Title: Leave the Lights On
Author: Karen Stivali
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: Ebook; 238
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Source: Literati Author Services
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Lovers of romance, and those just starting out in the genre!
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
"When love throws you a curve, swing for the fences. "
Parker Wood's dreams of becoming a professional baseball player are shattered when he's injured in a devastating car crash. After two years in hospitals and physical rehab facilities, he's ready to move back to his childhood home and take over the family landscaping company. The house and business are his, now that his father has passed.
Sophie Vaughn has suffered through a hellishly public divorce from a husband who couldn't manage to stay faithful for two months of marriage. Determined not to let her personal drama impact her successful wedding and party planning business, she buys her parents' old house, hoping the comfort of familiar surroundings will help her heal.
When Parker and Sophie discover they're neighbors once again, it's as if time has stood still. Their friendship is quickly rekindled, along with the decade-long crush neither of them ever admitted having. Then the heat between them exposes a long-held secret that threatens to tear them apart...unless they can detach from their painful pasts and move forward-together.
Warning: Contains sultry summer nights, steamy pool-side encounters, and you'll never look at a jar of peanut butter the same way again.
What a pleasantly surprising read! I never know what I'm going to get when I start a new romance novel, and this one definitely threw me for a loop. I was hooked from page one. Hooked into Parker's story, hooked on the fact that these were childhood friends, and totally enamored with everything about this potential couple. Romance lovers rejoice! This is the type of longing-sigh inspiring, toe curling, book that you've been looking for.
I'll happily admit that Parker stole my heart. I'd have let him take it a million times over. So far, my experience with leading men in romances is pretty standard. They've all been dark, brooding, bad-ass characters who win the girl over eventually. But Parker? Oh, Parker. He's the boy next door. The one who you swoon over because he's so honest, so sweet, and just downright adorable. It was a nice change of pace for me. What's not to love?
I thought Sophie was a brilliant female lead for this story. She's vivid, passionate, and the same amount of broken that Parker is. I know it seems cliche, but these two are perfect for one another. I was in love with their chemistry. Intrigued by the slow sizzle that buit between them. By the time that the steamy scenes finally made their debut? I was more than ready for them.
In terms of story, it felt fairly balanced. These two face their fair share of problems, although none of them were as big as I thought they might be. In fact, toward the end I felt the tension was a bit forced. I understood why. The ending is... well really the only word for it is adorable! However it came after a situation which I thought (keep in mind this is my opinion) shouldn't have happened. Perhaps you'll agree with me. Perhaps not! Still, I can promise the ending makes it all worth it.
If you're a fan of romance, or just dipping your toes into the genre, this is a great place to start! Parker and Sophie are sure to steal your heart. Their story is the perfect mix of sweet, steamy, and swoon-worthy. Grab a copy, and prepare to fall in love.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.