All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother, who design trendy, bustling playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away. Confronted by her late husband's infidelity, Haven learns everything she believed about her marriage was a lie; so she finally sets aside her grief and opens her heart to loving the widowed pro-golfer who is her biggest professional competition. In the end, Haven discovers that living a safe, loveless life is far worse than embracing passion and taking a chance on a man who's vowed never to love again. And that, sometimes, the best paradise of all can be found inside our own hearts.
Achieving your life-long dream to be in control of your own business and life has always been Haven’s dream, and she and her lifelong friend Sally have finally achieved success. An upscale spa that caters to the client’s every need, and things are looking rosy. Until the neighboring lot comes up for sale, and Haven and Sally learn that the interested buyers, a pair of brothers with money and connections are looking to build a rival business.
The characters in this story are all broken and emotionally bankrupt: refusing to see that their own emotional issues drives and impairs every step they make. While Haven is clinging to a memory of a dead husband in some sort of atonement for not loving him as she should have, she cannot stop her fascination with Pace and the distraction the electric attraction between them has for her.
For his part. Pace’s emotional component is far more a how it feels in the moment, without delving beyond the physical satisfaction. Neither of these characters wants an attachment, and as they repeatedly substitute the thrill of the moment for any sort of real self-reflection, what could have been solidly redemptive for both feels hollow and just slightly convenient. There isn’t a story that provides great conflict or drama, nor is there a reason to cheer FOR these characters they have removed their emotions from their lives and left readers simply following along, without great investment. The sex is hot seemingly never ending, and often laced with danger that comes with the forbidden, but without a real tie to the characters it too left me slightly removed and uninspired.
Narration in this story is provided by Suzy Lexington and whether her usual style is erratic in delivery, or she was misapplying emotional emphasis to draw listeners into the story, I cannot say. From a fairly innocuous ‘reading’ of the story, to some over-emoting, the performance was erratic and confusing. The overly emphatic delivery did, most often, occur in areas to stress a particular point or emotion, so they weren’t out of place, but significantly different from the remainder of the delivery. Odd pauses where there should not occur, and a lack of distinction between characters that faded in and out were also happening, and kept me questioning both performance and written choices.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.