Series: Hearts #3
Published by Createspace on July 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Welcome to the City, London's most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince.
I used to rule the world. There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.
I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.
I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn't long before the lines started to blur.
You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light...
You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliche, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free."
This was the ideal lazy weekend read. It grabbed me from the first chapter and I gobbled it up in one day. It’s a unique second-chance love story, one that starts on a whimsical note and ventures into the land of pulled heartstrings.
The book is divided into two sections: Before and After. In Part One: Before, we meet Alexis Clark, a former barmaid from the East End, on the day she arrives at a prestigious investment bank in Canary Wharf. She’s interviewing for a position as an executive assistant to Oliver King. Although she’s unqualified, King is impressed with her candor, as well as her looks, and Alexis gets the job.
Oliver King is a man at the top of his game in a power-hungry industry. He’s extremely wealthy but he has no desire for money. Instead, he is driven by a desire to excel and be the best. Alexis, with her quick-wit, lively and unassuming personality, is a breath of fresh air to King and the two become fast friends. As a mutual attraction develops they struggle to maintain the professional barrier between employer and employee. It was wonderful watching that friendship line blur. I relish a progressive build-up of affection between characters and the way Ms. Cosway tells this couple’s story is extremely satisfying. The flirtations, the banter, the chess games, the bathroom lunches – I loved it all.
“I could lose the run of myself inside a woman like you, Alexis. And I fear if I made you my queen, I could no longer be a king.”
You could practically cut the sexual tension with a knife and when they can no longer deny their feelings things between King and Alexis get downright explosive. This is one steamy read, people, but it also manages to be lovely and humorous.
“I want to fuck you so hard, Alexis, so hard you’re still feeling me inside you tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…”
Okay, did he just hit me with a side of Shakespeare in his dirty talk?
I died. I died dead. All right, I didn’t die dead, but I did have a mini brain orgasm.
Just as the two begin to fall for each other, King’s past comes back to haunt him. A series of devastating events causes King to vanish and the story picks up six years later in the “After” section of the book. We discover that King is completely broken, an alcoholic who has hit rock bottom. He lives the life of a vagabond and is almost unrecognizable from the man we once knew. When Alexis and King cross paths again, can she help heal his emotional wounds? Is it too late for second chances?
This story is beautifully written. L.H. Cosway has given readers some vivid characters to root for. I love smart, witty heroines and I found these qualities in spades with Alexis. In King we almost have two separate characters: the “before” King and “after” King. It’s difficult to decide which I liked more: the confident, driven, compassionate man or the tortured, vulnerable, artistic soul. One could argue that both men are flawed, although in different ways and my heart ached for each of them.
There are a couple issues I couldn’t overlook that prevented me from giving this book five stars. View Spoiler »In part one, I don’t feel the events warranted abandoning the love of his life without a fight or looking back. In part two, The love of a good woman can’t cure alcoholism in three weeks. « Hide Spoiler However, it’s still a gorgeous story that’s sure to make any romance lover swoon. This book hits the funny, steamy and touching trifecta and is one of the most enjoyable reads of 2015.