Release Day Blitz: ARC Review~ Cup of Sugar by Karla Doyle +Excerpt
Release Date: February 28, 2014
Genre: Hot Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 55,537
Series: Close to Home, Book 1
Nia has one rule—don’t date neighbors. Simple, except the guy next door is single, handsome, and not inclined to close his blinds while naked. When her car dies, Conn takes “being neighborly” to a new level by offering a ride to her long-distance destination. Nia has resisted his looks and charm for months. Surely she can handle a few hours in his truck…
Her muffled “hello” was as soft as he imagined her skin and hair would be—if she ever let him close enough to find out. Her gloved hands gripped the hell out of the steering wheel. The keys dangled from the ignition. Small clouds formed and dissipated as she breathed the cold air. She darted another glance at him, but didn’t move.
“Everything okay, Nia?”
Her shoulders slumped and a larger puff of fog left her lips. “My car won’t start.”
Chalk this one up as a late Christmas present from the universe. He motioned at the passenger door. She nodded in response, so he opened it, stuck his head and shoulders inside. “I’m at your service. I can jump you or give you a ride.”
She squeaked—actually squeaked—and the frost melted from her expression. Oh, she was still pink in the cheeks, the color just didn’t look cold-weather induced. Maybe this New Year’s Eve wouldn’t completely suck after all.
But he didn’t grin, though it pained him greatly to hold it in. Any sign of wolfishness and she’d bolt again. That much he was pretty damn sure about. No problem. He could take it slow and easy.
“What happens when you try to start it up?”
“It goes click click click click click.”
Goddamn, she was cute. So much so, the grin almost got away from him. He nodded at the steering column. “Mind giving it a go so I can hear it? Not that I’m doubting the accuracy of your impression.”
“Oh god, of course. Sure.” She mumbled something under her breath while leaning forward to turn the key in the ignition. The Chevy clicked in rapid-fire succession.
“Okay, good enough. You can stop. I’m not a mechanic, but I’d wager it’s your starter. Maybe the solenoid.” A guess he’d already made, based on the operational status of the car’s lights and the adorable-as-hell sound effects she’d made.
“What’s a solenoid? Wait, better question—what are the odds I can get it fixed tonight?”
“Unless you have a mechanically inclined relative or close friend with access to automotive parts and a warm garage, I’d say zero.”
“What if you jump me—will that help?”
It’d help him, hell yes. But he couldn’t say that either. Not to a woman he didn’t know beyond some casual conversation and eight months of ogling from his side of their mutual property line.
“Nope. That only works for a low battery. And yours,” he nodded at the windshield, beyond which her headlights bounced off the fence, “seems to be working just fine.”
“Shit.” She slumped again. A cloud of curly fog rose as she sighed. “Thanks, Conn.”
Since moving in, she’d never called him by name. And man, did it sound good in her sweet voice. If she thought he could close the car door and walk away after hearing that, she could think again.
“Give me ten minutes to toss my stuff in the house, feed Zeus and I’ll give you a lift wherever you need to go.”
She didn’t raise her head, but turned it enough to look at him. A curtain of long, blonde hair obscured half her face. “Why?”
The eye he could see squinted at him. “Because it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m quite sure you have plans.”
Really now. This could get interesting. “And why would think that?” he asked while sliding onto her passenger seat and closing the door.
That move had her sitting straight. “What are you doing?”
“Oh my god, just no.” She shot from her seat and out of the car as if her cute little ass was on fire. When he didn’t follow suit, she leaned in and scowled at him. “Are you going to get out?” She rolled her eyes and huffed at his shrug. “Good lord, this is all I need.”
“See, now we’re getting somewhere. Tell me what you need, Nia. A ride to…?”
“I do not need to ride you.” Forget squeaking, this time she shrieked. Then clapped one gloved hand over her mouth, and with the other hand, slammed the driver’s side door.He choked down the gut-busting laugh that threatened at the base of his throat. But when she reached the door of her house and realized she’d left the keys in the ignition, the dam burst. One loud laugh erupted from his lips. No doubt that was going to get him in serious shit with his neighborette. He’d just have to make it up to her.
Not exactly 3.5 stars, but not quite 4 either.. So, somewhere in between that.
Overall this was a cute story. It had a few sexy moments, the occasional laugh, and bit of jumping to conclusions.
I actually ended up really liking Conn. He was not at all what I had expected. Sweet, charming but determined to get Nia. He wasn't a jerk about it which was refreshing. I admired his patience when it came to Nia, because boy was she a handful.
Nia's "no dating the neighbor" rule was a bit over the top if you ask me, but she was set on keeping it in place. She kept denying herself from having the deliciously sexy Conn. Her personality didn't really bother me too much until about half way. Her incessant need to follow her neighbor rule kept annoying me and on top of that she jumped to conclusions way to quickly. It would be understandable if Conn had given her a reason to question him in any way, but instead he was a perfect gentleman.
Nia's family, well her parents, were adorable and a sweet addition to the story. Nia's sister was a factor that came out of left field and their relationship confused me a bit. Let's just say I expected Nia to treat her a whole lot differently.
I'd say this would be a quick and cute read to pass the time, but I wouldn't necessarily make it a priority read.
*An eARC of this book was provided by Rock Star PR and the author for an honest review.
My Rating: 3.5 - 4 kisses
About the Author
Karla grew up in a small town on the shore of Lake Erie. She trained and worked in the fashion industry, designing and making everything from swimwear to dog collars for most of her adult life. Karla has since traded her needle and thread for a word processor, and now spends her time writing sexy romances. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with family, friends and her pets, as well as reading and hitting the gym.