Alec Grayson returns home to Falcon, Alabama, to rebuild his life after a knee injury ended his NFL career. As the Falcon high school quarterback coach, Alec’s love for the game is reignited. Meanwhile, he puts his hard-partying past and the betrayal of the people he trusted most behind him, and adopts a hard demeanor. That is, until a spitfire artist with soulful eyes and a body that haunts his dreams gets under his skin and threatens to crack his armor.
Lilliana Hancock is forced to leave her struggling-artist lifestyle in New York and return to Falcon after her father’s unexpected death leaves her a decrepit family mansion. Determined to use her skills to turn the home into a successful bed and breakfast, Lilliana is stopped at every turn by the town contractor, who happens to be Alec, the gorgeous and arrogant jock to whom she lost her virginity in college. Except Alec doesn’t remember, which infuriates her. Too bad she can’t forget the way his body felt against hers or how his heated gaze follows her…
Will they be able to put their pasts behind them for a future together?
Source: ARC from St Martin’s Press via NetGalley
Thank goodness for this book! I was starting to believe I was just too grumpy to read right now, but then this came along and was so enjoyable I remembered what it was to enjoy myself again. Hurray!
This lovely, steamy romance offers up a caring heroine and a closed-off hero with a sprinkling of sport, a touch of art and the smallest hint of a second chance. I really enjoyed it, and although it’s only my first taste of this series (and what this author has to offer) it stands alone perfectly well.
Lilliana is great. She’s a smart woman who’s turning her family’s ancestral home into a B&B because she can’t think of another way to fund its upkeep. It’s hardly a dream career for this trained artist, but since she has absolutely no confidence in her work, then it’s all she has planned. She’s a nice person, kind and caring, especially with her friends, and she wears baggy t-shirts to keep her considerable assets hidden. Despite her insecurities and body issues, though, she’s neither shy nor lacking in confidence. Instead she’s funny and friendly and I warmed to her immediately.
Unlike Alec, whose past betrayals have caused him to shut down completely. He’s a bit brusque, rather cold and is so suspicious he always jumps to the worst possible conclusion regardless of the people involved. Which means he does hurt Lilliana’s feelings several times with his accusations, and yet there is goodness in Alec. It takes a while for him to thaw out, but underneath all his hurt feelings he is a good guy – he’s just out of practise.
I loved the relationship between these two. The way Lilliana brings Alec back to life with her trust and how she makes him laugh. Likewise, I loved the way Alec sees her and makes her feel beautiful, not to mention the faith he has in her art. The pair of them are adorable, even if Alec is jumpy and reluctant and seems ready to bolt at the slightest hint of emotion, while Lilliana keeps her secret a little too long. The chemistry between them is scorching hot, but there is so much more to their relationship than sex and I loved watching them grow closer.
This book is about more than just these two, though. It’s also about the town they live in and particularly one young footballer that Alec coaches. The storyline with Hunter is just another great way of seeing how much Alec changes across the story, and how much help Lilliana has to offer him in life. Hunter’s also a good kid and there’s a very short scene between him and his twin that grabbed my heart. Fans of the series will likely also enjoy seeing old characters come back again, while if you’re new to it all like me this will probably leave you wanting to know more.
Overall this is a cute, easy, feel-good romance with plenty of steam and some really adorable moments. The romance is completely satisfying, the setting is good and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I will definitely be catching up on the rest of the series soon and keeping my eye out for anything else this author has to offer in future.
Melting Into You is Out Now!
Visit Laura Trentham for more details.