Trust Me by Laura Florand (Paris Nights #3)
Released: April 4, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
This book picks up right after events in Chase Me (the series can be read as stand alones.) In Chase Me, there is a terrorist attack in a well-known restaurant, and some people are injured. Lina, our heroine, is the pastry chef and it was her cousin who initiated the attack. Lina is Arab-French, her grandparents immigrating from Algeria to France a few decades ago. Because her cousin is an actual terrorist and she is muslim, suspicion unfortunately is attached to her. She is extensively interviewed by French counter-terrorist units until she is cleared and during that time, a quiet, large American man stood off to the side, watching everything.
Jake is a Navy SEAL, whose team was on alert that this cousin could be a terrorist and was unable to stop him before he made an attack. Jake has seen a lot in his eleven years as a SEAL, and still finds his job exciting, yet tires of all the death. When he is tasked with keeping Lina safe after the attack, he quietly falls in love with her from the sideline. Jake is a big, strong, alpha guy, but a tiny bit awkward when it comes to dating. He fears commitment and is tired of having random, anonymous sex with women. Lina has had the scare of her life, and needs to feel alive again. After she gets to know Jake a little, she suggests a “friends with benefit” situation, and Jake is hurt she only wants to have sex and not really get to know him. Lina did not mean to offend him, thinking that he probably would love to have “just sex.” With her world turned upside down, her kitchen closed for the near future until it can be put back together and the threat of another attack dissipates, Lina needs to feel and to touch and to explore…and preferably with Jake, whom she feels very safe with.
“Has anybody ever tried to kiss every single one of your freckles?” she asked, spreading her fingers against him, her eyes tracking him in fascination.
The shock of that thought tightened his whole body. Oh, shit, this was not going to end well for him. “There must be a million.” He tried to make his voice dismissive. Casual. We’re just hooking up for sex. That kind of casual.
A sparkle of sensual mischief in her eyes that just slipped right between the folds of his towel and grabbed him down there like he’d never taken the edge off in the shower. “I bet I’ve placed a million sea salt flakes precisely in my life. I’m pretty patient and thorough.”
Lina is a world-class pastry chef and at the age of twenty-six has earned two Michelin stars, which is pretty unheard of in the pastry world. She is fiercely proud of her work, and has dedicated her life to it. I love how Laura Florand writes food. It can be chocolate, spun sugar, the most delicate creations, the most robust flavors – she makes sure the readers are experiencing it to the fullest extent. She never disappoints in this area.
She also doesn’t shy away from the racism that Lina must feel being French-Arab and having her own cousin be a terrorist. Lina is a fighter and whether it’s fear from the attack or coming up against a predominately male profession, she still stands strong. I liked her so much.
Jake is a little more quiet, and I think his SEAL buddies outshine him in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I love some good banter between friends and we get that a lot in this book but Jake stays more in the background. They all give each other a hard time, especially when Jake’s teammates realize he has a crush on Lina:
Ian beamed at her. “Ma’am, this must be about the most delicious thing your humble servant has ever tasted.”
Oh, for God’s sake. Since when had Ian had a Southern drawl? Jake shot him a bird behind Lina’s back.
Ian just grinned and focused on Lina, whose chilly look had disappeared for him.
Definitely looking forward to the rest of the team getting books.
There isn’t a ton of action that really happens in this book, but a lot of page time is devoted to Jake and Lina’s courtship, and I liked that. I’m not sure I feel like we ever really meet the genuine Jake – it’s almost like he has his guard up with the readers for the book, but overall a nice romance.