Title: Need You For Always by Marina Adair
Heroes of St. Helena Series Book Two
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Emerson “Emi” Blake dropped out of culinary school to care for her ailing mother, but she has bigger dreams than running St. Helena’s most popular pita cart. First on the menu: upgrade to a gourmet food truck. A new part-time job as a personal chef will definitely provide the funds, but it also forces her into close contact with her one and only one-night stand, Dax Baudouin, who’s daring her to try a second taste.
Former army Ranger Dax has a clear mission: come home, get healed, and get gone. Yet Emi’s tough-girl exterior and hidden soft side are even harder to resist than her mouthwatering baklava. After years of battles, he knows better than to try and rescue anyone—not that she’ll let him get close enough to try. Truth is, Dax is starting to think that Emi’s the one person who can save him…if he can just persuade her to give him another shot.
Heartwarming, sexy and unabashedly funny, Need You For Always is the latest addition to Marina Adair’s marvelous Heroes of St. Helena series. In this outing, Dax is the latest Baudouin brother to fall in love when he returns to St. Helena temporarily while recovering from a career ending injury.
A lot has changed for Dax since he spent one sizzling hot night with Emerson “Emi” Blake at his brother’s wedding several months ago. His career in the army ended after a mission went sideways and while he might be willing to stay in St. Helena until the physical therapy on his knee is complete, his plans for the future do not include staying in his hometown. Dax is having a hard time adjusting to civilian life when he comes face to face with Emi and while he would like nothing better than to pick up where they left off, Emi shoots that suggestion down in a hurry. Emi has enough on her plate dealing with her still grieving father and sister but when a part-time job opportunity puts her career goals within reach, Emi reluctantly agrees to work for Dax temporarily.
Emi willingly put her plans on permanent hold to return home and care for her mother when her ALS took a dramatic turn for the worse. In the two years since her mother’s death, Emi has continued working on their dream of owning a food truck while at the same time assisting her dad with her now six year old sister, Violet. Emi has very little free time and the last thing she wants or needs is a man in her life. She threw caution to the wind when she agreed to spend one night with Dax months earlier, but a relationship is a complication Emi does not need in her life.
Dax has absolutely no intention of putting down roots in St. Helena. He is only biding his time until the doctor signs off on his recovery and he can begin working for a private security firm in another city. Despite his need to keep everyone at an emotional distance, Dax finds himself slowly but surely getting involved with the local community. He also cannot seem to keep away from Emi and when their lives become even more entwined, his feelings for her deepen. But will Dax allow his fears to keep him from fully committing to future with Emi?
The relationship between Dax and Emi is so much fun to watch unfold. There is no shortage of sexual tension as the two banter back and forth but Emi refuses to give in to Dax’s attempts to seduce her back into his bed. They both finally agree to another no strings fling, but as Dax commits to helping Emi achieve her dreams, she begins to see the possibilities of forever with him. However, Dax is still having trouble figuring out a new plan for his life now that it has veered so far off track and he ends up breaking Emi’s heart. Will he realize his mistake before it is too late? Can Emi forgive Dax for hurting her?
Need You For Always by Marina Adair is a sweet, steamy novel with an amazing cast of appealing characters. The storyline is heartfelt and full of laugh out loud moments that are incredibly endearing. This second installment in the Heroes of St. Helena series is a fun, flirtatious love story that tugs at the heartstrings and it is sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys reading contemporary romances. Although it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend the entire series.