Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
If you didn’t read book one in this series then you don’t know about The Book Nirvana and the Red Door but you will after this one and you are in for a hot read.
We revisit Clara and her fiancé Nick the owners of the Book Nirvana and Doug Garvey the coach and teacher who got divorced and who was dumped by Clara when she met Nick. This is his story and hopefully his chance to finally find love.
Laurel Jepsen lost her job and returned to her parent’s home to regroup but what she got was an ear full of insults, especially from her father who has a past and who should be the last one to throw stones, but this is not about him. When Laurel is told that her great aunt Maxie is getting ready to move into an assisted living apartment she doesn’t walk out her parent’s door she runs all the way to Eugene to help the one person who was always there for her and always supported her both financially and personally.
Maxie is ninety years old with dementia and has always lived alone putting her love of art before anything else. Laurel’s love of art is due to Maxie but so far the only art she wants around her is in a museum or a gallery. She has long ago accepted that she has no talent when it comes to art but as soon as she helps her aunt and as soon as she gets money together she is off to San Francisco where with the help of her friend she will hopefully fulfill her dream. She never expected that while on a run she would meet Doug and they would be attracted to each other and although neither of them are looking for a long term relationship especially with her leaving in a few months there is no harm in having some fun.
With help from Maxie and Doug, Laurel gets a job at The Book Nirvana and gets an eyeful of what is behind the Red Door. With her new job and her responsibility to her aunt there really isn’t much time for Laurel and Doug but they take what they can get and kisses and running have to do in spite of them both wanting more. It doesn’t take long for Doug to realize that Laurel is the girl he has always wanted but he has to convince her that Eugene has galleries and is where she should stay. On the other hand Laurel watched as her mother put her dreams of being a professional piano player in her rearview mirror never realizing her dream and that is something Lauren refuses to do.
I don’t want to go into too much for fear of giving anything away but I will say that when Laurel and Doug do finally have sex it is hot, how could it not be when he has to special order his condoms which should explain what he is hiding in his shorts. Between caring for Maxie and being with Doug, Laurel’s days are full but as much as she begins to care for Doug she is not giving up her desire for the big, glitzy city life. Laurel does learn a lesson about art and talent, something she grows to realize can be found anywhere but will the dream of the big city still take center stage.