Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Busy Bean, #1
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press LLC
Hero: Daniel Beck
Heroine: Haley Elliot
Date of Publication: March 01, 2021
Started On: April 02, 2021
Finished On: April 02, 2021
It has been a while since I last indulged in a romance from Sarah Mayberry, one of my favorite authors when it comes to exquisitely spun contemporary romances. The Busy Bean series is a multi-author series, the debut book of which is this installment.
26 year old Haley Elliot works at the Busy Bean as a barista-waitress. With rumors abound that there is a brand new roasted coffee supplier in town that is winning over the hearts of coffee lovers, it is none other than Daniel Beck, ex-boyfriend of her sister’s that she comes across in her quest to find the source. Haley had a massive crush on Daniel back in the day, something she had been keen to keep to herself, given how maladjusted and oversensitive her sister had been even back then.
Daniel wants nothing to do with the Elliot’s, the nightmare that his relationship with Haley’s sister being reason enough for him to avoid Haley at all and any cost. However, fate has other plans in store for the both of them, as an attraction that is as fierce as it is undeniable locks them both in a “fight” where resistance is futile.
Sweetheart is the kind of romance that is low on the angst factor with two characters who are mature and realistic in their approach to anything that happens between them. While Haley has crushed on Daniel for ages, she believes for the most part that it would remain an unrequited crush at best, that is until Daniel takes her in his arms and blows that theory to smithereens.
For Daniel, even though he would like to resist the pull he feels towards Haley at every turn, and to be honest, I would not have blamed him if he had done just that, he takes the time to come to the conclusion that between Haley and him lies something that he would like to pursue, even at the cost of running into his ex who had done a number on him.
Daniel’s discovery of all that is Haley and recognizing the beautiful and vulnerable soul she is, was the best part of this story. I loved Haley for everything she was – the obedient daughter who lived in the shadow of her beautiful sister who took the center-stage of their lives. Haley, who could not for all intents and purposes, celebrate who she is, her talents, and the kindness that is inherent when all is said and done. For Daniel to see all that and become her staunchest supporter, who was willing to stand by her and fight for her; that is the single most reason that I fell in love with Sweetheart.
Recommended for those who love a romance between two mature and well developed characters, who undoubtedly would steal your heart.
Final Verdict: Sweetheart; the word’s meaning resonates in its truest form within the story that unfolds; beautiful and soul-stirring in a way that steals your heart.
I stood outside the restrooms watching Haley Elliott rush for the door, paralyzed by the truth bomb she’d just dropped.
You could look me in the eye occasionally and, you know, treat me like a human being.
Her voice had gotten tight, and her chin had wobbled. She’d spun away, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that she was on the verge of tears as she wove her way toward the exit.
I’d done that to her. I’d made her feel so bad, so demoralized, she’d been reduced to tears. All this time I’d thought I’d been doing a decent job trying to cover my unease around her, and apparently I’d failed. Dismally.
The logistics didn’t matter. The only thing that did was the soft press of her mouth against mine, the smooth warmth of the nape of her neck beneath my hand, the thud of pure recognition that ran through my body as she opened her mouth and I tasted her for the first time.
Because this woman felt right in my arms. She tasted like everything I had ever craved, and when I stroked her tongue with mine, she made a small, inarticulate needy sound that went straight to my cock. Her hands fisted in my shirt as I deepened the kiss, desperate for more. She made the needy sound again, and I abandoned the delicate smoothness of her nape to grab her ass and pull her closer.
“Bedroom?” he asked, his voice low and desperate, two slashes of color high on his cheekbones.
He nodded, then slid his hands onto my ass and issued a curt instruction. “Up.”
I didn’t need to be asked twice, wrapping my legs around his hips as he boosted me up. The moment my face was on the same level as his, he kissed me again, and for long seconds we got lost in the wonder of it, our tongues caressing as we deepened our connection.
Beck nuzzled closer, using his nose to push inside my bra cup. I held my breath as he licked and kissed his way toward my nipple. Then he sucked me into his mouth and I was powerless to stop myself gasping with delight.
“Oh, God. Yes. Please.”
I could feel him smiling against my skin, my nipple still trapped in the wet heat of his mouth. He trilled his tongue against me and I almost levitated off the bed, hands clawing at his shoulders.
Beck lifted his head to look down at me again. “Sweetheart, you’re killing me here.”
“I’m the one who’s dying,” I panted.
He was aware of my avid interest and his mouth kicked up into a cocky, knowing smile as he stroked the condom down his shaft. He crawled onto me then, six foot two of brawny man, his legs hairy and strong against mine, and I spread my thighs wide, lifting my hips to welcome his first thrust.
“Oh God,” I whispered as he filled me, stretching me exquisitely.
“Hell, yeah,” he groaned.
“Want to do it again?” he asked, nudging his hips forward a fraction.
Which was when I realized he was hard again.
“I’m a little pent up. Been dreaming about you.”
I blinked up at him. “Really?”
“Dirty dreams?” I asked, more than a little thrilled to think that all the time I’d been going crazy over him he’d been going crazy over me.
“What else?” he asked, thrusting inside me again.
“You let me be on top,” I gasped.
Before I could react, Beck rolled to the side and onto his back, his strong arms taking me with him so that I wound up straddling him, my palms planted on his chest, a shocked laugh on my lips.
“Show me how you like it, Haley,” he said, his warm hands sliding over my breasts.
I didn’t need to be asked twice.
“I should really go,” she said, but I knew her heart wasn’t in it.
“So you just came here to apologize and drop off your sketch?” I asked.
“To clear the air.”
“Liar,” I said, softening my words with a smile.
I stepped closer and reached for her shoulder. Her bare skin was soft and warm beneath my hand. She watched me with slightly open lips as I caressed the slope of her shoulder before sliding my hand around to palm her nape. She was already lifting her face for my kiss as I lowered mine. I let out an involuntary grunt of appreciation when she opened her mouth to me, lust hitting me like a sledgehammer as I tasted her again.
What was it about this woman that did it for me so bad?
I kissed him deeply, slipping a hand between our bodies to find my swollen clit. Beck broke our kiss and pulled back an inch, glancing down to confirm what I was doing. I kissed him deeply, slipping a hand between our bodies to find my swollen clit. Beck broke our kiss and pulled back an inch, glancing down to confirm what I was doing.
“Keep doing that,” he said, and I was happy to oblige as he thrust up into me, his muscles turned to granite as he kept his gaze fixed on what I was doing with my hand.
“So damned hot,” he panted. “I’m close, baby.”
“Me, too,” I assured him.
I held his gaze as the first shudder radiated through me and I saw the exact moment he tripped into his own climax. He pulled me closer, pressing his face against my neck as he came.