Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: "Draw Me Close" by Nicole Michaels (Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance)

Draw Me Close (Hearts & Crafts #3)
by Nicole Michaels

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Win Me Over (#1), Start Me Up (#2) (affil.)
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 1, 2016

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Description from Publisher:
Lindsey Morales is a decorating genius with a natural flair for design and an eye for a bargain. As a contributor to a popular lifestyle blog, she can take anything from trash to treasure—except for her own life. Burned once, and badly, she's more than twice shy, especially when it comes to the breathtaking builder who broke her heart…

Architect Derek Walsh has made a name for himself designing sleekly modern buildings, but when renovating a hundred-year-old farmhouse gives him the chance to see Lindsey again, he jumps at it. Still dreaming about her after eight long years apart, he'll do anything to prove that he's serious about spending the future with her. Can he convince sassy, stubborn Lindsey that they can DIY their own happy ending?

My Rating:
Sexiness Rating:
I received a digital ARC from the publisher through for an honest, unbiased review. This in no way affected my review.

This was the first book in the Hearts and Crafts series that I read, so I wasn't already familiar with Anne or Callie, but that wasn't necessary. The bits about their relationships, especially Anne & Mike's, did peak my interest and I will definitely be tracking down "Start Me Up."

From the beginning, we are teased with the reactions to situations without knowing exactly how justified those reactions are. Slowly, over the course of the first half of the book, those details are fleshed out alongside the build-up of the relationship between Lindsey and Derek, as well as the secondary characters.

And let me tell you, I really enjoyed that. There were peeks into their past, some of them sexy, some of them touching. You know where it's all leading, but the lead-up is so very well done that you love Derek, you love Lindsey, and you love Derek & Lindsey. The fact that they don't just start things up again as though 8 years has never passed is honestly great. There were moments that had me laughing out loud, or smirking, or just smiling. The "post-it note" thing in the very beginning is funny and sets a good tone for the book.

I appreciated that there wasn't a big throw-down as the climax - it felt much more realistic than so many others I have read. I did, however, expect a bit more fireworks at the wedding and was a bit disappointed, though there were so many earlier scenes where hearts were bared that it did make sense.

The final interaction we see between Derek and his ex-wife, Lisa, is wonderful, in my opinion. It was refreshing and real. I wouldn't be opposed to a story featuring Lisa, though this seems to be the last book in this series.

I also wanted to remark on the kids and parenting done in this book. As a mom, I really enjoyed how cute and normal the kids were, and the interactions between the parents and their kids. As a nursing mom, I really liked how natural the subject of breastfeeding and pumped bottles was brought up (very subtle references, like "switching sides").

The last things I'll comment on are the crafting and small business angle. Pinterest, Etsy, First Friday, food trucks... Nicole Michaels did a fantastic job of weaving it all into the story without being over-the-top or like a tutorial. It added a fair amount of charm and depth to the characters and story, which I liked.

This was a fun, quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic comedies with heart and a satisfying amount of steaminess.

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