Dear Ms. Dane:
After reading this book, I have a new favorite hero trope: I call it, “Hero in Hot Pursuit”. Mary Whaley runs a very successful catering company and a supper club. She has good friends, a loving family and is generally both busy and truly happy with her life. She offers to cater one of her closest friends, Gillian’s, wedding. Gillian is marrying Adrian Brown (Never Enough), who is an international rock star, but one of the most down-to-earth people Mary knows. At the wedding, Mary meets Damien Hurley, a member of up-and-coming band, Sweet Hollow Ranch. Damien and his brothers will be going on tour with Adrian soon, and as they’re good friends, he and his brothers have been invited to the wedding. Damien is a drummer, and a reputed maniac both on stage and in the bed. He’s completely captivated by Mary’s confidence and abilities. She’s an accomplished cook, a genuinely kind person, and hot as hell. He immediately wants to see more of her.
Ever practical, Mary decides, sure, she’ll have some (a lot) of fun with Damien, but in the end, her life is ridiculously busy and she certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship, or even anything resembling it. She’s going to have some safe, energetic sex with Damien, not get attached and send him on his way the moment it becomes work. She never expects to like him so much. Sure, they have amazing chemistry, but it’s more than that. She finds herself thinking of him, or texting him when something comes up that she’d like to share. She thinks of him throughout her busy days. And she finds herself wishing he were there at the most inopportune times and when they’re together, it’s easy.
For his part, Damien is doing his damnedest to stay at the forefront of Mary’s mind. He texts, he calls, he makes sure she’s thinking of him. And when the tour swings close enough by to arrange for Mary to come to a concert, he makes sure he has time for her. He’s bewitched. Mary is independent and consumed with her business. She isn’t calling, isn’t begging to see him, isn’t desperate to be part of his life. In fact, she barely has time for him to be in hers. What results is an adorable story of a hero who is hard core pursuing a heroine. Not in a creepy, stalker way. More in a “Dammit, I want her!” way that entertained me. Damien is befuddled by Mary’s independence, and can’t figure out his next move. Meanwhile, Mary is just acting as she does — assuming nothing serious will come of their relationship. But as they fall deeper, both characters’ emotions become involved. Can Mary deal with Damien’s fame, which is pressing in on their relationship? Or will she choose to go back to her regular life, sans rock star, which made her really happy?
I seriously loved this book! I loved that Damien was chasing Mary. I loved that he respected her for her smarts, her abilities, and her drive. She wasn’t just a slam piece for him. I also really liked Mary. I thought that she was interestingly independent, but also reliant on her close knit friends and family. I liked how easily she and Damien fit together and how comfortable she was in her own skin. The reason this book misses an A-grade from me is that Mary pulls a bit of a romance-heroine move and flees the scene when the going gets tough. She’d proven herself so self-possessed and smart, I’d have MUCH rather seen her kick his ass in person than take off. That being said, this is a worthy entry into what is fast becoming another favorite series for me. I loved my time with Mary and Damien, and definitely heaved the big, happy sigh at the end of the book. I’m already looking forward to the next entry in the Delicous series. Final grade: B+