Title: The Very Thought of You
Author: Claire Marti
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A perfectionistic equine vet. A gorgeous fireman. An unrequited high school crush blazes hot twelve years later.
Reliable Amanda McNeill’s world toppled last summer when Hollywood invaded her family’s horse breeding ranch. Everyone’s moving onward and upward, but she’s in a massive rut. Weary of her label as the dependable older sister, she yearns to throw predictability to the wind and embrace spontaneity. She can be impulsive, even wild, and a hot fling with Jake Cruz might be the sizzle she needs to jumpstart her life.
When firefighter Jake Cruz rescues a dog from a hit-and-run, the nearest vet is none other than his high school tutor, Amanda McNeill. Face to face with his former crush, he finds her to be even more beautiful than he remembers, and her charming blushes and heated glances tell him she notices him this time around. While Jake longs to discover if this Amanda matches the girl who starred in his adolescent fantasies, his desire to become fire captain, and earn his family's pride, requires he focus on work, not passion.
Could his dream woman become his real love or will his professional ambitions extinguish their chances? Once the smoke clears, will Amanda realize Jake isn’t a fling but her hero after all?
Firefighter Jake Cruz never forgot the kindness his high school tutor Amanda McNeill bestowed upon him and helped him try to overcome his learning disability all those years ago. He’s also carried a five-alarm torch for her and no woman can measure up to the fantasy in Jake’s head. Flash forward twelve years and a cute dog named Stella brings them together again. This time, though, Jake is a man and he’s conflicted. He’s trying to get a college degree so he can become a Captain but his learning disability is holding him back. When he asks Amanda to tutor him, she agrees. Jake tries to bury his feelings for her but she takes the reins. Their fling burns up the sheets but runs cold when she breaks it off with him. Can he convince her he’s her forever hero or has his career sputtered their love?
I love a good second-chance romance and The Very Thought of You is one of the best I’ve read. This is more than a romance, though. Serious life issues like learning disabilities, health, animal rescue and parental expectations all play a role in this story. Jake is such a lovable hero; it was easy to fall in love with him. Amanda is, like most women, attracted to the physical appearance of Jake but soon sees Jake’s gentle spirit and heart. Every time the dog, Stella, entered a scene, my heart melted. There’s a lot of angst to this romance but trust me, it's worth it in the end. Jake and Amanda are a couple any romance reader will fall for. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N