Series: The Sullivans #1
Format Read: Print ARC
Source: from Meryl L Moss in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository*
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Blurb from goodreads:
Expanded Edition! More Story! More Sullivans! Fans of Bella Andre's Sullivan Series will love this long-awaited print edition of THE LOOK OF LOVE. It features a longer, more-detailed story with all the emotion and sensuality that readers love. Not to be missed!
Sometimes one look is all it takes.
Chloe Peterson has vowed never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Her reasons are as vivid as the bruises on her cheek. So when her car skids off a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced the gorgeous guy who rescues her must be too good to be true.
As a successful international photographer, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women. He's satisfied with his life—until he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley.
With every loving look—and every sinfully sweet caress—the attraction between them sizzles, and Chloe can't help but wonder if she's met the man who may be the exception to her rule .
I read a novella by Andre, Candy Store, before reading this one that left me wondering if I'd made a mistake agreeing to read and review this book. Happily, this book was better written and better edited.
Chase meets Chloe while he's driving to his brother Marcus's vineyard; he sees her walking along the road in the rain after she crashes her car. There's an instant attraction between them but she's wary of this man she just met, who offers her a ride. He is patient and kind and she eventually agrees to let him give her a ride. But instead of taking her to a motel as she requested, they go to his brother's place. There's a sweet, funny, slightly sad scene when they encounter a naked woman on Chase's bed upon their arrival. That scene says a lot about not only Chase and Chloe but about Ellen, the woman Chase was supposed to spend the evening with.
Chloe is recently divorced, still finding her footing and unsure of herself. Her ex was emotionally neglectful and physically violent, leaving her wary and mistrustful of men. That wariness wars with her attraction to Chase and she's not ready for an emotional relationship.
"And, ultimately, that was the main reason she needed to leave. Because she had no intention of getting involved with another man. She was still learning how to be alone, how to rely on herself, how to trust again. It hadn't even been a year since she'd filed for divorce. She wasn't ready for another relationship."
Chase can see that she's been hurt and that she's wary so he walks a balance between helping her and letting her find her own footing. He is patient and kind, at times unbelievably so. If it weren't for his occasional flashes of anger and his difficulty at times in restraining his desire, he would seem too perfect. His family also feels too perfect at times: everyone is successful, gorgeous and desirable. But they're also messy and loud and seem like people I'd enjoy knowing.
It doesn't take long before Chase and Chloe are in bed together and the sex is the best either one has ever had. (Why do romance authors do that? Can't a couple be in love but have only an average sex life?) With Chase, Chloe is able to let loose and indulge in some sexual fantasies. Chase is happy to help her but again, when she flinches or hesitates, he shows his patience by stopping immediately and waiting for her to decide whether or not to continue. The scene where they discuss a safe word was both cute and funny. There are numerous love scenes and they are hot, intense, and yet also sweet. Her walls start to crumble but she still hesitates to trust and Chase patiently chips away at her walls while still respecting her boundaries.
Sweet, cute, sexy and funny pretty much sums up the book. My one real gripe is how quickly events happen and how quickly they are talking about being in love. I'd have liked a Happy For Now and not a solid Happy Ever After. Since Chloe is still getting her bearings after her divorce, I'd have liked to see her follow through on her decision to wait on getting involved. It helps that Chase is willing to give her space and makes a conscious effort not to rush in and save her but let her figure things out for herself. Despite my misgivings on the speed of their relationship and happy ending, I enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to the next one.