(The Sullivans #2)
by Bella Andre
Paperback, 0 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Oak Press (first published August 30th 2011)
For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.
Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name - Nico - for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is...or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger - and the sinful promises - in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.
One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But nothing goes as they plan when instead of simply tangling limbs, they find a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated. And even though they both try to fight it, growing emotions - and sizzling attraction - keep drawing them closer together.
Close enough for them to wonder if stealing one more secret moment together can ever be enough?
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Marcus Sullivan is the oldest of the Sullivan's. He was just 14 when his dad died and he stepped in to fill his shoes. Marcus put his siblings needs first, made sure he was always there for them and thought he was content in the direction his life was headed. Marriage, kids and estate dinners at his winery, with the perfect wife by his side. He thought he had found that in Jill, his girlfriend of 2 years. It wasn't until her betrayal, that he realized he never felt at home with her and he didn't want to fight for her but just loved the idea of her. With his emotions roiling, he knew that love existed, but wasn't up for trying to find it. All he really wanted was a break from his emotions. He had a plan to find pleasure, to find mindless, emotionless sex. What Marcus didn't count on was Nicola, or the instant attraction he felt with just a look.
This story picks up immediately after the epilogue of the first book. I was intrigued with Marcus's character as soon as he stepped on the the pages of The Look Of Love. He seemed so in control, so together and sort of aloof. You could tell he had some inner turmoil and I was dying to have his story. This book certainly didn't disappoint.
I enjoyed Nicola's character and she really made me pause and think of the price of fame. Nicola or Nico as she's known in the music industry, was reeling from a bad breakup that went public. Skirting between two images; who she was and who she thought the public wanted her to be. Nicola definitely had some trust issues to overcome, but from the moment she met Marcus, all he could do was prove his trust to her. Both of these characters went to a club to find a night of wild abandon and instead walked away with so much more. Their attraction was intense and their bedroom scenes were hot. You could tell these two belonged together and I was so frustrated that it took them so long to see it. I felt that both Marcus and Nicola were aware of more deeper feelings that they were hiding under the "no strings attached" rule they gave their relationship. They had both erected so many walls and were telling themselves they didn't have space in their lives for love, they couldn't make it work, their lives were just too different. I was so invested in these two and so frustrated that if I could have reached into the book and knocked their heads together, I would have.
As I already mentioned, I enjoyed Nicola's character, but I felt a little disappointed in her towards the end. Nicola was the first to admit her feelings and I couldn't believe that she walked away. As soon as Marcus stopped hiding from his, he faced them head on and was ready to fight for her. I really wanted her to fight for him as well. Part of Nicola's personality was described early on as, she decides what she wants and doesn't let anyone or anything get in her way. That's how she built her career, but once she decided she wanted Marcus, she didn't have faith that he could handle her lifestyle. She gave him up. Though I was disappointed in her, Marcus's character flourished and I enjoyed seeing the man he became. When Marcus told Nicola "I will wait for you to come around" my heart broke just a little because I had come to care for Marcus and I wanted more for him.
Other than that minor frustration, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have fallen in love with this family. I was so happy I had a chance to meet the whole family during the barbeque. We got a little glimpse during the epilogue of the first book of the Sullivan's and I was glad to get a little peek at the rest of the family. Chase and Chloe were there and still madly in love and that barbeque just cemented me to all further books in this series and I'm anxious to see all of them find love. Bella Andre sets the stage in the epilogue for the next book. Not only do we get to see the happy couple after the dust has settled, we also get a peek into whose story is next and a little more of an introduction to their character.
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses