I read this perfect little novella when it first came out in 2017 and I’ve read it multiple times since then. It’s a quick little read, about120 pages in all, and every word of this tightly written book is perfect. Simone Stark really delivered the ultimate novella on her very first try and I hope she knows just how many people love this sweet. sexy story.
Usually, when I do Scenic Sunday posts, I pick a book and I already know which scene I’m going to focus on. For this one though, I found myself just rereading the whole book all over again because it just sucks me in every time. For one, it’s an epistolary romance and chunks of the first part of the novella are just Abby and Roux exchanging letters, she a veterinarian in Colorado, him an Army medic stationed in Yemen.
She writes him first, a letter introducing herself, a sweet, simple letter that immediately captives Roux, and when he writes back, it’s filled with all the southern charm and flirt befitting a Cajun-born Special Forces soldier from the bayou.
The letters begin with innocent flirtation and get progressively filthy as they go on. He calls her cher and béb and basically falls for her from the very first letter and isn’t afraid to tell her exactly how much she means to him. And then they engage in a bout of extremely hot phone sex, her at home, him in Germany, before she gets scared of her feelings and the fact that she’s misled him about what she looks like.
And then…they meet. And it’s epic.
Roux’s gaze narrowed and a muscle began to twitch high on his right cheek. He moved again, coming for her with such conviction that she backed away, over the threshold and into the house. He didn’t hesitate to follow, not looking away from her, not even when he’d kicked the door shut and reached for her, sliding one arm around her waist and pulling her tight against him, until she squeaked with shock and surprise and a pleasure she could never have imagined.
Even then he came closer, his hands coming up to cup her cheeks and hold her still before he lowered his face to hers, stopping only when his lips were a breath from her, to say, low and deep and sinful, with that edge of accent that sent pleasure and fear and promise rioting through her, “Did you think I would’t know?”
“I – “
He continued, like she hadn’t spoken. “Did you think I wouldn’t take one look at you and know the truth?”
Was he angry? Of course he was angry. He should be angry. She’d lied. She’d lied, and now it was over.
And then he was talking again, the low growl of breath against her lips making her wild. “Here’s how this is going to go. If I don’t get my mouth on you right now, I’m going to lose my mind, so we’re going to do that first, and when you’ve come so hard you can’t remember what you look like, I’m going to tell you all the ways that I’m royally pissed at you for lying to me, Abigail.”
And then his mouth was on hers, hot and heavy and delicious, and she was on fire.
He knew. He knew, and he was here.
And he was hers.
And then what follows is probably one of the absolute hottest love scenes I’ve ever read in a book, no lie. It’s hot and dirty and steamy and filthy and filled with so much love and tenderness and sweetness and really, I adore the way that Roux makes Abby feel loved and so, so incredibly cherished.
Whenever I’m in a reading slump, this is the book I turn to, it immediately puts a smile on my face and is such a feel-good read for me.