Heart of Designby Ellen Butler
Sophie Hartland has recently turned 30, and is five years out from a confidence crushing divorce. She’s sworn off men in favor of making her interior design business a success when her best friend introduces her to LA Heat’s hot new star, Ian O’Connor. He’s one of Hollywood’s beautiful people, with an Irish accent that makes
Sophie Hartland has recently turned 30, and is five years out from a confidence crushing divorce. She’s sworn off men in favor of making her interior design business a success when her best friend introduces her to LA Heat’s hot new star, Ian O’Connor. He’s one of Hollywood’s beautiful people, with an Irish accent that makes Sophie’s toes curl. Ian hires her to renovate his home, and at their second meeting he initiates a scorching kiss that knocks her socks off. Even though she would love to drop down and go for it on the funky kitchen floor, Sophie sticks to her guns and enforces her “no dating clients” rule.
The tabloids portray flirtatious Ian as Hollywood’s latest playboy who has women falling at his feet, and Sophie refuses to be another notch on his bedpost. But Ian isn’t the type to take no for an answer, and he finds Sophie a refreshing change from the actress wannabes trying to hop aboard his new gravy train of success. Using his charm, he tries to persuade Sophie to break the rules.
Can Sophie ignore her traitorous libido and hold Ian off for the next five or six weeks until the renovations are finished? Or will she cave in to his pull on her heartstrings, and end up doing the knicky-knacky on the new velvet sofa? More importantly, can she protect her heart in this game of wills?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
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Poppy is the classic type A personality. She seeks to find some kind of control over her life, including her love life which up to this point has been less than stellar. She decides to stop going for the bad boys and start trying to find Mr. Right. Adam is a dermatologist. He and Poppy had a fling while on vacation, and he just can’t get her off his mind. The problem is that she lives in California and he lives in Ohio, and she doesn’t do long distance. Adam tries to be happy in just being Poppy’s friend, but Poppy soon finds out that love isn’t exactly something you can plan. Oh, this book brought back memories. Before I met Mr. Squared, I went on several very unfortunate internet dates of my own and let me just say that Poppy’s dating experiences were hilarious, cringe-worthy, and maybe a bit too realistic! I laughed out loud a couple of times, actually. I quite enjoyed Poppy’s somewhat misguided search for love. I thought Poppy was a great character. She tried so hard to control the things around her, and I’m glad things worked out for her the way they did. I wouldn’t say that this book was very original in plot, but it was a fun read and quite cute. The characters were fun and the Adam was adorable. I was kind of waiting for a bit more to develop between them and found myself a bit let down in that aspect, but their relationship still kept me interested in reading more as the book progressed. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s not so deep and impactful love story, but it is the kind of book that makes for a good distraction on a lazy afternoon. 4 stars. Reviewed by Sara Squared for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy Provided for review*
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite What do you get when you cross a sexy Irish actor and a beautiful but doesn’t know it interior designer? A great romance by Ellen Butler, that’s what! In Heart of Design, Sophie has been divorced from her cheating ex for five years and she has sworn off men until her interior design business is booming. But while helping out her best friend Poppy at a party, she meets the gorgeous actor Ian O'Connor, who has a new home in need of a “lady’s touch.” The problem is Sophie doesn’t date clients and she has no desire to be just another notch on a Hollywood playboy’s bed post. Luckily for Ian, he is not easily dissuaded because Sophie is so different from the fake wannabes like Tanqueray that want him for his fame and fortune. The push and pull of their relationship from the very beginning made this story entertaining and endearing. I loved that Sophie was so unwittingly blunt about not watching Ian’s show because you knew from that moment on that she wasn’t like the women he was used to dating. Heart of Design was about Sophie and Ian, but the other characters were just as memorable and helped me learn more about Sophie and Ian. Watching Sophie hide, or attempt to hide, her attraction to Ian was pure amusement as was watching him get over her skittishness. Ellen Butler has written a witty, fast-paced romance that was just a pure pleasure to read. I could easily hear Ian's deep Irish brogue as his flirting made Sophie blush all over. It’s the mark of a great writer and I look forward to reading more stories like this one.
Sophie is working hard at making a go of her interior design business. She knows that if she could just get the chance at one top tier name in Los Angeles, she could easily break into the upper echelon's circle. Until that time, she occasionally assists her friend Poppy with setting up for and even working at, Poppy's party planning business. It is at one such party she is introduced to Ian O'Conner, a hot new actor on a hit cop show. He was admiring a painting she had done, and so the introduction was made. It's not long before Ian is hiring Sophie to decorate his new house. I know what you are thinking, "Bah, same old, same old". But it wasn't, trust me on this. Ian doesn't have that "Hollywood" vibe that is seen so often. He is a down to earth guy who meets a woman he is interested in and works to get to know her, it just happens that his day job is that of an actor. Sophie was cheated on in the past, and is leery of trusting men. However when she tries to tar Ian with this same brush, he calls her on it, and she listens and actually works to not do it again. Shocking, right! This book is full of similar type situations, like Sophie telling Ian she won't go out with him until she is finished with the job and then sticking to it. Or when Ian is concerned about her well being due to a certain situation (not going to spoiler), she doesn't just rush off and ignore his concern. They discuss and compromise. Have you ever read one of those books where you go, 'What the hell was she/he thinking?' Yeah, this isn't one of them. The characters make smart choices, because the drama is generated from actual events not manufactured from emotional outbursts. Plus, the dialogue and characters were spot on. I will read more of this author in the future. 4 stars.