The friends to lovers trope is my very favorite. Doesn’t matter if it’s a historical, contemporary or romantic suspense, if the blurb even hints that there is history between the H/h, or he is her brother’s best friend, or there might be some unrequited love on either main character’s part I’m all in. It’s like my crack, I just have no willpower to resist. The blurb for this novella in the H.O.T. series had that AND the hero’s nickname is Knight Rider AND the title is Hot Mess. Just a glimpse at it on Goodreads I could feel the pull and hear it calling my name. So I gave in.
Georgeanne Hayes has had her sights set on Sam McKnight since she was thirteen years old. To Sam she will never be anything more than his best friend’s kid sister, she knows this because the one time she tried to offer her virginity to him shortly after her 18th birthday he refused to give in to his desire and pushed her away. He’s only made one other appearance in her life since then and that was on the day of her wedding. Now she’s divorced and an English Professor living in DC. She likes her life and job, but can’t make her family understand that despite her divorce she’s okay. When her brother calls Sam in to check on her she’s not surprised when he’s distant, after all they haven’t seen each other in years. But when her life is threatened the next day he’s the first person she thinks to call.
Sam McKnight refuses to give in to his desire for the gorgeous Georgeanne Hayes. As a child her house was the only place he could go to escape his parents fighting. He’s a poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks and has always known that he is not who her parents would want for their little girl. He has nothing to offer her, even his job as a new member of the Hostile Operations Team (H.O.T.) requires him to leave at a moments notice and often stay away from home. When Georgie calls him in a panic and he then discovers that a student of hers is connected to some very bad people he is determined to keep her safe.
First let me say I thoroughly enjoyed this romance. It’s supposed to be romantic suspense, but I felt that the focus was more on the romance than the suspense. Don’t get me wrong, there is a suspense plot, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and the resolution is quick and easy. The romance aspect on the other hand was very skillfully allowed to unfold and the passion to ignite beautifully. Both Sam and Georgie are well fleshed out and it was easy to get into their heads to understand where they were coming from. I liked these characters. Their dialogue was both sexy and funny and kept me entertained even while I was waiting for them to resolve their feelings and finally jump into bed.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he said.
“I doubt you’re that big.”
He couldn’t believe that she could make him laugh at a time like this. “I’m thinking of your hip, smartass.”
“I’ll let you know, but right now I think it hurts worse not to have you where I want you.”
Here’s another fun moment:
“I’m not wearing any panties,” she whispered. “Doesn’t that make it all better?”
“Georgie,” he groaned. “You’re killing me here.”
She reached for his belt buckle. “Ooooh, you feel that? The wind is blowing. Blowing my dress right off. Blowing you right where I want you.”
Georgeanne isn’t the typical girl who is begging for her brother’s best friend to see her as something more, she’s strong and sassy, while at the same time completely down to earth. I could have read another two hundred pages of her smart comebacks and sexy come-ons. I admired Sam’s thoughtful handling of his G. There is a lot of push and pull until passion ignites and their feelings fall into place soon after. The ending felt like more of a HFN rather than HEA, but I was okay with that and hope that I will get to see more of this couple further on in this series.
This was my first Lynn Raye Harris, but it won’t be my last. I’ve already hit my one click button and purchased the first book in the series. I’m hoping with the longer length that the suspense plot will be more intense. I’ll report back and let y’all know. Final Grade- B
She thought he had trouble remembering she wasn’t a kid anymore. No, what he had trouble remembering was that he was no good for her. Because damn if he didn’t want her. He wanted her every possible way he could have her.