Title: Just Desserts
Series: Holland Springs Series
Series Placement: Book #4
Author: Marquita Valentine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published Date: August 5, 2013
Published by: Marquita Valentine
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What an earl wants isn’t always what he gets…
British Billionaire and modern day earl of Spenserfield, Sebastian Romanov only wants one thing in life: To reclaim his position as president of Romanov Industries. But first he has to clean up his reputation to convince the Board that he’s a dependable bloke who’s willing to put the company above everything, including his personal life. Finally given an excuse to sort things out with his estranged twin brother, he boards a jet to Holland Springs, North Carolina, never dreaming he’d find the solution to his all his problems in the town’s sexy caterer, Daisy Barnes.
She’s going to serve him his just desserts…
Daisy Barnes, owner of The Sweet Spot, has plans. Plans that don’t include posing as some arrogant—yet sexy as hell—earl’s fiancée. But when unexpected insurance bills –to the tune of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars—from her mother’s unsuccessful battle with cancer come due, she’s forced to accept his offer and his money. Only problem for Daisy—underneath that cold exterior is a man that can set her on fire with just one touch.
As Sebastian and Daisy spend more time together, they find it harder and harder to not give into temptation. Soon neither can tell where the fake romance ends and true love begins…
4 Delicious Stars!
A Flavorful and Delightful Read!
Sebastian Romanov is a hard, brooding man who's been bred since a young boy by a controlling and abusive father to take over and run his father's empire and to further extend the title of Earl of Spenserfield. He has very little patience and some would say, very little heart. After endless contact by his cousin Sasha, who misses his American sweetheart, Sebastian has come to Holland Springs to persuade Rose (from book three Third Time’s A Charm) to come back to England to be with Sasha. While roaming the streets seeking Rose’s location, he runs across a delectable sweets shop and because he has an incredible sweet tooth, he enters. While perusing the cupcakes, the light, enchanting laughter of the counter girl attracts his attention and life as he once knew it, is over. Instantly struck by her beauty, her smile and her different sense of style, Daisy Barnes captures his heart in one fell swoop.
Daisy is an enchanting, independent young woman who loves to bake and owns her own shop called “The Sweet Spot”. She’s loved and adored by her community, taking the time to get to know her customers and the lives they lead. Her experience with men is limited to her ex who’s discontent has left her unsettled. But when Sebastian walks into her shop, she knows instantly who he is and can feel the effect he has on her heart and body. After a confusing but heart pounding encounter with Sebastian, Daisy is left with nothing more than a too short visit and an incredible, breathtaking kiss.
Sebastian knows he’s no good for Daisy but he can’t stay away. So hatching a plan to stay in her orbit, Sebastian secretly immerses himself in her world until another, more urgent matter brings him back to Holland Springs seeking Daisy’s help.
This sweet and engaging read had all the elements that make a romance great with a rich well of fascinating characters and angsty conflict that kept me reading through the night.
Daisy was a wonderful heroine. Her charming and endearing personality was a bright spot in all the angst. She hasn’t lived the best life, having lost her father at a young age, her mother to disease and her business is in serious trouble, but her outlook on life is incredibly optimistic. She smiles, she’s fun and she can see past Sebastian's dark spots.
Sebastian is a difficult character. You get flashbacks of his past and the abuse he and his twin brother suffered at the hands of their parents and you understand why he is the way he is. But you can also see the lessons that were inflicted upon him, didn’t leave his heart cold no matter how hard he tries to hide it from others. He doesn't like letting his vulnerabilities show, knowing they can be used against him as they have been in the past. He believes he isn’t worthy of being loved and that he’s a monster just like his father so he walks through life with a mask to hide his unhappiness letting his cold and aloof persona take over. I felt true sympathy for Sebastian, even after all his scheming, planning and the lies he told in order to insert himself into Daisy's life.
I wanted a happy ending for Sebastian and for him and Daisy together because I felt they both deserved it.
Watching the push pull between these two characters was both exciting and nerve wracking. Sebastian has a lot of self loathing going on but Daisys’ bright and pure personality might be the only thing that can pull him from the dark and into the light.
And the yummy, sexy scenes this author gives the reader brought the butterflies! Yes, people, we all know I love my butterflies and they were rapidly fluttering while reading this seductive romance! Sebastian is super hot and his take charge, sometimes sweet, sometimes volatile temperament only added spice to their scenes and had me swooning!
The Wrap Up:
This is my first book by this author and I’ve cut into the middle of the series without having read any of the other books prior to this one, yet I wasn't confused about who the characters were and what role everyone played. I would easily say this could be read as a stand alone but because I enjoyed it so much, I have definite plans to go back to book one and read these characters and this setting from the beginning!
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About the Author...New York Times Bestselling Author, MARQUITA VALENTINE, writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man -- and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.
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