Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant "compatibility app," a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he's proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?
I'm back with another book from Harlequin's Heartwarming line and you know what that means, right? Sweet and clean romance, coming right up!
Karen Rock knows how to write sweet romances. I'm glad to see her joined up with Harlequin. It's a perfect fit.
I like books where friends turn into something more. Kayleigh and Niall have been friends for a very long time but after a tour in Afghanistan with some very dark memories haunting him, Niall has chosen to keep his distance and hide away from the world. Kayleigh doesn't understand his distance and tries to find a way back into his life. Niall is keeping secrets but as per usual, secrets have a way of coming out.
Kayleigh and Niall seem to be polar opposites. Where Niall is reclusive and on edge, Kayleigh is determined and full of energy and hope. She pushes forward, mostly unwaveringly. Kayleigh's relationship with her grandpa was super sweet.
It is that strong base of friendship that keeps Niall and Kayleigh coming back, trying to work things out. Niall is a bit of a bonehead but he eventually figures things out. Thank goodness! One of my favorite thoughts from the book is that the best gift we can give to those who have gone before us and to those who have given their lives in defense of our freedom is to live our lives fully and gratefully.
This is an easy reading, sweet contemporary romance. There was no sexual content or swearing. It was simply a good escape. Enjoy the following excerpt!
The cool air on her wet shoulders made her shiver, and Niall wrapped his towel around her.
“Here. I don’t need it.”
She handed it back. “No, Niall. You don’t get it. I don’t want you to come to my rescue. I’m not looking for a knight in shining armor. If I were a princess, I’d save myself.”
Niall’s leg circled in the water, making a mini whirlpool. “So tell me what a non-princess needs,” he said at last.
“Someone who brings out the best in me, supports me, values my opinion and, most of all, is honest with me.”
“I’ll do that, Kay.” He looked sincere, and his insistent tone undid the wall she’d placed between them. “As much as I can. Let’s set up our base of operations in my apartment, and we’ll meet there tomorrow. I’ve got some things for us to go over, and nothing’s final until we both approve.” He pulled off her swim goggles, then trailed the backs of his fingers down the side of her face until they fell away.
Her breath hitched. That didn’t feel like a “friendly” touch. And it definitely crossed pro- fessional boundaries. So why did she want him to do it again? To let his hand linger so she could press her cheek into his palm.
“We’ll disagree at times. But I won’t let anyone, like Major Carlton, act like you don’t exist again.”
She shook her head, trying to get her thoughts back on track. “I didn’t think you’d noticed.” He studied his wrinkled fingertips, then lifted his eyes to hers, their tortured depths doing
something funny to her heart.
“I notice you, Kayleigh,” he said quietly, almost to himself. “More than I should.”
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she's not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of "fetch" though they know a lot about love. To find out about her upcoming releases, appearance and latest news, visit http://www.karenrock.com or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 She’d love to connect with you.