Read Simmering Ice by Veronica Forand Susan Scott Shelley Online


When the gloves come off, she's worth the penalty...Physical therapist Annie Davidson is great at her job but unlucky when it comes to love. She's just out of a bad relationship. A really bad relationship. All she can do is focus on work...that is until she runs into professional hockey player Alec O'Meara. She's a touch insecure and doesn't understand why he's interestedWhen the gloves come off, she's worth the penalty...Physical therapist Annie Davidson is great at her job but unlucky when it comes to love. She's just out of a bad relationship. A really bad relationship. All she can do is focus on work...that is until she runs into professional hockey player Alec O'Meara. She's a touch insecure and doesn't understand why he's interested in her.Despite being one of the biggest players on the team, right wing Alec O'Meara prefers finesse over force. After the tragic death of his wife, he likes to keep things loose on and off the ice. But the red-headed Annie challenges his beliefs and makes him think about taking their relationship to the net. The passion and fun they share is addicting and makes them long for more. But her insecurities that she's not good enough, and his anxiety over a long-term commitment will keep them apart, unless they can find a way to break through the defenses they've built around their hearts....

Title : Simmering Ice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781633753389
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 162 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Simmering Ice Reviews

  • Ambur
    2018-12-13 01:25

    I read SIMMERING ICE in the box set of the first two books in the Atlantic City Hustlers series, called ICED, and I really enjoyed both of them!!!Out of the two novellas, I did love SIMMERING ICE a bit more than FLIRTING ON ICE though! I loved Alec and Annie, and I felt like their story was a little more flushed out than Zac and Heather's was, but both were absolutely adorable!! I really loved the team aspects of the story, and the romance was sweet and had a really wonderful build!What I loved more about SIMMERING ICE was that we saw a lot more about both Alec and Annie. We learned about both of their pasts and why they were reluctant in love, and I thought that the authors did a great job of showing both characters' insecurities. They also did an amazing job at showing the chemistry between the characters! Alec and Annie had amazing chemistry, and they were extremely well suited together! They had so much in common, and I thought they complemented each other perfectly! I was actually pretty amazed how well their relationship was developed because this was a pretty quick read. SIMMERING ICE actually holds up pretty well against even full sized romances! It checked ALL of my boxes for romance books, and I really loved it! If you haven't started the Atlantic City Hustlers series yet, now's a good time since you can get this one and the first novella, FLIRTING ON ICE, in the ICED Boxset. ;) I'd recommend them to fans of sweet, contemporary romances!

  • Rejane
    2018-11-16 01:40

    Not worthy a review

  • April Symes
    2018-12-02 05:33

    I received an ARC copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.Alec O'Meara is a professional hockey player who has had some pretty hard knocks in life- he lost the love of his life due to cancer and since then has kept a stranglehold on his heart so he can never feel that kind of pain on his heart. While visiting some children at a local hospital, he bumps into Annie and the color of her hair shocks him completely-she reminds him of his late wife.Annie Davidson, physical therapist, is young and has recently just got out of a relationship where her ex cheated on her with a medical assistant. Her own mother still to this day puts her down constantly. Annie is a sweet woman who goes out of her way to help people and when she runs into Alec, and he seems so interested in HER, she doesn’t understand what he sees in her. Alec sees Annie and all he can think is getting to know her better. Alec can see that he has his work cut out for him and how Annie is skittish but he wants to see where this is going. At times, things get rough and he doesn’t know if he is coming or going but he wants to see what they can have together. Their dating/flirting/make out sessions was so good. I really the dynamic was between the two. The only thing I think I didn’t like was Annie’s mother- I wanted some justice to come to her in this book. I wanted someone to take her down a peg and for her to be punished for what she put Annie thru. I will say this story and the HEA is fantastic. Also you will see Zac and Heather from book 1 Flirting on Ice," making an appearance. I cannot wait for a book 3 in this series.My rating: 4.4 stars ****

  • BBMoreB ~
    2018-12-16 05:33

    Atlantic City Hustlers’ right winger, Alec “Sequoia” O’Meara, lost his wife, Tamara, to cancer two years ago. Due to Alec’s famed talent, the media publicized both Tamara’s battle with cancer and later, following her death, Alec’s grief. Since becoming a widower, Alec, has ensured that his relationships never deepen – strictly remaining in the just-for-fun stage. Annie Davidson’s most recent relationship ended when she discovered her ex, Corey, having an affair with a medical assistant. Growing up her athleticism always shrouded her femininity and drew criticism. Discovering Corey’s infidelity reiterated old insecurities…making her feel inadequate. The courting/flirting set the pace for this incredible couple. I do not have much patience for a whinny heroine with low self-esteem, but Alec’s consistent encouragement made it tolerable. Every moment is remarkable – witnessing two people determined to not love again…fall so deeply…was incredible. Not sure what the authors have planned for the Atlantic City Hustlers series, but I hope it those plans include many more installments.Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

  • Angie
    2018-12-01 23:51

    I received a copy of this story through NetGalley from Entangled Publishing for an honest review. This was a great book told from both character's points of view. At times the story was heartbreaking, warm and hopeful. Obviously my heart went out to Alec for his loss, but my it hurt for Annie's lifetime of insecurities and criticism from the one person who should always be in her corner. They help each other to heal and build a future together. Annie's mother? Good grief, I want to drop kick that woman and give her a painful noogie. (view spoiler)[I'm going to make an assumption her criticism came from pain around Annie's father and her similar features to him (red hair). I may have missed it, but I'm not sure if Annie finally stood up to her. If not, I really wanted for that harpy to get her comeuppance. (hide spoiler)]This is a great 2nd book to the series as I enjoyed the first book, "Flirting on Ice," about Zac and Heather. They both make an appearance in this book and we meet more members of the team. I looked through their lists of books and feel like I'm missing Brock and Valeria's story? I'm crossing my fingers the authors continue to write stories from this world.

  • Diane Lynch
    2018-12-04 05:33

    Hockey player Alec O'Meara has not been interested in dating years after the death of his wife. That is until physical therapist, Annie Davidson, catches his eye. I like Annie. She is smart and athletic. She is self-sacrificing, living in less than optimal conditions to help out her older landlord. She is a bit insecure, but who isn’t at some point or another. Considering the lack of support she gets from her mother, she turned out to be a wonderful person. My heart went out to Alec for losing his wife. He is a good guy and leader. He is a likeable character. He has great friends. I like how his team mates get involved in helping match-make, especially Mikael. I swear they are worse than a bunch of girls. Simmering Ice is well-written and has a delightful plot. There were some unexpected twists, and the entire book was interesting. I could not put this book down. I look forward to the next book in the series. Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kate Forest
    2018-11-16 22:31

    I don’t really like hockey, but I think I’m going to start watching.How sweet is it when a sports star visits sick kids in the hospital? How much sweeter is it when he accidentally makes one cry and needs to be rescued by the adorable read headed physical therapist? The passion between the characters is instantaneous and the tension builds over the course of the story. The heart wrenching backstories of Alec and Annie have the reader rooting for them to find love and happiness. The authors score another goal in the Atlantic Hustlers series, with a slap shot to the heart. Free copy given in exchange for an honest review.

  • Bette Hansen
    2018-12-04 03:49

    This is an excellent quick read that is perfect for a lazy afternoon. Great writing and characters make this one you don't want to miss. Alec O'Meara, professional hockey player, and Annie Davidson, physical therapist, meet one afternoon at the hospital when Alec is visiting young hospitalized fans! They have an immediate attraction but Annie is just out of a bad relationship and Alec hasn't been interested in anyone since losing his young wife to cancer. After spending more time together has Alec thinking it's time to move on and really begin living again. Now to get Annie over her insecurities.I definitely recommend this one.

  • Cocktails and Books
    2018-12-09 01:26

    This review was originally posted on Cocktails and Books.This book was reviewed by a member of the review staff at Cocktails and Books. The name of the reviewer can be found under the post categories.

  • DJ Sakata
    2018-11-23 00:43

    Favorite Quotes:Mikael’s always offering me tickets, with the stipulation that I bring a friend, preferably female, and preferably blonde. I don’t think he appreciated it when I brought my landlady. She’s blonde, but about seventy-five.‘I do like your teammates, but do they come over often?’ ‘Only when the stubborn guy who lives here needs a kick in the ass.’ ‘So should I expect to see them a lot?’My Review:I adored the characters in this book, Alec was such a sweet teddy bear and a gentle giant, he was not at all what I was expecting for a hockey player. Annie was a feisty and strong heroine, although her harpy of a mother was such a trial and had been shredding her self-esteem for years, many of us know that song and dance. The storyline was entertaining and I enjoyed the humor, banter, and characters’ interactions.

  • Kim Reads (Read Your Writes Book Reviews)
    2018-11-24 22:28

    Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviewsby KimFirst off, Simmering Ice, the second book in the Atlantic City Hustler series is a standalone read. I read the first book, Flirting on Ice and knew Alec “Sequoia” O’Meara was special. I just didn’t know how special he truly was or what demons he carried around. Alec has had his perfect love story. He thinks you get only one and his story ended with the death his wife. “She’s special. And you have a hell of a lot in common with her. Don’t go writing her off like you’ve done with every other woman you’ve met since Tamara.”Annie Davidson is a physical therapist that works with children. For pretty much her whole life, she has been chasing her mother’s approval and feeling as if she never measures up to anyone. Annie is as sweet and nice as they come but she doesn’t know just how beautiful, wonderful, and special she truly is.“You have no idea how you affect men. And it’s not your looks alone. You’re funny and intelligent and clever and the bravest woman I’ve ever met.”What I loved about this novella was the kindness Alec showed to Annie. Together they are playful and you see the love and respect they have for each other. Alec is protective to the point of possibly smothering Annie, who knows how to stand her ground with him. I also LOVE that Alec was inspired by Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers!!!!Simmering Ice isn’t a closed door romance but it also doesn’t go into great detail of the bedroom action. The Atlantic City Hustlers series is about a group of professional hockey players and this group of guys provide great advice when Alec needs it the most. There are two more guys who haven’t found the woman for them yet, and I can’t wait to get my hands on their stories.**Received a copy from Entangled Lovestruck in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**

  • Kassiah
    2018-12-01 22:28

    Okay, right off the bat, I have to make a confession. I can't help but compare these Atlantic City Hustlers books to Sawyer Bennett's Cold Fury Hockey series. There's really no comparison--Bennett's are better--but I could be biased because Bennett's books are some of my favorites ever. Anyway, it's driving me bonkers that they have the same character names. Which, is crazy because this series started before Bennett's (I think). Regardless, I read them around the same time and just can't stop comparing them. This book features Alec and the first book had Zac. Cold Fury has an Alex and a Zack. If the next one of these books has a Garrett (or a Rhett, I guess), I will scream. /ventNow onto the story LOL I liked Simmering Ice more than I liked Flirting on Ice. I loved Alec and thought that he had great chemistry with Annie, who was a great character as well. The forbidden love is palpable, and I was rooting for them to be together. Just like with the first book, this is a fast, fun read, and I think all sports romance fans should check out this series. --For more reviews and bookish talk, visit our blog at Pretty Sassy Cool

  • Elaine
    2018-12-15 03:26

    Annie Davidson is a fantastic physical therapist working in a hospital, helping children recover from serious injuries. The Atlantic City Hustlers are the local ice hockey team and some of their players visit patients to help encourage them on the road to recovery. One such professional hockey player is Alec O’Meara, who has the nickname Sequoia. When they first meet she can’t believe he’s interested in her. She knows that he lost his wife to cancer, that she had red hair like Annie and that he doesn’t appear to have had any serious relationships since. They are mutually attracted but her insecurities and his loss have left them both trying to protect their own heart. Can love find a way to break down their defences? Can love conquer all and help them reach their own HEA?A great story told from the point of view of both main characters. The undermining of Annie’s self-worth by her Mum and sister is awful, making the reader really feel for her - and want revenge on the other two on her behalf and as for how her ex treated her, well! Alec’s determination to ensure his relationships are for fun not future commitment take a running jump when he meets and gets to know Annie. I enjoyed how the authors develops the characters and their relationship as the story progressed. A really great novella, well written, empathetic and enthralling - I’ll be looking out for other books by this author team in future!Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-27 05:36

    See more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.My Thoughts:It's rare to find a story where the relationship starts off the story. Annie and Alec meet while she's at work. Both of them have a past--her with a cheating ex and him losing his wife--but they would like to move on. They spend time together flirting and then dating. Everything is wonderful between them, but Annie has some insecurities about the relationship. Her mother doesn't help matters with her unkind words that make Annie doubt Alec has true feelings for her. She allows what her mom says to get to her, even though deep down she cares deeply for Alec. It all comes down to whether the two of them can get over what happened in the past, and celebrate the possibility of a future together.Simmering Ice was a heartwarming romance. I loved how sweet the story was--the budding romance from the beginning and the way they interacted with the kids at the hospital. It all progressed perfectly, reasonably, realistically. You know Annie and Alec are meant to be, they just need to get by the challenges and trust in love guiding them home. I am very interested in checking out the first book in the Atlantic City Hustlers series, and any other books Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley write!My Rating: Very Good

  • Sarah
    2018-12-03 21:29

    What an excellent Novella. I loved so so so many things about this beautiful story. First of all the hero is a hockey player, and really does it get any better than that? Although Alec has a tragic past, his first wife died from cancer, his and Annie's story is very heartwarming. Annie comes from a family of over achievers and her mother has done a wonderful job of making her feel like she doesn't measure up. Annie is a beautiful and successful physical therapist, but her self esteem has taken a hit, not only from her mothers constant pointing out of her shortcomings, but also from a disastrous failed relationship. The character development in this book is wonderful, and although I haven't read the other books in the series I felt like I had a good understanding of the team dynamics and the other characters. Alec is the perfect alpha male and I really liked that Annie was a strong female character. Fiercely independent at times, despite her insecurities. Alec and Annie make a terrific couple. I enjoyed this novella so much. It's the perfect length for a day at the beach.

  • Christine Woinich
    2018-11-22 05:49

    I have been looking forward to this story since I read Flirting on Ice. I love the characters and hope to read more in this series. This story is about Alec. It has been a while since he lost his wife and he is not really looking to settle down. His teammate Zac introduces him to Annie. Their attraction is almost instant, but their insecurities and doubts make them question their feelings. Annie has issues with her mother that make it hard for her to believe someone like Alec could like her the way she is, and it takes a lot to convince her otherwise. I enjoyed their interactions, their easy camaraderie, even their pain as their love grows. I highly recommend this book.I purchased this book directly from the authors.

  • Melinda
    2018-11-18 00:45

    **more at**This is the first I have read from Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley and have to say WOW. I loved that Annie is your average woman yet secretly just wants to be loved. I hated the way her mother treated her like she wasn`t worth anything unless she was pretty on the outside. The attraction that Alec and Annie have is purely genuine to the point where I wanted to kill of the mother. I mean Annie is beautiful inside and out and for her to doubt that a man like Alec could be into her was crazy. Right away these two belong to each other and these two authors did such a great job in bringing them together. Definitely can`t wait for more from these authors.

  • Sharon Redfern
    2018-11-18 04:39

    I loved this book. It is a sweet story of two people who have had tough times and are able to go beyond the hurt to find love. Annie is a successful physical therapist who was dumped by her cheating boyfriend. Add to that a lifetime of negative reinforcement from a hypercritical mother and Annie has a pretty low opinion of her ability to attract and keep a man. Alec is an ubersexy hockey player whose wife died after a battle with cancer. When the two meet they are instantly interested but their pasts rear up and cause problems.This book had all the elements for me, hunky but nice hero, sweet heroine, not a huge amount of drama and more plot than sex. It is a nice easy read for a lazy summer day.

  • Brittany
    2018-12-16 00:40

    I received this from Netgalley/ Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I have read another in this series so I was excited when I received this one to review. This was such a sweet story. I loved it! This is about Alex and Annie. I loved Alex he was so sweet and just wanted to give Annie everything. Annie was kind of annoying at time because she just always believed the worst about herself. She needed to have a little bit more self respect. Other than that I enjoyed this novella a great deal.

  • Irene
    2018-12-02 02:33

    4 starsSimmering Ice was a sweet romantic read.I enjoyed seeing Annie and Alec fall in love. They were likable, relatable and had amazing chemistry.From the first page I was drawn into this story, it was heartwarming seeing them come together and not letting fear or insecurities keep them apart.I highly recommend Simmering Ice and the Atlantic City Hustlers series. I've enjoyed both books and can't wait for the next book. I'm hoping we get Mikael's story next =) Thank you Entangled Lovestruck via Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  • Julie (*Happily Ever Chapter*)
    2018-12-09 05:34

    A heartwarming story about a man who lost his wife and a woman who has her own set of insecurities, falling in love. I really enjoyed their story a lot. Alec was such a sweetheart and I definitely understood Annie's insecurities. If I were in her shoes, I would probably feel insecure about my looks compared to the "model-looking" women too. I love series romances where you can read more about other characters in the book. I can't wait for the next one in the series.

  • Veronica Forand
    2018-11-16 04:25

    I'm so excited for everyone to read Sequoia's story. He's not looking for love, but Annie sort of crashes into his life. There's plenty of hockey fights and even Zac and Heather from "Flirting on Ice" make an appearance. Enjoy.

  • Mags
    2018-11-21 05:24

    I read Simmering Ice & Flirting on Ice as a box set called ICED which was kindly provided to me by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review and I enjoyed both of these novellas a lot.They were both sweet and easy reads with likable characters and each had a couple of hot moments.Out of the two novellas I enjoyed Flirting on Ice more. As i felt Zac and Heather had more of a connection and the story drew me in more. That's not to say though that Simmering Ice didn't draw me in. It did I just didn't really feel the spark between Annie and Alec and Annie frustrated me at times too. But I still enjoyed it and if you like your hockey romance sweet and easy then I would certainly suggest giving these two novellas a go.

  • Anima
    2018-11-19 04:44

    Very romantic hockey jock falls hard for a nurse looking just like his deceased wife. Her mother is an odd duck putting Annie down because she reminds her of the husband that left. Taking that in Annie can't help but think she would be replacing Alec's wife. The two are perfectly matched in every way but it takes a round of poor communication to challenge it all. Annie is a smart and confident woman, aside from her weak mother, and Alec compliments her perfectly. Flirting on Ice is a companion novella but could be read separately. The first had a suspenseful edge whereas this has a more intimate personal vibe.

  • Chelle
    2018-11-19 23:38

    2.5 starsTwo good characters and a story with potential, sadly this novella didn't quite deliver. I really had high hopes for Alec as this started but the character and his love story didn't materialise.The ending was too contrived for me, and there was no real resolution within the wider story. Thanks to net galley for a copy of this novella in return for an honest review

  • poppy
    2018-11-16 00:36

    This was a great book i just loved it and could not put it down read it in one go.This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster my heart just broke at times for Alec and you cant help but feel for Annie too.This was a super read and i cant wait to read more.

  • LoriWertz
    2018-11-28 01:32

    I loved reading Iced. I am a huge hockey fan so getting my 2 favorite things combined, hockey and romance, I could not ask for anything more!

  • C bond
    2018-11-20 05:46

    netgalleyan ok read.

  • Char (1RadReader59)
    2018-11-21 02:42

    Alec O’Meara plays hockey for The Hustler’s he’s good at his job yet when it comes to his personal life he has issues. You see Alec was once married to a beautiful red-head named Tamara. She met a tragic death known as cancer. Alec has really never gotten over it. He loves beautiful women but he’s only looking for a one nightstand. Not a forever kind of girl at least not anymore. He already had that and lost it. So you could say he has commitment issues. Well, he’ll have to take a number behind the beautiful and charismatic redhead, Annie Davidson. Everyone that meets her loves her what’s not to love. She’s outgoing, funny, and beautiful. Yet, no one knows her secrets she carries. The beautiful physical therapist is unlucky at love. She’s just out of a bad relationship, let me say this again a really bad relationship. You see her ex boy-friend, Corey, was cheating on her with a medical assistant, they both were working at the hospital. Everyone knew about but Annie. But when she found out it was over Corey ended up moving hospitals and the assistant moved to the second floor. Out of shear loneliness she can only focus on her job and at least be the best she can be there. Until hockey player Alec O’Meara runs into her and almost knocks her over. They get set up by a mutual friend Mikael the goalie of the team. Annie and he became friends when he started visiting some of the patients she sees. Then it turns out he lives in her neighborhood and since they both don’t cook they end up at the same restaurant at least twice a week. After she cried on his shoulder about her last break up they were more like brother and sister. Once Annie meets Alec she mentions to Mikael that she wouldn’t mind risking going out there and dating again. Hence the dinner set up she had with Alec. It was a wonderful dinner although it started out awkward since it was the three of them and then Mikael played the “Oh I forgot I have a date!” card. When it was over Alec wanted to drive her home and knew she felt uncomfortable so he calls Mikael for 3 reasons, 1.) To check to see if he was really on a date. 2.) To see if he was disturbing him for setting them up which would serve him right. And 3.) To put Annie’s mind at ease the he was not a rapist or murder. They both listen in. That’s where the problem arises. Mikael goes on about how he was right that Alec would like her right? That he could see it in his eyes when you met her at the hospital. Making Annie and Alec laugh because Mikael had no clue they were both on. Before either of them could tell him Annie was on the phone the Happy Smile they both had drops when Mikael says, don’t shoot yourself in the foot like you do with all the other ladies, like you have since Tamara. That was the just at least. Either way there went the fun right out of his voice and the joy out of his eyes. Only making his drive to take her home all the worse. All she could say was, “Sorry for your loss, sorry if I remind you of her and thanks for dinner. I’ll see you around.” But neither of them could stop thinking of the other one. Alex sees her after a game with a group of her young patients meeting the team. He knew she would be there so he was seeking out her red hair to get a glimpse of her. Once he made his way to the other side of the room where she was trying to blend into the scenery now that he was in the room. With her beauty that was not going to happen. He engaged her patients then her too. She made short but sweet answers then told the kids they needed to go. At which point Mikael said knowing her she would probably be stopping at the diner after dropping off the kids. Instead of going out with the team to celebrate he went to the diner to try to run into Annie. When he gets there a guy has his arms around her pinned to the counter. It gutted him at first. She was the first woman he had interest in since his wife. When he noticed Annie’s face was strained and then she was saying something to the guy who moved back quickly. He could tell she was shaken up but she assured him when he went in to check on her that it was handled. God he loved her fight and her courage. I totally enjoyed this story short. Showing the struggles of starting over after losing a loved one and the emotional strain it takes on you but it can take on your new partner. In the case of Alec and Annie, Alec was a celeb and lived a grand life style and Annie for the most part was living a content life if she would just stop talking to her mom. She gave her reason to always be in a “state of insecurities and less thans.” Watch how these two work in and out of personal mine fields. I give this 5 stars. Provided by Netgalley. Follow us at:

  • Smut Matters
    2018-11-25 22:26

    Heather's review from Smut MattersSimmering Ice was a light, fun novella in the Atlanta City Hustlers series. Annie Davidson is a physical therapist who has pretty much given up on love after a string of terrible relationships. She’s pretty focused on her work and her clients when she meets Alex O’Meara, a professional hockey player, through a common acquaintance. Alex’s wife Tamara died a year or so ago, and while he’s gotten through his grief and dated some since then, he hasn’t really been looking for anything serious. Until he meets Annie.There’s a lot he likes about her. She’s gorgeous, smart, athletic, funny, and competitive in a fun way. But, man, he really had to work hard to convince her that they could be a couple. Annie is very insecure, and can’t imagine why Alex is with her. It doesn’t help that as soon as her mother finds out who Annie’s dating, she pulls up pictures of Alex’s latest dates on her phone and shows them to Annie, telling Annie that there’s no way a man who dates women that gorgeous would be interested in her. Annie’s mother was horrible. She would have been more of a caricature, but it’s pretty clear that she’s still scarred from Annie’s father walking out on her when Annie was young. He was the type of man who was never satisfied or settled, hopping from relationship to relationship. Annie’s mother has obviously decided that Alex is the same, though she has no real evidence of this. Apparently Annie looks a lot like her father, which I’m sure doesn’t help endear her to her mother. Her mother points out to Annie that Tamara, Alex’s late wife, was also a redhead and implies that he’s using Annie as a substitute. This is the one thing that disappointed me with this book. I really wanted Annie to tell her mother exactly what she could do with her critiques and insinuations. Even if it wouldn’t have changed anything, I wanted her to show that much backbone with her mother. Instead she lets her mother’s comments burrow their way into her brain and her heart and it causes her to doubt Alex way more than he deservesAlex tells Annie everything he can think of to assure her that his feelings are really. He never does anything to give her the idea that he’s using her or not in it for the long haul. He may get a little overzealous at times, but he’s never anything but kind and patient with her. For example, when inviting her to a formal party his team is throwing, he mentions that he can’t wait to see her in a black-tie formal dress. She instantly decides this means he hates her everyday no makeup, comfortable clothes and shoes, hair in a ponytail look. Well, no. It doesn’t. It means that he can’t wait to see her in a gorgeous dress. My husband looks fantastic in formal clothes. That doesn’t mean I want or expect to see him in it on an average Tuesday. Alex tells Annie repeatedly that other than the red hair, she’s nothing like his late wife, he’s no using her as a substitute, but her mother’s crap is just so ingrained in her head that she can’t accept what he’s telling her.Overall, I really liked this novella. It was perfect for a long summer weekend sitting on the deck and enjoying the weather. I liked the side characters, too, at least some of whom I’m guessing will be getting their own books if the series keeps going.