Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Bradfords, Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Jason MacDonald Gordon
Heroine: Sara Bradford
Date of Publication: September 14, 2010
Started On: September 16, 2010
Finished On: September 17, 2010
My first Erin Nicholas book was certainly a delightful surprise. I came across this title when I entered the Samhain Publishing website on a whim. The hot cover itself made me salivate over the book, and in the end the book synopsis was enough to lure me away from my HUGE to-be-read pile and indulge in this tale which enchanted me on so many levels.
At first, when I started on the book I thought this would be the typical romance where the forbidden younger sister of your best friend is taboo forever, and the illicit longings that still continue to rage the hero no matter how much he tries to prevent those feelings finally take a turn and they would end up having wall-banging sex, some trivial problem would crop up now and again until they attain their happily ever after. But this story offered so much more than just your typical erotica romance. The sex scenes were hot but did not take the center stage of the novel, which made me appreciate the encounters between the two more.
This is the 3rd book in the The Bradfords series by the author. The Bradfords family comprises of Sam, Jessica and Sara of which Sara is the youngest and thus the child who was cosseted most by the rest and Sam’s best friends Jason McDonald Gordon (Mac), Kevin and Dooley. Sara’s mother had walked out when she had been a baby and her father had been killed when he had interrupted a burglary at Jessica’s apartment when Sara had just been 10 years old. Since then, Sara had been taken care of Sam and Jessica and Sam’s circle of friends who were as protective of her as they would be of their own family. Now 25 years old, Sara is determined that she is going to make Mac and her together forever a reality, even if it has to be her that has to take the first step.
Mac who is 12 years older than Sara and 7 years senior to Sam should know better than to make his best friend’s youngest sister the object of every erotic desire he has had for the past couple of years. Mac knows that he is not the type of man that Sara needs and he is determined that he would not betray the trust that his best friend has in him that he wouldn’t cross the line and do something stupid where Sara is concerned. But all his best laid plans go awry when a very determined Sara climbs into his lap and kisses him senseless at Sam and Dani’s wedding reception, a sight that doesn’t go unseen by a very pissed off looking Sam who Mac manages to convince that he is not looking to start anything with Sara. To drive home the point with Sara who is busily imagining all sorts of fun she could have with the object of her desires, Mac makes out with another woman and makes sure that Sara would walk in on them, a plan that works too well in driving Sara away when she ups and leaves to the Carribean, all alone for the very first time in her life.
When Mac hears that Sara has left and the letter that Sara leaves for him propels him to seek her out from where she is at. The letter drives home images of a wild and uninhibited Sara ready for his type of loving rather than the sweet and innocent version of Sara, a change that Sara is determined to bring about in her plans to entice the man who means everything to her in this world.
Somehow, Mac’s hands-off policy doesn’t seem to work very well where Sara is concerned. When Mac realizes that Sara would not give up on her aim of seducing him into her life forever, and no matter how many dirty tricks Mac pulled out of his sleeve she would not be thwarted, Mac does the only thing he believes would change her mind about him forever, marry her and show her just how unsuited they are for one another.
But as it is the norm with Sara, she manages to surprise him by adjusting well to life in Oscar, Mac’s hometown which is a far cry from Omaha where Sara had grown up and where all her friends and family resided. Sara who has always been a little bit spoiled, cocooned and overprotected all her life suddenly finds herself having to work hard at making friends, and in the process finds out a lot about herself and what she wants in life. Though Mac at first tries to stay away from Sara and what her delectable body offers, in the end its a battle that he loses when he professes to Sam that he is in love with Sara and plans to make her happy for the rest of her life.
In the end, what Mac thinks that Sara wants and needs are actually very different from what Sara actually wants and desires. Mac refuses to treat Sara anything less than the way she deserves to be treated in bed and out of it, though Sara craves to make Mac lose his iron-willed control over his emotions that makes Sara feel that she is missing out on a lot. Mac’s refusal to really listen and understand the desires of the one woman who makes his heart melt all over finally drives them apart, just like Mac planned before everything became so complicated and he wanted Sara permanently in his life.
What I loved most about this novel is the depth of character development that takes place throughout. Sara, who at first I imagined would live up to her princess image surprised me the most by being plucky, strong, sassy and being unafraid of going after what she wanted. The woman she grows into in spite of all the protective forces that surround her is a woman who ought to be admired. And Mac certainly makes for a yummy hero, who just needed a knock on his head now and then to let him know just how much he was missing out on by thinking that he knew what Sara needed and wanted. All in all I loved this delightfully surprisingly good story. Though the cover art is steamy hot, I just wanted to point out that Mac is described as someone who had shaved his head bald for as long as Sara had known him, but the guy on the cover has a shitload of hair on his head, if I am not blind! 😉