by Jamie Beck
Cover girl Cat St. James’s picture-perfect life is anything but flawless. Luckily, she’s a master of hiding the truth from the camera. Relying on that skill, she conceals her latest secret from her family while attending her brother’s wedding. Her only trouble now is Hank Mitchell—the soft-spoken carpenter she’d once brushed aside. Seeing him at the reception underscores her private heartache and ignites unwelcome longing, which she promptly drowns in champagne.
Hank is no stranger to sacrifice, having set aside his own ambitions to take care of his family. One thing he won’t forsake is his pride, which Cat already wounded once. But when the maddening beauty’s reckless behavior forces him to rush to her rescue, he sets in motion a series of events that leads Cat to make a business proposal granting him his dream job.
When Cat and Hank mix business with pleasure, promises and secrets unravel, and each must decide if and what they’ll surrender for love.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Worth the Wait, and I’m really not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading this one. Maybe because I didn’t remember liking Cat all that much (actually I’m not really all that sure how I felt about her) but I think that I expected her to be difficult to like in her own story.
I was seriously wrong. She’s flawed, full of pride and neurosis, but she’s also caring. She works in a world that is all about her image and her dad has never seen her as more than just a pretty face. It’s easy to see why she gets so hung up on what will happen to her now that she’s older and how she can prove herself to be more than just a trophy. Unfortunately a disastrous relationship and a serious secret has her hesitant to give her heart to any guy again.
Hank definitely sees more than just her beauty. He’s a sensitive, loving person who unfortunately has been dealt a very difficult hand. Shortly after his dad died his mom started displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s so he’s had to support his family since a very young age, giving up many of his dreams. It also means he doesn’t have a lot of time or energy to give to a relationship. He thought something might have developed with Cat but she threw him over for someone else … and now that she’s single again he might be tempted but he’s also very hesitant to be hurt again.
I would have thought that Cat’s attitude would have gotten to me but Beck does a fantastic job of giving her readers a couple they can relate to and care about. I found myself turning page after page hoping that they would find some way to get past their history and issues to be together. When things go sour for them (as you’d expect), it made me sad for them – although I was definitely more on Hank’s side than Cat’s. But they manage to get it all together finally and get that HEA they so need. And I definitely can’t wait to see what comes next.