Holly Hartland has spent the last year in Los Angeles finalizing her divorce from an abusive husband and getting her career as an art gallery curator back on track while trying to raise her young daughter. She shares a nanny with LAPD detective Gary Sumner, whose wife ran off to France with another man, abandoning him and his daughter.
With full-time careers to juggle, Gary and Holly end up relying on each other to help keep watch over their girls, who've become fast friends. The platonic co-parenting roles they've adopted are perfect for two people who've sworn off romance, but the burgeoning sexual chemistry they share proves hard to ignore.
When a Christmas wish puts the children in danger, Holly and Gary are forced to set aside their trust issues and work as a real team to keep their families safe. But can they overcome their baggage enough to open up their hearts to love?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book! Gary and Holly (well...especially Gary!) are so easy to like. They're real. They care deeply about each other and their kids. And that's just while they're best friends and neighbors! Hold onto your hat when they realize they've got a thing for each other! Add in a little danger and...WOW! I was up way too late last night because I couldn't put this book down. Ellen Butler knows how to write a story that satisfies!
Reviewed by JJ Phillips for Readers' Favorite Art of Affection (Love, California Style) by Ellen Butler is a romantic suspense that brings together two people who aren't looking for romance. Holly is now a single mom trying to raise her daughter and own her own business. She shares a nanny with Gary Sumner, a detective with the LAPD. Because both parents work so much, they help each other with the babysitting and spend a lot of time with each other's children, who are fast becoming good friends. Holly and Gary are becoming friends, too, and could be more if they could get past their trust issues and personal baggage from past relationships. But when the children are put in real danger, both parents step up to do whatever is necessary to keep their kids safe. Even if it means trusting in each other, something that threatens to ignite a fire long burning in both Holly and Gary. Art of Affection is a well-written, well-executed love story that has just the right amounts of love, tension, action, denial, and believability. It is everything a romantic suspense should be! There are action scenes, plot twists, romantic scenes between Holly and Gary, and scenes where both Holly and Gary question the feelings they won't admit they have for one another (even though they desperately want to act on those feelings). So fantastic I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Everything that I want from a great romantic suspense writer I just found in Ellen Butler.
This is my third trip back to the Love California Style crew. I was pleased to once again receive a request from the author to review her new book. Holly is the sister of the heroine in book one, Heart of Design. We met Holly as well as LAPD detective Gary Sumner in that book, and they have come a long way since their introductions. Holly and Gary are both single parents, doing without the assistance of the other parent, and each with a young daughter close in age. Since they have become neighbors and close friends, they have taken to co-parenting the girls together. Their girls share a nanny and practically live in each others homes, while Holly and Gary are each others sounding boards and confidante. This book had the most action of the three, with a threat against Holly, a scare involving the girls, and a bit of a unique chase scene. Another thing different about this book from the other two, was the intensity of the scenes between Holly and Gary. There were a couple of scenes that had me on the edge of my seat, nervous about how things would play out. Plus to give a boost to all the feels happening, the story takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The couples from the first two books were interwoven in this story, giving us a peek at how they are doing with their Happily Ever Afters, plus a special bodyguard come back to provide some help with the girls. I don't know if this will be the last story in the series, but it definitely wrapped things up nicely and was a wonderful closure to a storyline that begin in book one. I really liked this book and gave it 4 stars. Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.