Romance Bingo - Love (Free Space) square
I had a hard time putting this book down. The characters drove the two story lines without anything gimmick spoiling the emotional journey of the two couples. I also really liked the setting, Memphis, TN, because it was a big enough city to have diversity among the characters but still small enough to get that community feel. Also, the dialogue uses Southern accents very well; you can tell the difference between a Memphis accent and a Baton Rouge accent without it going into Southern stereotypes territory.
Harper Donovan goes to Memphis for her father's funeral; last time she saw her dad she was five and her parents broke up. She is met by Troy and Quentin Elliott, the foster sons of Harper's dad. They owned and operated a bakery; Troy was also an attorney with his own law firm and Quentin played sax with friends. Harper and Troy had a great little sister/big brother relationship at the end of the story. Harper and Quentin had eyes for only each other and not in a familial way.
Harper and Quentin acted like adults and actually talked to one another about their thoughts and feelings. There was one time when Quentin did shut down his emotions and froze Harper out, but he apologized to Harper for doing that before hitting the sack with her. It was really great to read about adults acting like adults in a relationship. Harper did have her business back in Baton Rouge, LA to attend to, so there was lots of scenes with her talking with her business partner/BFF Jasmine over Skype. Just because she is in love and also grieving for her father doesn't make Harper forget her duties. The sex scenes were a very much on the pages and a bit of variety to add spice to a sweet story.
The side romance between Rachel Harris (Troy's law firm partner and Quentin's ex-girlfriend) and Dwayne Porter was a little darker but their HEA was more appreciated for the hard times and hard work they went through to get to the HEA. The sex scenes here is much kinkier than in Harper/Quentin's romance, so heads up.
The one side character I want to mention is Ms. Alice (girlfriend of the deceased dad). She was overall AWESOME and she needs her own talk show so she can dole out advice. The scenes with Ms. Alice and Rachel were especially highlights of the story.
The only reason this is not a 5 star is that there is a little too much sex in the book for my taste. But that is a minor quibble. I'm starting the second book in the Just Desserts duology tomorrow.