Tuesday, November 24, 2015

review || LOVE ON A SUMMER NIGHT { release day } by Zoe York

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ZoYo Press | November 24, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Pine Harbour, book 4


Never say never. Especially not to a determined bad boy.

Zander Minelli is exactly the wrong kind of man. He’s dark, dangerous, and knows far too much about sawed-off shotguns. Faith Davidson finds him irresistible. The widowed single mother knows she should dip her toe back in the dating pool with someone solid and dependable. Definitely no tattoos. But every time she looks up, the brooding soldier is watching her, and she can’t help but wonder what it would be like to let herself have a taste…

Small town summer nights have never been hotter—and one transplanted city-girl’s heart has never been more fragile.

This book is the fourth story in the Pine Harbour series, but can be read as a standalone romance. The main characters were introduced in the previous books. No cliffhanger.
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{ about zoe york } .

I’m a busy working mom of two young boys, and for as long as I can remember, I have been a voracious romance reader. In early 2012, I got an idea for a novel. Then another, and another. My Google Drive account exploded with outlines and chunks of text and character bibles.

Over Christmas, I started a holiday novella. By the end of January, it was clear I was going to wander past novella length, and the story wasn’t limited to the holiday season. And it wasn’t just one book, anymore – it was also an introduction to a small town, Wardham.

Two years later, I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I published my tenth book earlier this fall, and have been blessed to be involved in the bestselling SEALs of Summer and SEALs of Winter boxed sets with some of my favourite authors.
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Passionate couple kissing, boy and girl sitting on wooden floor near the rumpled bed opposite the window.

{ excerpt } .

He settled between her legs, not grinding—just there. Hard and ready. More teasing.

She was going to explode from the delayed gratification. Lifting her hips, she took on the task of remedying that herself.

At the first roll of her hips, Zander paused his worship of her breasts. At the second, he redoubled his efforts, helping her get right to the brink—then he reared up and reached for the waistband of her jeans.

Oh no.

She wanted to be naked with Zander more than anything else in the world.

But even under the cover of darkness, she realized she wasn’t quite ready for Zander to see her naked.

She grabbed at his wrists and tried to pull him back down on top of her. Maybe they could just dry hump. That had been hotter than it sounded. It had been hotter than her fantasies, and she was a writer with a pretty expansive vocabulary and a deep understanding of the dirty side of the Internet.

He wouldn’t be deterred. His fingers slid beneath her waistband, making her soft tummy quiver, and not in a good way. Okay, mostly a good way with just an edge of fear. But she still pushed at his hands.

He gave her an amused look. “Stop batting my hands away. I want to feel it when you come.”

She sighed, suddenly nervous, and he gave her another look, this time one of dawning awareness. She tipped her head back. The stars were so bright tonight. “I’ve got battle scars,” she whispered. “Stretch marks and a c-section incision that didn’t heal properly. You’ve only seen the good bits.”

Zander settled back on the blanket beside her and nuzzled into her neck. “Seriously? You don’t think I’ve got scars? Let’s go toe to toe.”

“Yours are different.” He was beautiful. All sculpted muscle and delicious shadows. “New plan. I’m going to touch you.”

“Be my guest.” His voice was low and rough, like a tumble of falling rocks. Danger, her heart thumped. He rolled away from her and pulled off his t-shirt, baring the tattoos that had caused her so much anxiety just a few days earlier. The flickering light from the fire caught the edge of a raised scar on his rib cage, and she sucked in a breath as she reached out and traced the knotted tissue that looked suspiciously like a slash in his skin.

“What happened?” she asked in a quick rush, then shook her head. “No. I don’t think I want to know.”

“You don’t. But it’s okay, I’m alive and here. That’s all that matters.”

{ review } .

I adore Zoe York's writing style. Her small towns (and her sexy SEALs) have such great stories, and she tells them all so incredibly well. Pine Harbour is the home of the Minellis and the Fosters, and those are the two families we are mainly following (with the occasional friend thrown in for good measure). And this go-around, we get sexy, tattooed, military man Zander Minelli, home for a week. In need for some pie before the do-gooding of his mom, he stops at Greta's and meets author Faith -- who took her writing to the diner in hopes that the change of scenery would get her a better sword wielding scene.

Well, change of scenery she definitely got.

Zander is everything she doesn't want in a man. He's got 'bad boy' written all over him and he's only in town for the week. Soon after meeting, the two of them learn they have mutual friends and one day leads to another, and Zander and Faith are sliding into an easy friendship.

I loved these two. I loved how quickly Zander fell for Faith and her son. I loved his interactions with the four year old -- and I loved how he learned parental fear of those dangerous activities he loves so much. I also very much enjoyed Faith's character -- I loved her mothering, I loved her friendships, I loved her insecurities, and I really loved her job. I love reading about authors -- in fiction and in conversation with "real live" ones, so reading Faith "in the zone" was awesome for me.

Everything was so on par in this story -- the dialogue, the fears, the emotion, the sex (c'mon, this is Zoe York, y'all). I loved Zander and Faith's connection and I loved Zander fighting for Faith's walls to come down. One of my favorite scenes is the excerpt above, because right beforehand, Zander points out that his four tattoos to her one don't necessarily make him a dangerous, bad boy -- just like her three piercings to his none don't make her something she's not.

Beyond the great falling of Zander and Faith, I loved catching up with Rafe and Olivia, Dani and Jake, and Ryan and Holly/Hope. More than that, though, I loved the great Meddling Minellis -- and the lengths to which Zander tried to avoid them.

{ previous reviews in series } .

I've read 'em all, but only officially reviewed one:
LOVE ON A SPRING MORNING (bk 3) 4.5 { review }

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