Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review of Bella Andre's Can't Help Falling in Love

Title: Can’t Help Falling in Love (The Sullivans #3)
Author: Bella Andre
Publisher: Self-published via Smashwords
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Author
Publication Date: December 11, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5

A few weeks ago, I was on Twitter and saw Bella Andre had tweeted about her new release, Can’t Help Falling in Love, so I retweeted her comment. Ms. Andre contacted me and asked if I was interested in a copy of the book for review. I hadn’t read any of her books before, but I’m always looking for new authors, so I was pleased to accept. I’m VERY glad I did, because Can’t Help Falling in Love is a fun, sexy contemporary romance, and, despite being the third in the series about the Sullivan family, it easily stands on its own. I went out and bought the second book for my Kindle after reading this one, and I can’t wait to catch up on the series.
Gabe Sullivan is a firefighter in San Francisco and one of 8 Sullivan siblings, all of whom seem to be incredibly gifted in some way. As the novel begins, he’s fighting a fire and learns that Megan Harris and her 7 year old daughter Summer are trapped in their apartment. He heroically rushes in to save them, all three barely escaping with their lives. Megan and Summer visit Gabe in the hospital to thank him, but he’s more than a little surly towards Megan, because he had a bad relationship with a woman he rescued a few years before.
Megan’s navy pilot husband passed away 5 years ago, so she’s not interested in dating any more adrenaline junkies, and Gabe’s made it clear that he wants nothing to do with her, but Summer has different plans. The chemistry between Megan and Gabe sets off sparks, but both are leery of any kind of commitment. Summer and the Sullivan clan have their work cut out for them if they’re going to get these two together!
This is a straightforward contemporary romance and very enjoyable. Megan and Gabe have great chemistry, and it’s fun to see them fighting the inevitable. The love scenes are sizzling, but it’s not all lust, all the time, which is a relief. The two spend time together and with Summer, so you can see the relationship develop over the course of the book, which is always a selling point for me. And while I read the book and jotted down some notes for this review nearly a month ago, the protagonists and supporting characters are still fresh in my mind.
I’m not usually a fan of children as secondary characters, because they can sometimes be just a bit too twee for my taste, but Summer was an important part of the story arc. Since Megan’s a single mom, it’s only natural that her daughter would figure in any decision to start a romantic relationship. I was a little surprised at how Summer (with some adult help) managed to manipulate Megan into a ski trip where they (surprise!) ran into Gabe. Frankly, my parents would have beat the stuffing out of me if I pulled that kind of stunt, but it worked in the context of the plot.
I really enjoyed this book, and I can easily understand Ms. Andre’s success at self-publishing. The book was well edited, polished, and very professional, not to mention well-written. I will definitely be reading more of her work!

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