Tuesday, May 18, 2021


Instead of heading to his car and work Malcolm decided to take a stroll.  Which is something he never does, but today he needed a change.   When he comes across an old-world-styled cafe on the bottom floor of a huge mansion he is intrigued.  He wondered if they had space for another tenant or better yet he could buy the whole building.

As he's sitting waiting for his espresso and lemon scone he can't help but feel that he is there for a reason and then he hears her voice and know she's the reason he was drawn here.  When he overhears her conversation with the other waitresses about being away for a month he tries to think what he can do to get her in his bed tonight before her flight the next day.

And then she falls into his lap....literally.  Her friend was spinning her around in an impromptu dance and overspun.  She was full of disdain when he asked her out, but he wasn't worried he had a month to make plans.

Some idiot at the airport spilled coffee on her new Islandic kimono.  One she just purchased on her trip and couldn't replace since it was designed just for her.  As she's talking to the dry cleaner he tells her he has her perfect mate since they have the same love of textiles.   She laughs...drycleaning to forecast love?

Then she sees the cafe she works at, but it is no longer her cafe.  It has been bought and totally renovated.  No more old-world charm.  It was now brand spanking new and elegant.  And the new owner was no other than the man she had turned down for a date.

Malcolm's grandmother left him a coffee plantation in Costa Rica.  The catch...he had to be married and his wife had to attend the reading of the will.  So Malcolm offered Mina a fully paid holiday and ownership of the cafe for one week of her playing his fake wife. 

Then he decided a wager would sweeten the deal.  If he could get her to fall in love with him during that week she had to move in as his lover for the period of a year.  Mina made a counteroffer - if he was the one to fall in love he would give her a billion dollars free and clear.

Since they neither had a clue of the definition of love she interviewed her happily married and in love friends.  Malcolm and Mina reviewed the list and divided them as FALLING IN LOVE and NONSENSE.  Because really "...the hottest thing I ever saw..." "...wanted to link them all over..." and "...couldn't stay away from them...".  Total nonsense.

I loved this book and spending more time at Sterling Place.  I loved getting reacquainted with Mina's family of friends.  I loved Mina's feistiness.  Her disbelief in love because of abandonment issues made her very cynical.   Malcolm had never had anyone in his life to love him so he worked and worked to fill up the void.

The sexual chemistry between Malcolm and Mina was obvious from page one.  He was determined to have her no matter what thinking he could sleep with her once and the lust would go away.  Even as Mina hated him she couldn't deny how much she waned Malcolm.

Their trip to South America turned out to be more thrilling than they expected.  There were death-defying hurdles and a smoking hot honeymoon.  I absolutely loved this book!  

Highly recommend L. A. Pepper!


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