Title: Sunset in Central Park
Author: Sarah Morgan
Series: From Manhattan With Love #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: Now (UK)/ 30th Aug (US)
True love can be hard to find. Even when it’s been right under your nose all along…
After witnessing the fallout of her parent’s divorce, love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. The only man in her life is her friend Matt–but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, has always played it cool. Until he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever, and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer.
Matt knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can he persuade her to kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?
Source: ARC from MIRA (Harlequin UK) via NetGalley
If you’re already a fan of Sarah Morgan’s books, then you will find plenty to enjoy here – wonderful friendships, lovely romance and plenty of locations that make you want to visit. Existing fans of both this series and the Puffin Island books will also enjoy revisiting old characters and places, but if you’re new you should be able to follow along just fine.
Friends-to-lovers is the main theme here, along with a hint of best-friend’s brother and commitment issues. Matt is sweet and kind and all around lovely, while Frankie is prickly and has a whole heap of issues. This is a very slow moving romance at first – we’re almost halfway before they even date – yet it’s obvious from the very start where it’s going. I didn’t mind the slow pace, but once they get over the first of Frankie’s issues (kissing) things sped up a lot and I found it a little less enjoyable, because of the rate at which previously insurmountable things get swept aside.
Basically, in this book, falling in love will cure everything! Okay, maybe it’s not that basic, but it was slightly annoying to see all of Frankie’s issues, which had defined her for so long, get boiled down to something different. The speed in which it all happened took away most of the conflict too, which left a sort of emptiness towards the end that had to be filled with others. Don’t get me wrong, this is still an enjoyable read, and to be honest I loved the apology scene, but the romantic conflict wasn’t very convincing, hinging as it did on certain people over-reacting in order to make an issue out of something they’d previously claimed to understand.
I like both Matt and Frankie, but their romance – slow to begin as it is – is pretty straightforward. Much as I enjoyed the trip to Puffin Island and everything to do with Eva, and Matt’s employees, some of it definitely felt like padding to keep things moving until something suitably difficult could happen.
If you’re looking for something sweet and romantic and full of friendship, then this is a great summer read. It didn’t fill me with warmth and happiness like Sleepless in Manhattan, but it is still enjoyable and made me smile. My expectations for this book were really, really high because of what I’d seen in the first book, so that might explain why, although I did like this, I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped. Still, it’s another good book from Sarah Morgan and I can’t wait to read more about Eva in the last of the trilogy.
Sunset in Central Park is Out Now! (UK)
(US release August 30th.)
Visit Sarah Morgan for more details.