Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Thirty-nine year old Clara Martelli is facing the upcoming anniversary of her husband Jared’s death. Seventeen years of happiness wiped out by a careless teenager checking her phone rather than the road. The only thing that Clara has is Book Nirvana,the book store she and Jared opened and where she spends most of her time. Unfortunately with the opening of a huge chain store just a few miles away from her store business is beginning to suffer. Losing the bookstore after losing Jared would be more than she could deal with.
The one place in the bookstore that she no longer visits is behind the red door, a place with hundreds of volumes of erotica and which was Jared’s baby. When an anthropology professor visits the store with an interest in seeing what lies behind the red door for a paper he is writing she has no idea how he and Jared’s baby would change her life.
Nicolas (Nick) Papodopoulos’ specialty is cultural sexual practices and mores and he had heard about Clara’s bookshop and her erotica collection from his friends. Nick never could have expected the treasure he would uncover and everything he needed for his paper was right behind that door. Once published Nick was hopeful to get tenured but he found more than just books when he visited Book Nirvana, he found a woman that sparks his interest the first one to get his total interest since the death of his wife two years ago.
Both Nick and Clara share a loss, both having loved their significant others and never losing sight of their love for each other. Nick has had time to grieve his wife and is determined to find love again, Clara has yet to reach the one year mark and all she feels is loneliness and guilt. Her body has needs that her heart refuses to act on. She feels something for Nick and he sets her body on fire but Jared is always on her mind and in her heart.
While facing a downside in her business she finds herself being courted by two different men. Two totally different men, one a teacher and one a hot Greek professor. The teacher is fun to be around but Nick lights a fire. Now she needs to decide who to choose, the safe one who lives in town or the hot one that lives in California. She craves the feel of a man, being held and made love to but which one and can she put Jared aside for the moment.
This is a story of two people both being touched by loss, one determined to find love again and one unsure of that ever happening. It is a beautiful love story filled with wonderful characters and if you like your romance hot, hot, hot look no further. It is a story about being able to begin anew and still love the one you lost.