James Bowen is visiting his Dad who lives in a Florida retirement community. Tate Cooper is spending time with her mother who lives next door to James’ Dad. Both James and Tate live in Boston and their meeting is pure coincidence. Tate is pretty stressed after having lost her father and brother in a car accident a year ago and is now trying to keep the family restaurant afloat. Her mother and sister have bailed on her and she’s determined to keep this together. To complete this sad picture, her boyfriend dumped her in the middle of all of this. When she meets James, she’s attracted to him until she sees his tattoos. Tate’s got a whole conversation about what kind of men wear ink and she decides that he’s worth a fling but no way is he going to get the chance to break her heart.
James and Tate begin their relationship with a complete focus on sex, and there is a lot of it. James knows that Tate has him stereotyped and he’s okay with that because he’s that confident in himself. He’s one of those alphas that doesn’t come on strong but gets his way by charm and affability. When it’s time for Tate to return to Boston, James has feelings beyond a fling and while Tate misses him, bad boys are too risky.
What makes this erotic romance work is the wonderfully developed characters. James is utterly charming, even when his alpha nature takes over. Tate never set out to be the family savior and she’s going under until James intervenes in her life. She’s vulnerable but at the same time she’s terrified of losing anyone else she cares about and is resistant to letting James become too important to her.
There is quite a bit of sex, really explicit and HOT sex, more than I thought was needed until the second half of the story, which focused on some very tough issues that the sex was masking. While the first half was filled with witty dialogue and the dance that goes along with two people focused on a physical relationship, the second half of the story was really compelling. There are also some sinister actions targeted toward Tate that add a serious element as well. I enjoyed the story, where two people who start off a relationship totally based on sex but find common ground and come to love and like each other. I couldn’t resist starting the next one immediately.