So, where do I start with how much I ADORED this book?
With how much I adored both Rafe and Avery separately and together?
With how much I loved the slow, sweet, sexy and hilarious way Avery and Rafe’s relationship grew?
With how much I adored Rafe and Avery’s friends and family (Well, almost all of them) and how every time they appeared in the book only enhanced the story?
Or with how I’ve gained at least 20 lbs just by reading this book?
Okay, maybe that last one is not something to adore, but if one is able to gain weight just by reading about food it would happen to me. But once I started this book only passing out and having to adult had me (reluctantly) putting it down, and even then I ended up sneaking in reading time via my phone app because it was just that good.
Avery’s passion for baking was the draw. She lives and breathes her craft and her desire to constantly challenge herself was something I absolutely admired. Her lack of ego and how much joy she got out of making others happy with her creations made her someone I wanted to see succeed. On top of all of this talent she has a vibrant personality, a huge heart and is so genuine and comfortable in her own skin that she has no issue making fun of herself and the situations she gets herself into.
Rafe did not have an easy childhood and while it may have made him a little more standoffish with people, it didn’t make him bitter. He’s taken his love of woodworking and turned it into a career he is passionate about and has carved out a little slice of heaven all his own. He has something of that tall, dark, sexy, silent type thing going on, but when you get him to relax you find that he has a wickedly sexy and sly sense of humor that could charm the pants off of anyone.
I loved the slow, sexy, sweet and fun way Avery and Rafe’s relationship grew.. The physical attraction was there, but with Avery working for Trace, Avery being Rafe’s tennant and Rafe seeing someone nothing was acted upon immediately. Instead they got to know each other first as tenant and landlord, then as friends and found that they genuinely liked each other. From there things grew and with a little help from friends and family they finally took a leap of faith. Their bantering and flirting was fun and silly and the smexy times were smokin’ hot. But what I liked the most was that they acted like adults. They didn’t play games and actually communicated with each other, which may not seem like a huge thing but I loved how open and honest they were with each other and it just made me root for them to get their HEA that much more.
Note: There is no cheating.
This was my first book by L.A. Fiore and it won’t be the last! I enjoyed everything from the writing style to the well written supporting cast of characters (Sister Margaret was hilarious) in fact I’m doing a re-read right now as I’m writing this review because I enjoyed it that much. Though this is the third book in the series it can be read as a standalone. I never felt lost or in confused when the couples from the previous books came out to play because I got to learn about them right along with Avery.
~ ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Avery Collins has just landed her dream job, pastry chef for the posh-Manhattan restaurant Clover. Her new boss, Trace Montgomery, even helped with securing her an affordable place to live: a beautifully restored carriage house owned by his friend, Rafe McKenzie—a man that makes her catch her breath and stirs her imagination. Trouble is, he's involved with someone, his father is being released after 25 years in prison and Avery is just his tenant. Exploring the attraction that sizzles whenever they're together would be the icing on the cake, but Avery knows all too well that you can't have everything. Of course, what's cake without icing?
Rafe McKenzie's world shattered at nine when his father Liam—the only parent he knew—was arrested and convicted for armed robbery. Growing up in the system, Rafe managed to survive his childhood and now has a job he enjoys, a house he's restoring and a tight circle of friends. He's even working on reconciling with his dad, both eager to put the past in the past.
Happy for the income a tenant would bring, Rafe agrees to rent his carriage house to Clover's new pastry chef. When Avery Collins pulls up his drive, she's not at all what he's expecting. Funny, sexy and as sweet as her desserts, it doesn't take long for things between them to heat up. Just when it seems as if they'll have their cake and eat it too, the past comes back with deadly intent leaving Rafe to figure out who's pulling the strings before his world shatters again.
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mystery/Suspense
Published By: Self Published
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Series: Beautifully Damaged #3
In elementary school, third grade I think, I wrote a book as part of a class assignment. It had a cardboard cover, the pages were typed and the illustrations were done in my seven-year-old hand. The title: The Case of the Missing Jewels. The main character was my stuff rabbit Whitey.
I won an award through the school district for that book and it was then that I realized I could share what was in my head with others. Later, in University, I majored in Economics but that's pretty dry material, so I started writing daily tales that starred my friends. They were silly and fun and each ended in a moral, something profound like: Never eat a pickle in cowboy boots unless you're walking backwards. By the time I graduated, I had quite a following.
My dream has always been to write: to lose myself in the world of my creating. After University, while working in Corporate America, I wrote novel after novel, many finished—far too many unfinished—and I tried to get them published the old-fashioned way: query letters to literary agents with no luck. My husband encouraged me to go the ebook route but it had always been a dream to get that box of books: the first off the presses.
In 2012, I relented and published six of my books on Amazon as ebooks. It was really more a lesson for my kids to go after their dreams; to teach them by doing and not just saying. I really never thought any of my stories would take off and so I was taken completely by surprise at the success of Beautifully Damaged. In the Spring of 2013, I got the call I had been dreaming about getting since my first novel back in 1993: a publishing house was interested in Beautifully Damaged and the sequel. This past February, I got that box. I was really sick with the flu, but I watched as my husband opened the box and just seeing my book looking back at me, I'll never forget it.
I can't even begin to tell you what it feels like to be living my dream. I wouldn't be here if not for the fans of Beautifully Damaged, so thank you for helping to make my dream come true.