Series: From Manhattan with Love #2
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ Barnes & Noble ♥ Kobo
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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?
I am loving this series so very much and to say that it has propelled Ms. Morgan on to my list of favorite authors is very true. I enjoyed the previous book because of the fun and flirty romance, but SUNSET IN CENTRAL PARK has stolen my heart because of the emotions the story evokes. There is just something about watching people who have been friends for a long time realize that there is more between them and try to figure it out that captivates a reader and I think Ms. Morgan captures that poignancy very well.
With a front row seat to the damage caused by her parents’ divorce, Frankie Cole’s biggest take away is that emotions are destructive and she has avoided getting ensnared by them successfully. But the way Matt Walker makes her feel is testing her resolve in a major way.
Frankie has been the one for Matt for a long time now but her aversion to romantic entanglements has made him hold back. Now he’s ready to turn on the heat and he is not going to let her fears rob them of something good, but realizing that he doesn’t know Frankie as well as he thought is a sobering thought and he’s determined to bring down her walls.
From the previous book we knew Frankie to be the pragmatic one, with her feet solidly planted on firm ground. Well, now we know why. Frankie is very resistant to feelings of any kind and brings to mind a pit bull standing guard over something very precious but you can’t help having your heart break for the teenager who had to watch as her parents’ marriage blew up, forced to keep adult secrets, forced to watch her mother become a scandal as she tried to reclaim her youth, and tarred with the same brush as her mother. She’s internalized all of these negative feelings and built walls around her that no-one can breach except her two best friends. I’m certain a lot of readers can see bits of themselves in Frankie (I know I do) and it makes her easy to relate to, especially for those who have had confidence issues.
Matt is that self-assured and confident guy who is modest but surprises you when he shows his hidden strength and I love that he was so patient and thoughtful with Frankie. Even though he was determined that nothing would come between them, he knew when to push and when to back off.
Returning to Puffin Island was good for Frankie as it helped her make peace with her past and see things differently through the eyes of an adult. Having Matt right there to support her was just perfect.
SUNSET IN CENTRAL PARK is emotional and romantic and a great addition to this series, one I highly recommend. I especially love that this book focuses mostly on Matt and Frankie, with their friends making few appearances.