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cover58281-mediumA crush that turned into love.

Being the only girl in a family with five Santini brothers was never easy on Elena Santini. She always tried to be faster and smarter to make sure they always took her seriously. They were always trying to tell her what to do, and worse, who she could date. That’s why falling for her oldest brother’s best friend wasn’t smart especially when he treats her like a sister. That is, until she gets him alone in her apartment one night.

One night in Heaven.

NCIS agent Jethro Thomas, known to everyone as JT, has always played it smart. When his admiration turned to attraction a few years ago, he started avoiding Elena. A guy wasn’t supposed to have those kinds of thoughts about his best friend’s little sister. After returning from an undercover assignment, and about to go on another one, he can’t seem to resist the temptation. One night with her and he knows he’s lost, but he has a job to do.

A changed man.

 JT returns from the assignment with a few more scars, both physical and emotional–but he survived for one reason. He’s ready to start a new life with Elena, but a dark cloud hangs over the new love. When small incidents evolve into near death accidents, JT realizes someone from his past is ready to destroy his happiness, even harm Elena to make him pay.

Here we have another series that I joined in progress but luckily another one where it didn’t matter – Schroeder does a fantastic job of keeping you up to date on the pertinent details without actually overloading you with extra story.  I love her mix of romance and suspense – mostly romance here but just enough suspense to keep you on your toes. 

Elena is a wonderfully self-assured woman who goes after what she wants – and what she wants is JT (poor man never stood a chance).  She’s strong, thanks to a houseful of brothers, and smart.  She’s also loyal and sassy and a perfect match for JT.  Unfortunately she’s also his best friend’s little sister so he’s been keeping his hands to himself … now she’s tired of waiting for him 🙂  JT is also strong and caring and has been fighting for a long time to hide his attraction to Elena.  When she decides enough is enough, he can’t resist. 

My only complaint is with the blurb.  It makes a big deal about how JT comes back changed but it isn’t quite the way that the book makes it seem … or at least Schroeder didn’t play it out that way.  They pretty much pick up where they left off, only with some time to realize how much they mean to each other.  I think that if that part had been left out and it just went straight to the danger that comes from JT’s past then it would have made a little more sense.  In the context of the story, the plot flows very well and it is engrossing.  But if you are going off the cover then it doesn’t quite match up.

The best part though is the Santinis themselves.  This rather large group of people is fantastic – they are funny and sassy and nosey and loving.  They are right in each other’s business but they do it with a HUGE heart.  I love the idea of a series surrounding this family and I’m definitely going to have to find some of the other books.  I’m already looking forward to seeing Elena’s brother (and JT’s best friend) Anthony meets his match, especially after the hard time he gives them when he finds out about their relationship!

With a huge dose of humor, quite a bit of heat, a lot of heart and just that magic touch of danger, Falling for a Santini is a hit on so many levels.  If you’ve never read one of Schroeder’s books, pick this one up and give it a try.  You’ll be looking for more as well.