I read this book twice. Yep. I was sent the ARC a second time, and when I opened it again, I decided I wanted to finish it again. THAT'S how much I loved this story.
I've read a love of Ms. Adams' books over the years, and I think this one is my absolute favorite.
As is my wont, I'll talk about our leads.
Ashley is the girl that nobody really notices. She thinks she's ordinary, but the real reason is that she hides behind insecurity, plain clothes, and the tendency to be quiet. She's in love with one of the partners at her firm. But that's not who she's sleeping with.
Sean Doyle isn't the man of Ashley's dreams, but he's filling a hole in her life. After a one-night stand, they made a deal. They'd meet every two weeks and have a no-strings affair. Sean knows she's in love with someone else, and he's not looking for a relationship after a tragedy left him heartbroken.
“Look at you,” he rasped, his mouth near my ear again. “Look at how hot you are, how much you want this. This is who you really are, and only I get to see it.”
Gradually, their agreement becomes something else. They still meet on Wednesdays, but the assignations become dinners with deeper talks. Sean and Ash learn more about each other. Things come out that were never meant to be learned - breaking some of their terms.
But when their contract is metaphorically ripped to shreds, they have to face their feelings, and not just for each other.
The romance between Sean and Ashley was such a slow burn, it really was gorgeous how it unfolded. I loved that they were attracted to each other from the beginning, yet started out as a different kind of "ship".
I give Second Best
five Ribeye dinners.