Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York Actually
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Author: Sarah Morgan
Release date: May 30, 2017
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 4.5 stars

Meet Molly
New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel

A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…

Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships…until they meet each other that is…

Buy: Amazon US | B&N


New York, Actually was such a pleasant surprise for me. This was my first read by this author and I really clicked with her writing. It was intelligently written light, breezy fun. I don't always engage easily with third person POV, but in this case, I slid right into the story without any effort. It was a bit of a slow burn romance between the two main characters Daniel and Molly, but it never felt boring or dragged out for me. The feelings that emerged between these two people who were both so firmly anti-relationship were more natural because of the gradual build.

Daniel has more reason than anyone to be skeptical of love. His parents' relationship was a nightmare and didn't shed romance in a favorable light to begin with. Being a divorce attorney and seeing the ugly side of marriage day in and day out was just the icing on the cake. He enjoys playing the field with women, but when it comes to looking for something long-term, it's not part of his personal philosophy. When he sees Molly jogging in Central Park, he plans a scheme to catch this ravishing woman's attention for his next diversion.

It wasn’t just her hair that caught his attention, or those incredible legs. It was the air of confidence. Daniel was drawn to confidence, and this woman looked as if she had life by the throat and was strangling the hell out of it.

I loved that he was attracted to more than just her physical attributes. He was drawn to her strength and the self-possession that she projected. Molly was happy with her life at the moment and at peace with being single. Perhaps that's what called to him because they had that in common.

Molly is a psychologist and relationship advice columnist under the pseudonym Aggie with a bestselling book under her belt. You could easily say that she makes a successful living off of teaching others how to succeed at love. So it's ironic that when it comes to herself, she is painfully unsuccessful. So painful, that she harbors guilt and shame over things from her past that she keeps locked up tight. Originally from London, she moved to New York to start a new life after a public scandal completely wrecked and humiliated her. Her Dalmatian Valentine is the one male in her life, and she plans to keep it that way.

Her past was hers and hers alone. More private than a bank account, hidden securely behind a firewall that allowed no one access. If there was a password, it would be Screw Up. Or possibly Major Screw Up.

Daniel's sisters run a dog service called Bark Rangers which gives him the perfect idea to use one of the dogs in their care to meet Molly. His subterfuge doesn't pan out the way he hoped, he was shot down firmly in his attempt to set up a date with her. But he's a man who takes no as just the first negotiating point, she's no match for his powers of persuasion. These two were highly entertaining. I loved seeing their flirty friendship mature into the desire to risk their hearts. However, they were both hiding secrets and parts of themselves that cause a betrayal of their fragile trust.

I loved this fun romance set against the backdrop of New York City. I had the preconception that this would be a bit of fluff, but that wasn't the case at all. The author really delved deep into the characters' emotions and developed a well thought out plot. My reasoning for not giving this five stars was my issue with the heroine. Though she was supposedly originally from England, there was absolutely nothing to indicate that in her speech. I found that to be sorely lacking.

The next book in the series will be about Daniel's sister Fliss and after the lead into that second chance romance, I can't wait to read it. The US release for Holiday in the Hamptons is in September.


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