Sleepover By Serena Bell Release Date: November 13, 2018 Publisher: Loveswept Standalone* Number of pages: 224 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: XXX Read 11/3/18 to 11/4/18
The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .
Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?
Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers.
Wow! Just wow. The only reason this book was read over two days and not in one is because I forced myself to put it down and go to sleep. I didn’t want to, but knew I needed some shut-eye. The emotions in this story are so raw and they run the gamut from grief and sadness to joy and love.
The chemistry between Sawyer and Elle is unbelievable. They have a very (extremely) brief history that is given in a few flashback type scenes. This story really starts from when they unwittingly meet again. From there, their interactions become increasingly erotic but are still only foreplay. It got to where I thought my Kindle would catch on fire before they sealed the deal! What’s amazing is how the author crafted these moments with so much chemistry and electricity, but also with style and importance. She used the chemistry to build on the relationship, even when Elle and Sawyer weren’t in the same room. Which ended up being quite touching and always giving me a swarm of butterflies in my stomach.
It’s always a precarious thing to write about a widow or widower finding love again. Especially when the deceased spouse was a good person. Serena Bell navigated Sawyer’s feelings about his deceased wife and his blossoming feelings for Elle in such a real way. And Elle’s knowledge of Sawyer’s feelings for his wife and her own feelings of what that means for her are so emotional and heartrending.
Seriously, in the beginning of this book I couldn’t stop laughing. These characters and their friends are witty and fun and hilarious. Plus, there are some really wonderful scenes with Jonah and Madden, Sawyer’s and Elle’s sons, both at home and at school that are touching and sweet. Through all the laughter, the tears eventually came. Just like in real life, there is a balance of both. This story is really a beautiful thing.
One last note. Goodreads has this book listed as a *standalone. I ended up checking the author’s website about this since there are some crossover characters from Do Over and Head Over Heels and these three books are listed as part of a series she calls Sexy Dads…which is very fitting. I personally think any of these books can be read as a standalone, but I’ve really enjoyed them all so strongly recommend you read them all. You won’t regret it.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and given freely. **