Author: Jennifer Shirk
Series: Book #2 in the Maritime City series
Number of Pages: 202 pages
Release Date: 7 December 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Bliss imprint
Source: e-book copy provided by the publisher for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, B&N, Read an excerpt
Grade: 4 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Kendall Grisbaum is finally taking charge of her life—pouring her heart into opening a new bakery business and even allowing her best friend Georgie to play matchmaker for her. Trouble is, the one guy she secretly wants is Georgie’s older brother, Brad, who is decidedly off limits.
Brad can’t seem to get his little sister’s best friend out of his mind. He and Kendall used to be close friends, too, and as a local policeman, Brad can’t help but play protector, looking out for Kendall. When he offers to help her renovate her new bakery space on the side, their friendship—and their attraction—flares back to life.
Amid the temptation of doughnut muffins and blueberry cobbler, a new temptation draws them both closer. Can they take a chance on love when it means risking their friendship, even when not doing so risks everything?
“Look, Kendall and I are just friends. That’s all. I admit I love her, but I love her as I would a…a sister.” Sister. He almost laughed out loud at that. His feelings for Kendall were nowhere near the sister zone; he knew that much. And he knew the difference between right and wrong. Wrong was arguing with Jake about Kendall the day before he died. Wrong was moving in on a friend before she was over her husband’s death—something he’d come damn close to doing the other day. Even though she had felt so good, as if she were made for him, she wasn’t his. And he needed to remember that.
He reached up and cupped her chin, unable to resist running his thumb gently along her jaw. “Okay, I’ll back off. But I’ll still be there for you. Kind of like your own personal safety net.” Kendall gave him a tentative smile.
“Thank you.” Then she leaned in and drifted a soft kiss across his lips. “If I had known they were making safety nets so handsome, I would have gotten myself one sooner.”
Brad reached for her hand again. “Come on,” he said, pulling her toward the parking lot. “Let’s go back to your place and I’ll show you what else safety nets are good for.”
“And what’s that?” He flashed her a wicked grin. “Getting tangled in.”
“Look, it’s okay. I don’t expect you to say I love you back. At least, not right now,” he said with a grin, hoping to coax a smile from her. She did smile back, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Okay, thanks for being…honest.”
Brad stifled a sigh. He told her he loved her and she thanked him for being honest. Of all the possible scenarios of how his declaration of love would be received, never in his wildest fantasies had he counted on that one.
“And as long as we’re being honest,” she went on,“I want you to know that I’ve really been enjoying our time together, too.” She bit her lip, hesitating. “I’m sorry I can’t give you more than that.” He nodded once.
“It’s okay. Like I said, no pressure. I’m carrying enough love for the both of us.”