Friday, July 13, 2012

To Do List by Lauren Dane

He wasn’t part of her balance sheet. But one week in his bed could tip the scales.

Since she could pick up a pencil, Belle Taylor has used lists and charts to map out her life. When she achieves a goal, she marks it off her to do list. Simple. But now, just steps away from her corner-office, name-on-the-letterhead goal, she realizes that the life she thought she wanted may come at too high a price.

Exhausted, she retreats home for Christmas vacation to rethink her life, complete with all-new lists. What she hadn’t expected is Rafe Bettencourt, her brother’s best friend, the man who she thought only saw her as a pesky younger sister. But when he kisses her under the mistletoe, Belle finds herself with a whole new set of goals to balance with what she thought she always wanted.

Rafe knows Belle is trying to figure out what to do with her life. He also knows he’s done loving her from afar, and he’s not beneath making it as hard as possible for her to choose to return to San Francisco.

Because Rafe can make to-do lists too—and his plan is to seduce Belle back home where she belongs. At his side. And in his bed.

For me there are very few things like a well done small town contemporary romance. Even in the smaller novella form I think Dane hits it out of the park with this one, as the relationship between Belle and Rafe feels very 'real' to me. Due to their families being so close they've known each other forever - she had a crush on him in her teens, and he had a crush on her after seeing her later at her law school graduation party. The story opens immediately on their first kiss under the mistletoe and doesn't slow down from there. 

Even though their relationship is drama free and might seem boring to some, I connected to the family dynamics and loved how Rafe and Belle didn't take each other or their future for granted. They both had to face questions about their careers and happiness as individuals before they could come together successfully, and by the end I was pretty much grinning from ear to ear. As a cheap (price wise) quick treat, I highly recommend this story to romance lovers everywhere.

Overall Feeling - A

Series - None