Only a Fling
by Delancey Stewart
Release Date: February 28, 2022
Book #1 in the Kasper Ridge series
Number of pages: 327
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Ages 14 and up
CW: death of parents
My new boss is a former fighter pilot — and it should be illegal to be that hot. But this city-boy condo builder doesn’t know the first thing about construction in a place like Kasper Ridge.
Will hired me to oversee the renovation at the old Kasper Ridge Resort – a job that will make my company and guarantee that Papa can live comfortably to a very old age. I just need to keep my eyes on the prize and make sure Will Cruz doesn’t make any assumptions about my abilities just because I’m a woman in construction.
And the prize is not Will Cruz’s ocean blue eyes or those rock-hard abs. Besides, all those muscles and that killer smile are temporary. I’ve lived in the mountains long enough to know that slick city boys don’t stick around for the long run.
So I tell myself the things I need to hear to stay strong, hold firm, maintain my distance.
Until Will kisses me one night and I forget pretty much everything I’d been telling myself about protecting my heart.
I know it’s only a fling, but what if there’s a chance Will Cruz is the one? What if I give him my heart, and he doesn’t stay?
As I was getting into this story, I felt as though it wasn’t truly the first in a series. It wasn’t as though I was missing anything important, but some of the characters were referenced in a way to seem they had their own stories told already. Plus, there is an element in this story about a treasure that, although easy to follow regardless of what backstory I had, seemed to be something I should already know a bit about. After finishing this book I looked into it and, sure enough, there is a novella to kick this series off. (As of 9/14/22 it’s free on Kindle. I don’t know if that will be a temporary deal or not.)
As I said, I didn’t feel like I was missing any crucial piece of the puzzle. Especially when it pertained to Lucy and Will. Yet I still had a bit of a struggle with the couple, mostly in the beginning. Because they were doing a job, and technically Will was Lucy’s boss, and Will was likely to leave town after the job ended, there were a lot of “rules” that both were trying to adhere to. A lot of reflection on why they shouldn’t start a relationship. It was, quite frankly, getting old. Thankfully, when they got over themselves a bit, their chemistry finally started to come through. Although oddly enough for the type of reader I usually am, the intimate scenes didn’t hit right for me. I didn’t feel the heat between Lucy and Will when they were between the sheets but felt it more when they were flirting and ribbing one another.
This series does seem as though it will get quite interesting with the hidden treasure aspect that is weaving through the books. While so far I like all of the characters individually, I don’t know if I’m sold on them as a group. They are lacking that little something that is needed to pull a group like this together. Since I can tell the novella I haven’t yet read does even contain most of these people, I’m looking at this story as the introduction to the group and hope they’ll have more cohesion as the series progresses.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
**Note: Although the original publication date is shown as February 2022, I did not receive this book from NetGalley until the end of August 2022. There is also another cover. I believe the one above is from the February date and the one below is from the recent August date.