by Sara Ohlin
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
When a glamorous spa owner seduces the grumpy neighborhood bartender, passion smolders…
Ruby Naylor, confident, successful proprietor of Spa La La, has been crushing on Lachlan MacGregory for ages and finally throws herself at the grumpy bartender as he’s helping her tipsy butt home to her apartment above his pub.
Ruby is the only woman Lachlan has ever loved—from afar. When she makes a pass, he finally admits he’s wanted her for a long time. He leaves her that night with three promises—a kiss, a special connection between them, and an epic tomorrow.
Unfortunately, when tomorrow arrives and Lachlan is smacked with the knowledge that she’s already in a relationship with two men, he feels he has nothing to offer her.
His day gets worse when his addict father is on his doorstep again, demanding money. The thought that he could end up sick and miserable like his father eats at Lachlan, making him focus on what has never let him down, his successful pub in the burgeoning Corvallis neighborhood.
Learning that Ruby is not taken, Lachlan finally goes all out to win her back. With his heartfelt apology, it’s easy for Ruby to forgive him—she believes in joy, in romance, in happy ever after. What she never expected was how vulnerable Lachlan could make her feel.
Can their love withstand life-shattering events to lead them into a beautiful future?
Ruby turned on the faucet, and a long black figure jumped from above her, streaked through the water, and let out a large meow before it flew off the counter and slid down the hall. “Shit!” Ruby screamed.
“Ruby?” Lachlan yelled. He rushed into the kitchen and flipped on the light. “You okay?” Lachlan stood in the doorway, sweatpants on and nothing else, holding a skinny black cat. “Scared me.”
“I’m okay, just startled.” It took her a moment to catch her breath. He towered over her, a cattail swishing over his broad, naked chest. “You have a cat?”
“Baby.” Lachlan scratched behind the cat’s ears. The creature arched under his touch and stared at Ruby. Skinny but healthy, the black cat had two white front paws and bright green eyes.
“You named your cat Baby? That’s what tripped us earlier when we…when we…” Holy cow. Her cheeks flushed, thinking of how they’d gone at each other earlier, barely inside his house.
Lachlan’s face relaxed into a slow, tempting smile as if he knew exactly what she was picturing. “Sugar Baby, actually.” He sounded a tiny bit annoyed at the animal but the expression on his face when he stroked his cat and the way the cat rubbed against his hand was pure love. Oh my God.
“Some days she has more salty than sweet in her, so she gets called Baby,” Lachlan smirked at the skinny cat. “She sneaks all over the place, demands food, and plays in the water that comes out of the faucet. Goofball. I was too distracted earlier or you wouldn’t have tripped me,” he cooed to his pet. Insulted, or victorious—Ruby couldn’t tell—the cat streaked out of his arms, darted across the floor, and disappeared.
She looked up and their eyes met. That zing, that connection buzzed.
What can I say about this book? Hmmm, let’s be frank, shall we? This is one of those books that made me laugh, swoon, get pissed off about, and then fall in love with. I’ll explain.
- Ruby is a phenomenal heroine. Funny, smart, loyal to a fault, and a dedicated daughter. She’s almost too perfect in a way. At times I don’t think that she holds Lachlan accountable in some of the things that he says or does in the book. It’s almost like she forgives him too easily. I could be her friend but most importantly, I want to visit her spa. I need a makeover.
- Lachlan has my heart. For someone that was dealt a bad deck of cards and still had to deal with the fallout…this man is a saint. I totally understood some of his trust issues and how they shaped him later in life. I admired him for his loyalty to the neighborhood, his undying love for Ruby, and for finally having a spine with a family member.
- Some of the time, I got a bit tired of the back and forth with Ruby and Lachlan. Look, I understood the road to true love isn’t easy but I felt like their private conversations in their heads were a bit much and just too much. I wanted a bit more of the romance, the why they were together, and what was going to make them stay together. Eventually, we get that but it was a long road traveled.
- The neighborhood itself is a character in the book. I dream of neighborhoods that Ruby and Lachlan live and work in. Plus, I totally appreciated that the revitalization is made of younger people that want that sense of community. Every community needs a pub at its center and Lachlan’s provides that.
- Once the romance got started it was sweet. I loved how Lachlan finally told Ruby about his affection for her when they were kids. It was endearing to me and made me think if I had someone like that. And yes, I did. We are still friends to this day. Glad we never dated though. It would have never worked out. LOL!
Overall, I really liked the book. I felt like some things were too drawn out and wordy, though. The romance aspect is top-notch and I really, really liked Ruby and Lachlan. Their friends were a hoot and a holler. There was a bit of a suspense/mystery element that I liked, too. I figured it out early on but when the stuff hit the fan, Ms. Ohlin did an excellent job of wrapping it all up. I can’t wait to dive into the other stories in this series. I felt like I didn’t have to read the others to enjoy this one. But hey, I’m still going to read them anyway.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Puget Sound-based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love, Seducing the Dragonfly, Igniting Love, Flirting with Forever, and Promising Love.
She has over sixteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, Under the Gum Tree, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood, and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts, and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.
If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her two kids and amazing husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story. She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart.
Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/saraohlinwriter/
Instagram = http://www.instagram.com/saraohlinauthor
Pinterest = http://www.pinterest.com/saraohlin/
BookBub = https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sara-ohlin
Goodreads = https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19491440.Sara_Ohlin
Promising Love Buy Links
Totally Bound https://www.totallybound.com/book/promising-love
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Sara Ohlin will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.