Natasha Boyd (writing as Tasha Boyd) fuels our wanderlust with the titillating tale of a newly unemployed young architect from Charleston, South Carolina, who ends up jump-starting her life on a megayacht in the South of France, working as a nanny for a brooding, widowed billionaire. What was only supposed to be a six-week summer gig while she looks for another job in her field turns into everything she didn’t even know she needed in this deeply felt, searingly passionate romance that I loved so so much. Boyd steadily builds the love story from both perspectives, making us almost taste the mounting desire between the leads, but it’s the way she leaves no emotional stone unturned in her powerful portrayal of a broken widower who is afraid to open his heart again that had me reading until four in the morning, two days in a row. I heartily recommend this book to those looking to soothe their travel cravings from the safety of their couch, or to anyone whose catnip just happens to be a curmudgeonly, dirty-talking Frenchman with a big… yacht.
“Your heart. Please. I cannot be responsible for it.”
Just when Josephine “Josie” Marin thought her career was finally about to take off, she finds herself not only passed over for a promotion, but also quitting a job she spent almost a decade training for. With no immediate employment prospects on the horizon and in need of a fresh perspective on life, Josie makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to accept a nanny position in France, caring for a little girl while sailing the French Riviera on board of a superyacht owned by her billionaire daddy. But then she meets her new boss and, all of a sudden, seasickness is taking a back seat to her very inconvenient attraction to the handsome Frenchman.
Oh, Xavier Maxim Pascale was hot all right. No, not hot. He was breathtaking—beautiful in a kind of magazine-ad-that-you-can’t-turn-the-page-from kind of way. Rugged and icy in his glare. But with suntanned skin and lazy, glossy dark hair swept off his face.
Josie’s physical reaction to Xavier Pascale, however, is far from being one-sided. From the moment the French billionaire lays eyes on his daughter’s new nanny, he feels his carefully honed control begin to unravel. They both do their best to rein in their raging attraction and keep things professional between them, but as Xavier continues to deny himself what his body begins to crave more and more, his grumpiness only grows. Because Xavier Pascale is a man who no longer trusts in love, or believes himself capable of making someone love him forever, and Josie is the first woman in a very long time who makes him wish he were a different man. But one slip is all it takes, and nothing can stop the inevitable between them, not even knowing that a two-day, rule-free affair is all they would ever get.
She still watched me. I could feel it. I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to. I thrust harder, punishing myself for my weakness. Punishing her for it. Making myself wait. Finding the last of my control from the very depths of me. Admitting to myself I was taking advantage of her attraction to me. Of her love for my daughter. And hating myself for it. Because I knew if I opened my eyes, hers would be telling me it wasn’t just sex, and it wasn’t just two days, and there were rules. And we were going to smash everything down. Including ourselves.
Every touch, every soul-searing kiss, every stolen moment in each other’s arms feels both reckless and freeing, making it harder and harder to ever want to say goodbye. Until something bad happens and their very brief fling is brought to an end even sooner than expected.
This wasn’t making love. No, this was fighting it. We were fighting, both of us. Fighting against our hearts being blown apart.
From the first time Josie and Xavier meet to the perfectly romantic happy ending they both deserve, there’s an inherent vulnerability to these characters that is palpable in their every interaction. The author builds the romance slowly and organically, with heart-touching realism and thoughtfulness, and even its steamy interludes only add to the dramatic journey the characters must travel before they can truly embrace all they could be together. A luscious feast of fabulous food, beautiful scenery, meticulous character development, and some pretty intense sex scenes to boot, I couldn’t put this book down.
“Are you sure we can’t get another nanny.”
“I’ll look into it.”
“No. Get a hold of yourself, man.”