After reading and loving Everywhere and Every Way, I dove straight into book #2 in the series, and again got caught up in a chemistry-filled banterfest with turned into a gorgeous romance that is sweet, sexy, and beautifully heartfelt. Though this one can technically standalone, I would definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series to get the relevant backstory and build-up.
Dalton is the youngest of the Pierce brothers, the trio of boys who run their family’s luxury construction business. Dalton is a gifted wood worker and a bit of a player, gorgeous, cocky and charming, he knows he has some emotional issues and he plans on avoiding love at all costs, knowing he’s not cut out for it, so he indulges in meaningless hook-ups, getting out before things get serious and making sure that nobody gets hurt in the progress. He usually has no trouble getting women, but there’s one woman who shuns him each time he makes a pass, and he cannot get her out of his head.
Raven is the new owner and manager of the local bar, My Place, and she has completely turned it around with her hip and original cocktails, and the funky vibe she brings to the place. But her bar is tired and in need of renovation, and the best woodworker in town is somebody that she wants to avoid at all costs. But for the sake of her business, she hires the best man for the job – Dalton Pierce.
In the first book we learned that the Pierce brothers’ mother was killed in a car accident. It was then that they learned that she was running away with another man. That man was Raven’s father. She, like the Pierce boys, was completely taken by surprise by the tragedy, but she also craves justice for her father who was painted as the bad guy when the story of their untimely deaths came out. The Pierce brothers don’t know who she is, and when she learned of her tie to them she wanted nothing to do with them, but Dalton has been relentlessly pursuing her for close to a year now, and now that they are going to be in each other’s space, she figures that she will see if he knows anything about their parents’ affair, giving her the answers she so desperately craves.
It’s a twisted set up, but it creates a great dynamic from the very beginning. Especially because against all odds they are hopelessly attracted to each other.
The oddest shimmer of connection always sparked to life when they were close. As if the universe was playing the ultimate joke, forcing her to be attracted to the one man she could never be with.
They both acknowledge the attraction between them, but Raven knows she can never go there with the son of the woman who shattered her world, and so she makes it clear to him that she wants more than what he can offer – marriage. It’s enough to make a manwhore run screaming from her bar, but there’s something about the feisty woman that Dalton can’t resist, and he finds himself helplessly addicted.
“We want each other. We want to figure out what this thing is between us that’s haunting me day and night. You’re in every breath I take Raven. It’s driving me mad.”
I love the way this relationship unfolds – both of them reluctant to start anything, but effortlessly falling into a relationship without even thinking about it. Their banter and flirting is fantastic, with lots of light moments, lots of sweetness, lots of smut talk, and a whole lot of sexy time. And the man who doesn’t do relationships proves just how swoony he can be.
“I don’t want to think about the future, or why we’re wrong for each other. I just want to claim this moment and kiss you in the moonlight, because you’re so fucking beautiful my heart hurts.”
But Raven’s secret threatens to blow Dalton’s whole world apart. How will they overcome the shared demons of the past and find a way to move forward?
I really enjoyed this book. Along with the slow-paced, chemistry-filled romance there is just the right amount of drama and angst which is really nicely balanced so that it doesn’t overwhelm the story. Both Dalton and Raven have a lot of issues to work through, and mistakes are made, but there is also some epic grovelling to make up for it, and I loved the way it all played out.
I also loved how much Dalton’s brothers were involved in the story. After being estranged for so long, they are re-establishing their relationships, and I loved seeing them together as a unit. I loved seeing more of Caleb and Morgan together, and I’m loving the hints we are getting for Tristan and Sydney – there is some serious backstory going on there, and I can’t wait to delve into their story!
I’m loving this series. It’s lots of fun with great, low-angst romance, and I’m really enjoying the tie-in with the renovating/building aspect of the story. Another great read from Jennifer Probst.
The Billionaire Builders series