I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can see my reviews at www.wavesoffiction.blogspot.com
What an adorable story! It's perfect for curling up under a blanket on a snowy day with some hot chocolate, which is exactly what I did when I started reading this book! And it was so good that I was sucked in immediately and unable to put it down.
Sassy and witty - Daniela Rossi is a famous pastry chef who's at a crossroads in her life. After the loss of her beloved grandmother the previous Christmas, and her over-bearing brother/business manager breathing down her neck, she feels lost and unsure of her future. She gets an idea to open up a soup kitchen/homeless shelter and puts in a bid on an old abandoned building that she's stumbled upon. But even though her intentions are good, her plans will be derailed by a controlling real estate mogul who's determined to get his hands on the same building.
Enter Nico Cruz. If he were cake, he'd be Devil's Food - rich, dark. Forbidden. A guility pleasure you wanted to indulge in secretly.
Sexy as hell and used to getting everything he wants, while doing whatever it takes to make it happen. He's made it his life's ambition to be successful and overcome the shady past that still haunts him. But when Daniela enters his life, he starts seeing things differently.
These two have a connection that sizzles from their first meeting. It seemed so right that never once did I feel like it was rushed or unrealistic. They just clicked and I loved their banter back and forth. "A woman would have to be stupid not to want to get into your pants. But I'm busy right now."
Daniela knew how to handle Nico and wasn't willing to back down. And he needed someone strong like her to push him and make him feel. They were a perfect match and I loved them together.
But what surprised me most about this book wasn't the story between Daniela and Nico, although it was sweet and satisfying in itself. It was the side story about her assistant Marley. Normally, I'd get really annoyed when another story is tossed into the book that throws me off from the main characters. And I'll be honest - in the beginning, when the book kept going to Marley's story, I had the inclination to skim because I was irritated and wanted to just get back to Daniela and Nico. Had I done that - I would have missed out on my favorite parts of the book!!!!!
Marley is a wallflower who lives to please others while never having the courage to be who she wants to be. She wears black so she won't be noticed, has a geeky obsession with super heroes, and harbors a major crush on her boss Daniela's brother. As a favor to a friend who's starting a matchmaking service, she agrees to be set up on a date.
This is where she meets the sexy, yet slightly geeky Brian. An accountant with a mutual love of super heroes, who rides a motorcyle. I know it sounds like a weird mix, but I absolutely adored Brian and his personality. He was determined to get Marley to come out of her shell and prove to her that she's wasting her time with fantasies about her boss' brother. They built a friendship that slowly started to become more and it was so sweet and swoon-worthy that I found myself reading faster just to get to THEIR parts of the book.Marley - "Do you think there's one right person for everyone? Or do you think there are people who are good enough?"
Brian - "There's not one right person. I think we find someone who clicks and then have to work to make it right. When you stop working, it falls apart. Most people are lazy and just want it to be perfect, but a relationship takes effort."
(AMEN - I loved this!)
My only major issue was at the end of the book, when Brian and Marley find their way together again, we don't get the pleasure of reading about their first time and I was really hoping for that. I felt somewhat cheated after investing so much emotion in their story.
The book wasn't without a little angst to make you keep reading to see if both of these ladies would get their happy ever after. A very sweet and romantic book, with a dash of spice and pinch of humor!