Category Archives: From Manhattan with Love Series

Review: New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan with Love Series Book Four
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

One man. One woman. Two dogs. 

Meet Molly—New York’s most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—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. Until he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…

Molly and Daniel both think they know everything about relationships. But as they try—and fail—to resist their undeniable chemistry, they’ll soon discover they just might have a lot left to learn…

Review:

New York, Actually introduces readers to the Knight siblings, who will star in the next three installments of Sarah Morgan’s delightful From Manhattan with Love series. This fourth installment pairs up oldest brother Daniel Knight, a cynical divorce lawyer, with Molly Parker, a psychologist with an über popular relationship blog. While this newest release can easily be read a standalone, I highly recommend the previous novels as well.

After a scandal destroyed her both personally and professionally three years earlier, Molly decides to relocate from England to New York. She avoids romantic entanglements since she is convinced she does nothing but hurt the men she dates. Keeping busy with several classes, Molly is very close friends with her neighbors Mark and Gabe. Her steadfast companion is her rescue dog, Valentine, and together, they jog in Central Park every day where, unbeknownst to her, she has caught the eye of Daniel Knight.

A very successful lawyer with a thriving practice, Daniel works long hours and while he dates, he does not do relationships. With vivid memories of his parents’ acrimonious marriage, he is dedicated to helping his clients escape their unhappy unions. Daniel is surprised by his interest in the jogger he sees every day in the park and he devises a clever, if dishonest, scheme to meet her: he borrows a dog from his twin sisters, Fliss and Harriet.

Daniel’s plan comes to fruition to some degree since he does manage to engineer a meeting with Molly. However, he is stunned when she turns down his invitation to go out with him. The pair continue to run into each other but eventually, Daniel’s persistence begins to feel vaguely stalkerish. Molly uncovers his deception about being a dog owner and she finally ends up providing him with her address. The situation which finally brings them together feels contrived and it is quite annoying how easily Molly falls apart during a crisis.

While Molly and Daniel’s romance finally does take off, their individual issues and unresolved baggage continue to plague them. Given her career as a psychologist, Molly’s reasons for avoiding a relationship just do not ring true. Daniel’s past experiences from his childhood provide a valid basis not wanting to fall in love and in are refreshing change of pace, he is more open to taking their relationship to the next level.When Molly’s past is uncovered, will it bring her and Daniel closer or will it derail their fragile romance?

New York, Actually is a very slow moving but enjoyable romance between two extremely cautious protagonists. While this latest release has a few flaws, Sarah Morgan’s enticing glimpses of Fliss and Harriet will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installments in the From Manhattan with Love series.

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Filed under Contemporary, From Manhattan with Love Series, Harlequin, HQN Books, New York Actually, Rated C+, Review, Romance, Sarah Morgan

Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Title: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan with Love Series Book Three
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

Review:

The third installment in Sarah Morgan’s heartwarming From Manhattan with Love series, Miracle on 5th Avenue is a delightfully charming opposites attract romance.

Eva Jordan is a bubbly, upbeat romantic who always tries to find the silver lining in every situation.  She fervently believes in happily ever after and although she has not yet met her Prince Charming, she has not yet given up hope she will find eventually find him. Eva is down to earth and although she always looks for the best in people, she is quite perceptive. She is rather chatty and she has an endearing tendency to speak whatever thought comes to mind.  Eva is a funny, kind-hearted and compassionate young woman who goes out of her way to help the people she cares about.

Crime writer Lucas Blade is cynical, jaded and has a bad habit of always looking for the worst in people.  He is still grieving the loss of his wife and he has become a virtual recluse in the three years since her death.   With both a book deadline and the holidays fast approaching, Lucas is at a very low point when he Eva enters his life.  Grumpy, rude and wanting to be left on his own, Lucas has no choice but to find a way to keep Eva by his side when she becomes the unexpected inspiration for his next book.

Despite their differences, a surprising friendship quickly springs up between Eva and Lucas.  She refuses to let his negativity bring her down and her unrelenting cheerful attitude slowly but surely begins to have a positive effect on Lucas.  With a genuine affection growing between them, they reveal the hidden parts of themselves that they have not felt comfortable showing anyone else.  A mutual attraction simmers beneath the surface but for various reasons, they try to fight giving in to their desire.  However, it is inevitable that they act on their passion but will Lucas’s complicated past prevent them from finding their happily ever after?

Miracle on 5th Avenue is a captivating addition to Sarah Morgan’s  From Manhattan with Love series.  Both Lucas and Eva are complex characters with realistic flaws and human foibles that readers will find easy to relate to.  The rapport between Lucas and Eva is instantaneous despite their somewhat unconventional first meeting and it is an absolute joy watching their friendship deepen into love.  This enchanting love story will melt readers’ hearts as it comes to a sweetly romantic conclusion.

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Review: Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Title: Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan with Love Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it’s been right under your nose all along…

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents’ divorce, she’s seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

Review:

The second installment in Sarah Morgan’scharming From Manhattan with Love series,Sunset in Central Park is an absolutely delightful friends to lovers romance. In this outing, relationship shy Frankie Cole is stunned by her sudden attraction to her longtime friend, Matt Walker. Convinced there is no such as happily ever after, Frankie is afraid to risk ruining their friendship by dating but will Matt persuade her to  give him (and them) a chance?

After her parents’ devastating divorce, Frankie has a jaundiced outlook on love and marriage.  She goes out of her to be as inconspicuous as possible and she has her barriers firmly in place.  Although she is quite close to her best friends, Eva and Matt’s sister Paige, she shies away from physical affection and she closely guards her secrets.  Frankie is an introvert who enjoys her solitude, but when one of her friends needs her, she puts aside her uneasiness with messy emotions to offer support and comfort.  Having successfully avoided relationships, Frankie is hopelessly inept when it comes to flirting and she is horrified by her sudden awareness of Matt.  Although experience tells her relationships are doomed to fail, Frankie tentatively agrees to an “undate” with Matt.  Pleasantly surprised by how much fun they have together, they are soon spending all of their time together, but will Frankie’s fears ruin their chance at happiness?

Matt is incredibly sweet, patient and sympathetic once he understands the reasons Frankie is so cynical about love and marriage. He is certain they belong together and he is willing to give her as much time and space she needs to trust him with her heart.  Matt is surprised by the realization that although he has known her for the most of her life, he still has much to learn about the woman who has captured his heart.  She is surprisingly open with him about her past and while he understands why she is so cautious, Matt does not allow her fears to interfere with their burgeoning romance.  However, just as Frankie is finally making peace with her painful childhood, her insecurities threaten to permanently derail their relationship.

Sunset in Central Park is a wonderful novel of healing, love and friendship.  Frankie has plenty of emotional baggage to deal with and Matt is the perfect person to help her overcome her deep-seated fears.  Eva and Paige are on hand to offer both Matt and Frankie gentle encouragement and sound advice as they traverse the tricky transformation from friends to lovers.  This warm and witty addition to the From Manhattan with Love series is sure to be a hit with old and new fans Sarah Morgan.

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Filed under Contemporary, From Manhattan with Love Series, Harlequin, HQN Books, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sarah Morgan, Sunset in Central Park

Review: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Title: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
From Manhatten with Love Series Book One
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan introduces From Manhattan with Love, a sparkling new trilogy about three best friends embracing life—and love—in New York 

Cool, calm and competent, events planner Paige Walker loves a challenge. After a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, she’s now determined to prove herself—and where better to take the world by storm than Manhattan? But when Paige loses the job she loves, she must face her biggest challenge of all—going it alone.

Except launching her own events company is nothing compared to hiding her outrageous crush on Jake Romano—her brother’s best friend, New York’s most in-demand date and the only man to break her heart. When Jake offers Paige’s fledgling company a big chance, their still-sizzling chemistry starts giving her sleepless nights. But can she convince the man who trusts no one to take a chance on forever?

Review:

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan is a beautiful novel of friendship, love and new beginnings.  This first installment in the From Manhattan with Love series stars a feisty yet cautious heroine and a wealthy bachelor who is afraid to risk his heart.  Their relationship begins as a no strings fling but when love sneaks in, will their fears prevent them from taking their romance to the next level?

After Paige Walker and her two best friends, Frankie and Eva, lose their jobs, longtime friend and secret crush Jake Romano challenges her and her friends to start  their own event planning business. Despite both Jake and her brother Matt’s offers to help get their fledgling business off the ground, Paige refuses their assistance. However, when her best efforts to bring in clients fail, she swallows her pride and asks Jake for help. Not only does he hire them to plan an event for him, but he also provides them with office space in his corporate headquarters. Working in such close proximity plays havoc with his libido since he is strongly attracted to her but Jake has no intention of breaking his promise to Matt to stay away from Paige. However, Jake does not count on Paige taking matters into her own hands and they are soon embroiled in a passionate friends with benefits relationship.

Overprotected by her parents and Matt, Paige is fiercely independent and she is determined to live life on her own terms. She has moved on from having her heartbroken by Jake and their once easygoing camaraderie has turned into a mildly antagonistic relationship. While she appreciates his business advice, Paige wants to start her business on her own but her concern for her friends soon overrides her reluctance to accept Jake’s help.  She continues to ignore her attraction to him until they share a passionate kiss. Unable to put thoughts of their encounter out of her mind, Paige works up the courage to confront him and despite his reservations, they give in to their mutual desire.

Sexy and charming, Jake has a well deserved reputation as a ladies’ man and he has no interest in settling down. He is also an incredibly smart, well respected and extremely successful businessman whose talents are highly sought after. Although he is quite caring and extremely loyal, a traumatic event from his childhood left an indelible mark on him and he refuses to let anyone into his heart. Once Jake lets down his guard with Paige, their one night stand slowly turns into a relationship but Jake’s past makes it impossible for him to trust that her feelings for him will last.

A wonderful story of friendship, love and healing, Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan is a marvelous beginning to the From Manhattan with Love series. The characters are brilliantly developed with true to life flaws and relatable fears to conquer. One of the best aspects of the story is the longstanding friendship between Paige, Eva and Frankie and while they are incredibly supportive of each other, they do not hesitate to voice their concerns. The romance between Paige and Jake is believable and their longtime acquaintance provides a strong foundation for their burgeoning relationship.  A beautifully rendered, passionate love story with a strong female lead, Sleepless in Manhattan is an engaging, complex love story that I highly recommend to fans of contemporary romances.

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Filed under Contemporary, From Manhattan with Love Series, Harlequin, HQN Books, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sleepless in Manhattan