Sealing The Deal (The Ladies Who Lunch #4) by Sandy James-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 4, 2014
When Bethany Rogers’s sister dies in combat in Afghanistan, Bethany, a teacher and part-time interior decorator, takes in the nine-month-old daughter her sister left behind. As she struggles with the challenges of raising a young child, she gratefully accepts the help of her fellow Ladies Who Lunch as well as Robert Ashford, her longtime friend and boss at Ashford Homes. Robert is great with kids and has always mentioned wanting a family of his own. Beth soon feels more than gratitude toward her handsome helper, and longs to give in to the growing heat and desire brewing between them. But will loving Robert further complicate her already spinning-out-of-control life? And is he drawn to her, or to the idea of a ready-made family?
REVIEW: SEALING THE DEAL is the third installment in Sandy James’s wonderful adult, contemporary The Ladies Who Lunch romance series focusing on a tight knit group of friends (and teachers) who meet every day for lunch to discuss life, love and growing old. This is home builder and former teacher Robert Ashford and teacher Bethany Rogers’s story. Although Sealing The Deal is the third book in the series it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.
Told from third person point of view the premise finds Bethany a new mother. Following the death of her sister Tiffany in Afghanistan, Beth becomes guardian and mother to Tiffany’s nine month old daughter Emma. Never having had children herself, thirty year old Bethany is overwhelmed with the prospect of raising her sister’s child. Without the help of her long time friend and ‘crush’ Robert ( a man almost ten years older), Emma would be lost in a sea of diapers, toys and sleepless nights. Robert’s experience as an uncle comes in handy as Beth begins to traverse the minefield of being a working, single mother to a little girl who has lost so much at such an early age.
The relationship between Robert and Bethany is a friends to lovers storyline. Robert and Beth have always been attracted to one another but have never crossed the line into romance or sex. When Robert makes Beth an offer she cannot refuse, the sparks begin to fly as their attraction to one another passes from friends to lovers. But when Bethany’s adoption plans for Emma hit a major snag in the form of Emma’s biological father, Emma’s displaced anger pushes Robert out of her life –possibly forever. The sex scenes are sensual and seductive. Robert is a man whose love for Emma is both emotional and physical.
The secondary characters include all of the previous storyline couples and, of course, the ladies who lunch-a group of well meaning but oft times over bearing women whose opinion and attitude sometimes push the boundaries of friendship and love. The world building continues as each of our ladies finds love and a happily ever after but not before a crisis will force each woman to look inside herself and see what it is she truly wants-and needs. There are moments of heartbreak and sorrow for our couple as their happily ever after may not be so happy after all.
Sandy James’s THE LADIES WHO LUNCH series is a realistic and passionate look at friendship and love-four friends who love one another and ‘tell it like it is’ –even when the truth hurts-but in the end have one another’s back when the going gets tough. We should all welcome such a friendship in our own lives. SEALING THE DEAL is another spirited and hopeful storyline from the fantastic mind of Sandy James.
Copy supplied by Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy