by Jennifer Probst
Searching For, #4
(June 30, 2015, Gallery Books)
She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.
Stone Petty has officially past Nate Dunkle as my favorite hero in this series. Yes, I love an intelligent man, but I also love a strong, protective man who needs a strong-willed woman. Stone thinks he in control, but when confronted by someone authentic and genuine, he cannot respond in the same ordinary way. Instead, he is transformed. Admittedly, I also kind of like the bad-boy persona as well. He’s less refined and more edgy. When he is interested in something, he is all-in. Take his attitude toward quitting smoking: “He could beat this nasty habit, even though he loved it so hard, he’d pick smoking over anything else.” He’s dark and brooding. He’s crude and crass. He wears the perfect mask.
In contrast, Arilyn is sunshine and light. She is peaceful and calm. She works at making herself emotionally available: “She’d worked so hard in all aspects of her life to be a good person, to open herself to love, to become spiritually sound to engage in a relationship that would bring her joy.” She lives her life trying to transcend the darkness, not deny it. I really enjoy her journey in discovering her essential truth - she deserves to be respected and honored in a relationship. She begins by offering Stone stability and a safe place to be himself. He shakes her down to her foundations, connects with her physical spirit as well as her intellectual and emotional self. Once she realizes her love, she wants it all. The question is whether he is willing to risk with her:
She was whole and good and had a ton of love to give to someone. She wanted a man brave enough to leap with her and not blame his limitations on his inability to love, or commit.
Their relationship is like a chemical reaction. Two agents that when combined create something more. It is such a beautiful relationship personified by one of the best “I love you” speeches ever:
I love you, body and mind and soul, and I love this rat fink dog more than I can ever say in just words. So I’ll show you every damn day instead. I want to be in this with you. I know we’re gonna fight, and you’ll piss me off, and I’ll piss you off, but I think we were meant to be together the moment I first laid eyes on you and decided I didn’t like you.
IN A NUTSHELL:
This book is sigh inducing. With lines like, "'I always knew you’d be extraordinary,' he murmured. 'But still the reality has me weeping,'" how can you resist? I went out and bought another copy of the book. Now Stone sits next to Nate on my bookshelf, right where he needs to be.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.
Help pet rescue shelters by posting a picture of your rescued pet, or sharing your favorite shelter, and using the hashtag #SEARCHINGFORRESCUES. 4 shelters will get a $50 prize (winners choose) and 1 additional person will receive a prize pack from Jennifer Probst.
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