Author: Tessa Teevan
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: January 29, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Page Count: 305
Two words Kalli Montgomery never expected to say out loud to Xavier Cruz, even though she's been in love with the sexy, single father for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, she hasn't just been friend-zoned for the past ten years. No, even worse, he's treated her like a little sister, no matter how hard she tried to prove she could be so much more. When she agrees to spend the summer as the caregiver for his daughter, Lily, she knows it's her last chance to finally make him take notice.
As unexpected circumstances threaten to disrupt his home life, Xavier's desperate to keep his family together. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a woman he doesn't love. For Xavier and Lily, Kalli will do just about anything, even at the risk of getting her heart broken in the process.
Little does she know, sometimes love isn't quite as unrequited as one may think. Xavier sees her-he always has. And the vow he made all those years ago never to go there with his best friend's little sister is wavering, and it's wavering fast. When they come up with a plan that leads to wedding bells, it's a no brainer.
This marriage of convenience has one rule: absolutely no falling in love.
Easier said than done. Throw together a girl who believes rules are meant to be broken, and a man whose whole career revolves around following orders and you get a recipe for disaster. What could possibly go wrong?
Squeeeeel! Another taste of those yummy soldiers that Tessa Teevan writes so well! This time we meet Xavier Cruz. He’s come up a few times in past books, but mostly to see Kale being that surrogate father to Lily while Xavier, a sexy single dad, is deployed. For the first time, we really get to see into Xavier’s past to get the full story of how he came to be raising Lily with just the support of his mother and army buddies. And for this, we take a trip down memory lane…
Ten years earlier Kale and Xavier meet in basic training, bonding over the fact both of them are soon to be dads. As we learned in Inflamed (spoiler alert if you haven’t read it yet…and if you haven’t why the hell not?!?) Kale’s girlfriend back home terminates the pregnancy without his knowledge crushing him. The two men build a strong friendship, one that often brings Xavier over to Kale’s home – and to the adoring eyes of 16 year old Kalli Montgomery. Xavier feels the instant attraction but quickly squelches those thoughts when when he learns her age. And no matter, he has a new born daughter to care for.
Fast forward 10 years and Kalli has opted to take a teaching job near Kale and Lucy. She’s offered a summer job by some meddlesome moms that place her right back in Xavier’s path – Lily’s nanny for the summer. Kalli hasn’t changed her mind about Xavier, but perhaps it’s time to show him she’s not that sixteen year old girl anymore.
One of the best things I find about Tessa’s writing is that she writes strong female characters. Charlie from Incinerate could, and did, kick a few guys asses in the boxing ring. Lucy owned her sexuality, as did many of her other female leads. These are some strong, kick ass, take no shit from you gals and I love that. In a book world of man-whore heroes vs virginal heroines, I love that she rights REAL women. Kalli is no saint and if giving the chance with Xavier, they both might be walking funny the next day!
This book also had a lot of build up two the characters finally getting together in any way. Seems appropriate since Xavier often told Kalli it was the anticipation that with make it that much better; that much sweeter. And Xavier, he ain’t lying. There were times I wanted to Kalli to just cut her losses and move on because Xavier was always so torn over the idea that he could devote himself to someone other than Lily as he had done for the last 10 year. But true to form, Xavier was worth the wait.
Tessa Teevan has become one of those authors that regardless of the book, when she puts one out, I one click that bitch! You should too! And should you see her at a signing, she is so approachable and will sit and chat with you. Don’t wanna brag or anything, but she said next time I see her, I have full permission to hump her leg if I start to go all fan-girl on her. Don’t be jealous. She has two legs.
Shooting a glare at him, I throw my hands up in exasperation. “Are you telling me that this whole anticipation thing is one-sided? Is it that easy for you to resist? I really need to step up my game.”
Xavier’s eyes fall to my lips for a quick moment before he looks back up at me. I see the desire in his expression, and without him even saying a word, I know he wants this, too. So why is he making me wait?
“You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now. How many times I’ve thought of doing just that. Every time you were curled up against me on the couch, I wanted to kiss you. Every morning when you showed up, I wanted to kiss you. Every time you said goodnight to Lily and then slipped out my door? I wanted to kiss you before you left. It’s not a new development. The first time I ever saw you, Kalli, I wanted to kiss you. And I’ve wanted to ever since.”
His admission floors me. He’s told me before that he “saw” me, but I had no clue it was from the very beginning. I’m not really sure how to process it. In fact, he beats me to the punch.
“So now you know. This will be just as hard for me, but it will be so damn worth it. Because when you’ve wanted something for as long as I’ve wanted you? It’ll be the best feeling in the world when I finally get it.”
“Our first kiss will be that epic?”
“A first kiss to rival them all,” he quips, grinning at me. He holds his arms out wide. “Now, we’ll start with a hug and work our way up.”
“I feel like I’m sixteen again,” I tell him as I wrap my arms around his waist.
His hands come down to my back and he gives me a big squeeze, my head pressing against his firm chest. I love this feeling of being in his arms, him holding me close. There’s nowhere on the planet I’d rather be than right here with him. As much as I want him, I know he’s right. I don’t care when it comes. Because when it does, our first kiss will be unforgettable.
His chest rumbles as he chuckles. He squeezes me tight one last time before letting me go. “And it’s only just the beginning,” he tells me. “Have a good night, crazy girl.”