Sunday, May 14, 2017

Love After All - Jaci Burton (Jove - Apr 2015)

Series: Hope (Book 4)

High school math teacher Chelsea Gardner has the perfect plan. She’s tired of dating all the wrong men, and after years of frustration, she’s developed a foolproof list of requirements for finding “The One.”

Bar owner Sebastian “Bash” Palmer finds Chelsea beautiful, smart and fun, but he thinks her list is ridiculous and unnecessary. Intent on proving Chelsea is looking for love in all the wrong ways, he offers to help her find the “perfect” man.

Chelsea knows Bash isn’t the right guy for her -- he barely meets one of her criteria -- but there’s something about the charismatic man that has her yearning for things that are most definitely not list approved.

Because sometimes, a relationship that looks totally wrong on paper can turn out incredibly right…

Good combination of friends to lovers and opposites attract. Chelsea is a high school math teacher and one of a group of friends. She's seen several of them fall in love and wants that for herself. But after years of dating guys that just don't work out, she has developed a list with her requirements for the "perfect man". If she sticks to that, surely she'll find the man that can give her the future she wants.

Bash is a member of the same group of friends. He owns the bar No Hope at All. Having been married and divorced once when he was younger, Bash has no desire to make the same mistake. He keeps his relationships strictly casual. He finds out about Chelsea's list and thinks it's ridiculous, but Chelsea is a friend so he offers to help.

Bash and Chelsea have been friends for a long time. Like her other friends, he teases her about her list, but he does introduce her to a couple guys that meet her criteria. Unfortunately for her, there's absolutely no chemistry with these "perfect" men. But there is amazing chemistry between Chelsea and Bash. They are thrown together during events for Logan and Des's wedding (Hope Ignites) and their sparks burn hotter. Bash knows that Chelsea is looking for something permanent, which isn't him, but he really wants her. Chelsea knows that Bash doesn't do commitments and he doesn't match any of her requirements, but he sure gets her motor running. She thinks that her fascination with him is interfering with her ability to connect with other men, so she proposes a quick fling to get each other out of their systems.

I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. Bash is a really nice guy and more complex than Chelsea gives him credit for at first. She begins to see him differently when an ex-girlfriend dumps a dog on him. The closer she gets to him, the more she tries to remind herself that he doesn't match her list. But though the head agrees, the heart and body are ready to toss out the list. I really enjoyed seeing Bash basically court her, though he didn't realize that's what he was doing at first. There are some really sweet and romantic scenes between theme, as well as some really steamy ones. Each of them finally realizes their feelings, but when Chelsea speaks of hers, Bash panics and pushes her away. He knows immediately that he screwed up, but fixing the problem proves to be harder than he expected. I loved the support that Chelsea got from their friends, and ached for her pain at the split. I really enjoyed seeing how Bash had to work to get his chance to make things right. His big moment at the end was sweet and romantic.

I liked seeing more of the gang of friends. The lead up to Logan and Des's wedding was great. There were plenty of chances to see what everyone is up to. I also liked the scene with Luke and Logan's brother Reid, as they all consult about renovating an old building in the town. I'm looking forward to his story. I also loved the little dog, Lou, and how quickly she and Bash took to each other. It was pretty sweet to picture the big tough guy with the little bitty dog.

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