Between working two jobs and raising her sister’s kids, Julianne Bradley doesn’t have time for sports—or men. All she knows about Max is that he’s the sexiest customer to ever grace her gas-station counter. And he sees past her tired eyes and makes Jules yearn for things she can’t have: a glamorous fling, a passionate lover, and the time to enjoy both. Max makes her feel like Cinderella, even though Jules has enough baggage to crush a glass slipper. Luckily, he’s no prince—only a fierce competitor determined to win her heart.
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I received an advanced copy of this book with the promise of an honest review.
Max meets Julianne when he sees her one night working at a convenient store. He is immediately drawn to her, but after he sees her handle three small children, which he assumes are her, he wants to know more. Julianne, being thrust into motherhood when her sister passed away, doesn't have time for anything but work and taking care of her niece and nephews. But as Max and Julieanne get to know each other Max tries to ease some of the burdens that she carries around with her. They start to spend time together and they form a friends ship that turns into so much more.
“Do you love her?” Annabelle asks, and whoa fuck . . . just . . . what the fuck?
“Um,” I stammer, then stammer again. “Um.”
“Well, do you?” Rocco asks somewhat aggressively. “Because I think she loves you.”
I jerk in my seat and there’s no denying the feeling of euphoria that spreads through me at that proclamation. I lean toward Rocco. “You do?”
“She talks about you all the time,” Rocco says with a sage nod. “And she’s always so happy when you call her.”
“And we’ve seen her kissing you,” Levy adds in. “You kiss people when you love them.”
“And she’s really happy now,” Annabelle offers in a sweet voice. “Since she met you, she smiles all the time.”
I put my elbows on the table and steeple my hands as I look at these three little wise and perceptive rug rats. I don’t know if they know what love is, but I have an inkling. I’m not sure if that’s what I would call what I feel for Jules or vice versa, but I know for sure it’s something damn close to that. I know I’ve never felt this before in my life, and I have to say . . . it’s utterly fucking reassuring that Annabelle has recognized her aunt is happier since she met me.
“So here’s the thing about your Aunt Jules and me,” I say carefully to the kids. “We care about each other a great deal, and I’m glad I make her happier. She makes me very happy too.”
“So you love her,” Levy presses, and because this kid wants an answer and because I can’t lie to him, I need to do a very quick evaluation of my feelings.
Jules is an amazing woman. Her attributes are many, varied and spectacular. She’s devoted to the kids, a hard worker, and totally gives of herself. Not a selfish bone in her fucking body.
She makes me laugh . . . so fucking hard.
She makes me smile just by being in her presence.
She also makes me hard just by being in her presence.
I think about her all the time and I constantly yearn to be with her.
I look forward into my future and I try to imagine her not in it, and I just can’t do it.
Cannot even fucking envision it.
Even with all of the problems we face, and the limits on our time, and the fact that she comes with three kids, and I travel fifty percent of the time for my job, and things are so unstable for her right now . . . I cannot imagine being with anyone else but her.
I look Levy square in the eye and I tell him the truth. “Yeah, kid . . . I love her.”
I know it’s only been six weeks since I first met her, but I think I may have fallen a little in love with her that first night in the convenience store when I tried to help her peel the tape off Annabelle, and even though you could tell she was on the edge of defeat, she still had perseverance.
“You should tell her,” Rocco says.
“Don’t be afraid,” Annabelle says, and I turn to face her.
“I’m not afraid,” I assure her. “Just want it to be the right time, you know?”
“So how about we keep this between ourselves, okay?” I ask the kids, turning to look at each one in succession.
I get three smiling nods in return.
“Okay, get cracking on those ice creams,” I tell them. “But we’re going to order pizza for dinner, and you each better eat at least one piece of pizza so your Aunt Jules doesn’t know I fed you ice cream this close to dinner.”GAH! I. LOVE. HIM. He's not only Julieanne's knight in shining armor, but he becomes a father figure to her niece and nephews. I just loved the relationship he formed with all off them. Julieanne and Max's relationship isn't perfect and they face some obstacles along the way and they don't always deal with things in the best way, but they bond they form is so strong and it will take a lot to keep these two apart.
Max. Max. Max. I have loved every book in this series and I love all of the Cold Fury men, but Max is definitely my favorite. Just do yourself a favor and read this book. You won't be disappointed.