Willow’s Review of The Look of Love by Bella Andre

I’d like to thank the wonderful folks at Harlequin – Mira for letting me be a part of this exciting tour event! To see a full listing of all the blogs participating, please visit HERE. =^.^=

LookofLoveRating: paw4

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Date Published: May 28th 2013

Series: The Sullivans #1

Goodreads Description:

Expanded Edition! More Story! More Sullivans! Fans of Bella Andre’s Sullivan Series will love this long-awaited print edition of THE LOOK OF LOVE. It features a longer, more-detailed story with all the emotion and sensuality that readers love. Not to be missed!

Sometimes one look is all it takes

Chloe Peterson has vowed never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Her reasons are as vivid as the bruises on her cheek. So when her car skids off a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced the gorgeous guy who rescues her must be too good to be true.

As a successful international photographer, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women. He’s satisfied with his life—until he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley.

With every loving look—and every sinfully sweet caress—the attraction between them sizzles, and Chloe can’t help but wonder if she’s met the man who may be the exception to her rule….

Review:

As my first introduction to Bella Andre’s novels, this was a fun and delightful read. The characters were great, the writing and general flow of the story was well done, and the romance was easy to get into.

The main thing that I really enjoyed with this book was the Sullivan family. While it is true we only get a brief glimpse of Chase’s two twin sisters and five brothers, that glimpse was enough to show me that they are going to be a fun family to follow and I’m looking forward to their stories as the series continues. That being said, I thought Chase was a wonderful character. Not only does he have manners and knows not to pressure a woman, he also has an appreciation for beauty in all of it’s forms. Helps that he’s a photographer. I liked him immediately. Chloe was great as well, though it took me a bit to get warmed up to her. Part of that was because while I know it’s hard for someone who has been abused by the one they thought was supposed to love them to not feel like a failure, I often want to shake these people by the shoulders until they understand this is not the case. Thus in Chloe’s case, every time she second guessed whether she should act on her feelings, I found myself screaming, Yes! Still, she has a playful side that I enjoyed seeing whenever Chase was involved. And I have to say I loved reading the scene where she fights back. =^.^=

As for the story itself, it was a fast read. I easily could have gotten through it in a day had life allowed me to do so. Each chapter made you want to keep reading in order to find out what happened next. The one drawback to the book was that I was expecting the confrontation between Chloe and her Ex much sooner than it happened and was hoping for more building of the romance between her and Chase. Everything happens within the span of four days and while I know that love can happen quickly, it was hard for me to accept that it could happen that quickly. But overall, the progression of events from one to the next was flowed smoothly and I enjoyed the fact that it was set during a photo shoot at a winery (a winery I’m looking forward to visiting again in a future book).

And may I take a moment to say that the romance was not only hot, but sweet at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, Chase doesn’t go out of his way to pressure Chloe, even though he definitely is attracted to her. He eases into her trust, gives her plenty of opportunity to say no, and even creates a safety word for her should she feel the need to use it. It’s not quite a slow seduction, but instead one that is based on building trust and security. When the two finally come together, it sizzles. I have to admit that this is probably the first romance novel where I never once felt uncomfortable reading the sex scenes. It all just felt natural and real. None of this ripping open of shirts and pants, thrusting and gyrating that I’ve seen in other romance books. Though I have nothing against books like those! It was just nice to read one that was simple and natural in its approach.

This is definitely one of those books that I would recommend to someone who’s looking for a fun summer romance read. And by the time you finish this book, you’ll want to read the next one in order to find out what happens to Marcus, Chase’s eldest brother, and the rest of the Sullivan family. So if you love romance, enjoy following a family storyline that grows and changes with each book, then Bella Andre is the perfect author for you!

Excerpt:

“There you are.”
She turned her face to his and it was full of such emotion-and longing-that it was all he could do not to reach for her.
They were completely alone out on the back porch. His brother was in bed, everyone else was gone. And he could tell just from looking at her that the wine had blurred some of her edges.
Unable to keep away, he moved behind her, putting his hands on either side of the rail. “Some moon tonight, isn’t it?”
He expected her to push away from him, but strangely, she did the exact opposite by turning slowly in the circle of his arms so that she was looking straight at him with those big, beautiful eyes that mucked up his insides.
Chase.
Jesus, he was teetering on the thin edge, so close to her and yet so damn far.
Honor. Why had he decided that honor mattered? Everything would be so much easier if he simply took what he wanted…and worried about the consequences later.
But even though she wasn’t drunk, he knew she wasn’t sober either. And that he needed to take her back to the guesthouse and put her to bed.
Alone.
Only, he obviously wasn’t strong enough to do any of that. All he could do was say her name. And want her more than he’d ever wanted anyone or anything in his whole life.
Chloe.
Her full lips parted slightly at the sound of her name. For the first time, she wasn’t trying to hide her desire from him.
“It’s inevitable, isn’t it?” she asked him in a soft voice that reverberated all the way through him.
Hell, yes it was. But he couldn’t put words in her mouth. Not now when every word, every look, every touch, was so damn important.
“What’s inevitable?” His words were raw. Full of need he couldn’t hide.
Her eyes dropped to his mouth.
“This kiss.”

About the Author:

BellaAndreNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 5 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo.

Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine ”Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

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Posted on June 13, 2013, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    Wonderful review I adored Chase and cannot wait to read more about the Sullivans. I read book two already and enjoyed it as well.

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