Jennifer Probst is one of those rare authors whose every single book I’ve not only read, but simply adored, and her latest novel is no exception. She is known for her relentless romantic streak, for her written-in-the-stars connections between strong heroines and dominant males, and the overwhelming sexual chemistry between them. Her stories sizzle and warm your heart all at the same time, and it is impossible not to be affected by the magic of her words. This is the first book in a brand new series and just when I thought nothing could beat her Marriage to a Billionaire series, Ms Probst proved me wrong.
Kate is the successful owner of a matchmaking agency, a young woman who hopelessly believes in love and everlasting happiness when two people are each other’s perfect match. She also has a rare gift of sensing strong energy between people who are meant to be together, something that helps her immensely in her career, but regardless of how many happy couples she has successfully introduced to one another, she remains single with no happy romantic prospect in sight. Her latest challenge comes in the form of Slade Montgomery, one of the top divorce lawyers in the state and love cynic extraordinaire, who comes to Kate’s agency with the intent of exposing her as a fraud by becoming her client.
“Friendship lasts. Family. But romantic love is just a mirage—a glass of ice-cold Coca-Cola in the middle of the desert. You stumble and reach to quench the thirst, then find the glass vanishes right through your fingers.”
Slade is a man who does not believe in love, his failed marriage and his everyday dealings with jaded divorcees having turned him into someone who truly believes that marriage vows are doomed from the start. He equates marriage with divorce, love with heartbreak, and he does not see himself as someone emotionally built to sustain a long-term commitment to one woman.
“I deal with messiness every day, and I don’t live in your world of rainbows and sunbeams. You focus on the beginning where hormones and dreams rule. I get the heartbreak and emotional riptide of kids, money, and hate.”
The physical attraction between them is unquestionable from their first encounter, but one electrifying touch between them magnifies their connection even more. While Slade is happy to pursue a no-strings-attached type of relationship with her, Kate is sorely aware of their differing stances on love and commitment and the irony of the rare electric chemistry between them that would never come to fruition. She is even more determined not to cross the line set by their professional contract, knowing that one taste of Slade would ruin her for all men and jeopardise her business at the same time. But the more time they spend with one another, getting to know each other, the more she realises that she would never feel such a connection to another man because the only one her heart has ever wanted is not interested in someone like her.
“When was it her turn? When would she finally find the connection for herself? … Maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t a man or woman meant for everyone. Maybe, just maybe, she was meant to be alone.”
But Slade is a man used to getting what he wants and Kate is a temptation too great to resist, as there is nothing that his body has ever craved more than the irresistible woman before him who says she does not want him. It only takes one unforgettable night in each other’s arms to make them question everything they have ever wanted or dreamed of finding. Some things, however, not even a night of mind-blowing passion can change, and the very connection that brought them together is also the very reason they part ways.
“I’m not built for forever. At least, not with someone who thinks love is a fairy tale and we’ll live happily ever after… There is no forever!”
This story wrecked me, tugged at every one of my heartstrings because it made me feel every bit of the emotional conflict within these characters. I felt their insecurities, desperation, sorrow, resignation, inability to be something they are not and still love each other enough to put the other’s needs first. It’s a stunning tale of two people loving each other above all else, being perfectly matched in every possible way, apart from wanting very different things in life. But there is one thing that you can always count on when you’re reading a Jennifer Probst novel – she will put your heart through the wringer, but love is always the ultimate winner and you will walk away believing in happily-ever-afters just a little bit more.
A splendid new series, a whole new set of characters to fall in love with, a story that is still making me smile. And a dog named Robert who made me cry more times than I wish to admit.
“I want a soul mate, not a temporary bedmate.”