gets to be old pretty fast. And what he says to Laurel at the end? (Not the end-end; that was pretty good, and shows he definitely has potential. But before that…? No. Just…No.) Not acceptable. His love for his daughter is definitely his one redeeming feature, and makes up for a lot of sucky attitude, though he’s way too permissive with her for about 75% of the book and is lucky she’s as good natured as she is, honestly. He’s definitely trying to do his best for Shae and later on, all he can to protect both her and Laurel, but he’s still tough to like for a lot of the book.
The storyline kept me reading–I was invested in the characters, and really wanted to see Micah redeem himself and manage somehow to make a life for the three of them in the end. Shae loved him, and so did Laurel, so clearly he had hero potential and I wanted to see him live up to it at last. I wasn’t sure how he’d be able to get himself out of the mob life, though…and I have to say, I’m 99% sure that the way he finally does it is completely implausible. It was waaaaay too easy to be believed. If that actually worked, we wouldn’t need the witness protection program. That part left me feeling a bit cheated.
I did like Ms. Skye’s writing, and even though I didn’t always like the hero she still had me rooting for him, so I’d give another book by her a try. Micah’s sister has definite heroine potential, and his partner in the bar venture was intriguing. His facial hair, though, has got to go…
(I’m not sure who the woman on the cover of this book is…but it can’t possibly be Laurel. No way. Even the few times she gets a teensy bit aggressive and growly, she’s still nothing remotely close to that woman on the cover. And where are Micah’s tattoos…? Oh well. It is nice to look at, at least.)
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. She writes young adult, new adult, and romance fiction. You can follow her on Twitter as @brooklyn__skye, Instagram as @brooklynskyewrites, or visit her website for updates, teasers, giveaways, and more. www.brooklyn-skye.com