A birthday card out of the blue from his estranged father sends successful Seattle marketing man Alex Chernoff on a detour to Cherry Lake in search of answers about his past. A day, maybe two, to tie up loose strings and he’ll be out of there, heading for Mexico, margaritas and blondes in bikinis.
Emma Stanhope is all too familiar with hot, rich, entitled guys like Alex. They never hang around for long, especially not for a Plain Jane like herself. No problem. She’s smart and logical, like any good scientist, and knows better than to lose her heart.
What Emma doesn’t count on is chemistry—of the romantic kind. What Alex doesn’t count on is meeting the girl who’ll make him want to change his ways. But when he learns that he’s a secret from his father’s real family, he can’t stay in Cherry Lake… even if he wants to.
Will love be enough to convince Alex to stay… for good?
Source: Review copy from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
Oh, Alex! For a guy I wasn’t sure I was going to like, given that beginning, wow did I feel for him throughout this book. He might be a successful young professional, but it’s clear he never got over his father’s strange abandonment of him as a boy, so to have his father get back in touch on his thirtieth birthday understandably shook him up. However, it’s the way Richard treats him that got to me. To have been kept a secret all those years was bad enough, but to still try and ignore his existence? Ouch. Poor Alex.
Luckily for Alex, Emma is on hand to distract him from his family troubles. I liked Emma – she’s smart and sassy and has a tomboy streak that resonated with me. Even better, at no point in this story does she change her look or her behaviour for Alex – and nor would he have wanted her to. They’re a fun pair when they’re together, argumentative at times, teasing at others and with plenty of chemistry. The whole story takes place over about a week, so there were elements of their romance that felt a little rushed, but mostly it was sweet and fun with a nice touch of heat.
The strongest part of this book for me, though, was Alex’s confusion over this whole family he never knew he had and who didn’t even know he existed. I really felt for Alex as he tried not to intrude, while being unable to quite keep away either. Considering that he starts off the book as a pretty cold, uncaring kind of guy, the way he changes throughout the story was just lovely. He surprised me by how sweet he turned out to be, if I’m honest.
I really enjoyed this first trip to Cherry Lake and was definitely left wanting more – not least about Alex’s siblings. I look forward to seeing what the other authors will bring to this setting.
The Secret Son is Out Now!
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