by Marquita Valentine Series: Holland Springs #4 Genres: Contemporary Romance Published by Self Published
on August 6, 2013 Format: Ebook Pages:
363 Source: Author Purchase Links: Amazon
✦ Barnes & Noble Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating:
What an earl wants isn’t always what he gets…
British Billionaire and modern day earl of Spenserfield, Sebastian Romanov only wants one thing in life: To reclaim his position as president of Romanov Industries. But first he has to clean up his reputation to convince the Board that he’s a dependable bloke who’s willing to put the company above everything, including his personal life. Finally given an excuse to sort things out with his estranged twin brother, he boards a jet to Holland Springs, North Carolina, never dreaming he’d find the solution to his all his problems in the town’s sexy caterer, Daisy Barnes.
She’s going to serve him his just desserts…
Daisy Barnes, owner of The Sweet Spot, has plans. Plans that don’t include posing as some arrogant—yet sexy as hell—earl’s fiancée. But when unexpected insurance bills –to the tune of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars—from her mother’s unsuccessful battle with cancer come due, she’s forced to accept his offer and his money. Only problem for Daisy—underneath that cold exterior is a man that can set her on fire with just one touch.
As Sebastian and Daisy spend more time together, they find it harder and harder to not give into temptation. Soon neither can tell where the fake romance ends and true love begins…
At a glance, Just Desserts, the fourth book in the Holland Springs series by Marquita Valentine, appears to be simply a story about two people who fake a romantic relationship and fall in love. Thankfully, it’s much more complicated than that.
I liked both lead characters in this often humorous, yet angst-ridden and messy love story. Daisy Barns is sweet, kind, self-sufficient, and owns her own business. She’s well-respected and loved by her town and her friends. She’s just an overall great person to be around. However, she can be a little naïve when it comes to matters of the heart. Case in point, she’s blind to the many faults of her on again and off again boyfriend Glen. Thankfully, she’s a little more guarded when she meets Sebastian, and rightfully so.
Sebastian Romanov is a layered, complex, and dynamic character, with a dark and painful past. He is truly the most fascinating thing about the book. He’s a ruthless businessman. He doesn’t have many friends, has a rocky relationship with his estranged twin brother Christian, and has enough daddy issues to last anyone a couple of lifetimes. He’s overly possessive, a liar, a schemer, and can be very manipulative. He will do pretty much anything to get what he wants: as is evidenced by the lengths he goes to in order to reclaim his father’s company and win Daisy’s love and affection. However, he’s not all bad. For instance, he can be romantic and sweet to Daisy, and he genuinely works to prepare his relationship with his twin, but many of his more charitable moments go unnoticed by the public and those closest to him. There’s no question that Sebastian’s a jerk, but his character does go through a metamorphosis of sorts.
Sebastian is admittedly a much darker character than Daisy, but they both have moments where you’ll shake your head and want to shake some sense into them. Sebastian does some pretty underhanded things to keep Daisy in his company, one thing in particular that Daisy doesn’t find out about until much later in the book. But interestingly enough, I still found them relatable and sympathetic, and rooted for them both, together and separately. As for their romance, the attraction was there, the chemistry was there, but the road to love and happiness was a long, twisted, and bumpy one, fraught with many complications.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a messy and complicated love story, with complex and imperfect characters, then this is the perfect book for you. (Reviewed by Quiana – The Book Lover).