Lilliana Hancock is forced to leave her struggling-artist lifestyle in New York and return to Falcon after her father's unexpected death leaves her a decrepit family mansion. Determined to use her skills to turn the home into a successful bed and breakfast, Lilliana is stopped at every turn by the town contractor, who happens to be Alec, the gorgeous and arrogant jock to whom she lost her virginity in college. Except Alec doesn't remember, which infuriates her. Too bad she can't forget the way his body felt against hers or how his heated gaze follows her...
Will they be able to put their pasts behind them for a future together?
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Holy crap! This book started out with a bang. Literally. Lilliana and Alec have been circling each other for a long time. They have this love/hate, tension filled kind of relationship thing going and it seems to be working really well, until it isn't. While he is performing an inspection on Lilliana's house/future bed and breakfast, Alec cuts himself. While trying help him clean his cut. Lilliana is reminded of the one night they spent together and that he is everything that she remembered and more. When they were in college the two of them had a one night stand. And while Lilliana remembers EVERYTHING about that night, Alec does not. (Hence the "hate" part of the love/hate relationship.) But that doesn't stop her from going after what she wants and that is one more steamy roll in the hay with Alec. And when I say steamy I actually mean "Oh my god I have to go take a cold shower now!" steamy. Whew! And that's how the book starts! **High five to Laura Trentham!**
I loved Alec. He's definitely one of the good guys. He had a very promising career in the NFL, but a knee injury ended that dream so he returned home, started his own construction company and became the town's building inspector. He also coaches high school football with Robbie and Logan (from the previous two books), but he's not just a coach. He cares about the kids and just like his fellow coaches, he is willing to get involved when he thinks that one of his players has a problem at home. Even if that means he gets a little beat up a long the way.
They say opposites attract and Lilliana and Alec are pretty much the definition of that. Lilliana is an artist. A free spirit. A nurturer. She likes to see the best in people. Alec likes rules and doesn't know how to relax. He's used to taking care of himself. And thanks to his own parents betraying him a way he never saw coming, Alec has a hard time trusting people. But Lilliana is good for him and the two of them make a great couple and I was keeping my fingers crossed that they would work things out with minimal damage to their already shaky relationship.
“I’ve been an idiot.”
“We established that earlier.” The sensual kisses she skimmed over his jaw offset her chipper agreement.
“I should have asked you out years ago instead of staring at you across the football field wondering what it would be like to be your man. So you know, the reality is better in every way.”
“Alec.” His name was barely louder than her sigh.
“I’ve been lonely for years, but it was bearable, knowing how much it hurt to be betrayed. But, after loving you, losing you would kill me. I want to sell my house and move in here with you. Screw turning Hancock House into a B&B, let’s turn it into a home instead. We can even host your hundreds of relatives every Sunday if you want.”
He caught her gasp with a kiss. A kiss of passion and promise and a hint of humor.
He put her down so she could unlock the door, but she kept hold of his jacket. “Where have your people taken Alec Grayson?”
He pressed another kiss against her, both their lips tilted in smiles. “I feel like I’ve woken up from a black-and-white dream. That’s what you’ve done for me, Lilliana, painted my life. What do you say?”
“Hell yes. I never wanted to run a B&B anyway.”
“I know.” He rumbled a laugh, but veered serious again. “You should spend your days working on your art, not cooking and cleaning for guests. You have a talent that shouldn’t be squandered.”
Her smile was watery. “That’s about the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”Say it with me, "Awwwwwwwwwww."
I love this series. All three books had strong stories, fantastic main characters and delightful secondary characters that added a lovely southern charm to it. While there was drama in each of the books, it was never over the top and never felt unnecessary. You really can't go wrong with these books. The author is working on a new series and I can't wait to see what she comes up with!