Hopeless Romantic (When in Rome) – ARC Review

Hopeless Romantic
by Marina Adair
Release Date:  January 26, 2021
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Book #2 in the When in Rome series
Number of Pages:  320
Source:  NetGalley ARC
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  NC-17
Read 1/14/20 to 1/15/20

Set against the breezy backdrop of coastal Rhode Island, the latest novel from bestselling author Marina Adair asks whether two of a small town’s biggest hearts can learn to put themselves first–in the name of love…

As caregiver for her autistic brother, Beckett Hayes knows how meaningful a little extra help can be when life happens. Which is why she runs Consider It Done, a personal concierge service in her small town. Her job also gives her the flexibility to follow her passion, being Rome, Rhode Island’s unofficial special needs advocate, training emotional support companions in her spare time. There’s not much of that, though, and certainly not enough for serious dating. It’s always been family first for Beck. But one unquestionably gorgeous, good-natured man is suddenly a temptation that’s getting tougher to resist…

Sixteen years ago, Levi Rhodes was ready to sail off into the sunset–literally. But then his father’s death and his sister’s unexpected pregnancy postponed his sailing scholarship and the adventures he had planned. Running the family marina and bar was the least he could do for his grieving mother. Plus, his niece needed a father-figure. But now that she’s in high school and has her bio-dad in her life, Levi’s wondering if it’s time to get his sea legs under him again…until curvy, caring Beck showed up in his bar, and then in his dreams…

A portion of royalties to benefit The Organization of Autism Research.

I was really looking forward to diving back into this series. And seeing Levi paired with Beckett was just another way to get me excited. These two not only have amazing chemistry, they also understand each other in a way nobody else seems to.

Becket seriously broke my heart. She is so giving and caring while never letting anyone give to her or care for her. It’s her way of protecting herself. She doesn’t want to get used to anything that will go away in the long run. Beckett has no faith in much of humanity, and she hasn’t been given many reasons that she should. Now that Annie lives in town and she has started spreading out her friend base (everyone in town knows Beck, but she doesn’t let anyone really know her) she finally starting to see her worth. And see that she lets people, even those that love her dearly, take her for granted and take advantage of her kindness and need to protect everyone.

Levi and Beckett have actually known each other for years. He’s the owner of the most popular bar/restaurant in town, she’s a jack (jill) of all trades who is always out and about, and like I said, everyone knows Beckett. Now that their best friends are together, they’ve gotten to know each other on a more personal level. While Levi was always intrigued by Beck, now he can’t help but flirt and hope for more. But anything with Levi has an expiration date. He’s put off his own dreams long enough. He’s actually more like Beckett than he even realizes. Always the caregiver, always the fixer, always the reliable shoulder. He needs to get out and live his own life instead of living life for his niece, mom, and brother-in-law.

I am head over heels in love with Levi. He is so caring and intuitive. Not just with Beck, but with all of the people in his life. That man was giving me warm-fuzzies on top of butterflies on top of chills. Whether he was teasing and flirting with Beck or helping her in ways nobody ever has before, teaching his niece to drive, or being the most patient son on the planet, Levi was amazing. (I’m not even going to get into my issues with his mom. That rant could go on for way too long.) In other words, the perfect match for Beckett. Seriously, with the love these two give to all of those around them, they could teach most of this world a thing or two and make it a better place.

Now, I do have a small problem with this book. I felt the ending was a bit too rushed. Almost like the author realized her page count and had to wrap things up before she was quite ready. There is definitely a satisfying conclusion to the Beckett/Levi story, but I don’t know if I’m satisfied with other aspects of these character’s lives. Since there is still more story to tell (after all, Gray still needs another HEA) I’m hoping some of the smaller loose ends will be wrapped up in the next book. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a cliffhanger. I just felt there was more to be said.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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