Sharona Blaire is only in Australia for a business audit, but she's determined to make the most of her one free night. So when she spills her drink on a handsome stranger and they end up flirting, she does something completely out of character—she kisses him. But the prospect of taking it further totally freaks her out…almost as much as discovering the next morning that the man she's auditing is the sexy, tanned stranger she left with zero explanation.
An audit during his crew's most important expedition yet is a complication marine biologist Jeff Cruz doesn't need—especially when the auditor is the gorgeous, fascinating woman from the night before. Out at sea with nowhere to run, he's forced to admit Sharona draws him in like a shark to blood. But Jeff's one passion is his job, and nothing—not even love—will get its hooks in him...
Each book in the Sugar City series is STANDALONE:
* Love Bites
* Kissing Her Crush
* Wife for the Weekend
About the Author
Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching art-house movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of ABBY ROAD; the Perfect Kisses series including: PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER, and Making Waves, and the new adult DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE. Visit her at http://ophelialondon.com. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.
Read an Excerpt
A Sugar City Novella
By Ophelia London, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Mary A. Smith
All rights reserved.
If the universe was keeping score, it would be Universe: 2 Sharona Blaire: 0
This is so not my day.
Though technically, today had begun thirty-six hours ago.
Her current condition could be blamed on turbulence and the guy in the seat next to her who'd been making nonstop jokes since he'd boarded in Brisbane about this being Sharona's first trip to "the bush."
While gripping a Bloody Mary in one hand, she just needed to stretch her legs after the million-hour flight from Miami. She hadn't meant to wander into first class; it was the siren call — or rather scent — of warm chocolate chip cookies that drew her that way.
No one got cookies in coach.
After receiving the stink eye from a hovering flight attendant, Sharona was just about to return to her seat when a jolt of turbulence rocked the plane and the scary Fasten Seat Belts light illuminated. So, obviously she hadn't meant to spill her tomato juice concoction on the guy wearing a sleep mask in 3A.
Most of it landed on her, anyway ...
"I'm so sorry," Sharona panic-whispered as stink-eye flight attendant took her by the elbow and ushered her up the aisle, back to her seat. She was pretty sure the man heard her rushed apology because there were definite vocal clues that he was now wide awake. Once she was strapped in, the flight attendant tossed Sharona a few napkin squares to lap up the Bloody Mary splattered all over her shirt like a crime scene. When it was obvious she was only making it worse, she sat back, closed her eyes, and tried very hard to ignore her seatmate the rest of the way to Sydney.
Maybe it was karma who saw fit that her suitcase was stuck in Brisbane, even though Sharona hadn't disembarked there. But karma was such a bitch. So, with her wheelie carry-on bag squeaking behind her, she was forced to stroll — as nonchalantly as possible — through Sydney International Airport, grab a cab, and check into her hotel room ... all while looking like she'd just stabbed someone. Awesome.
Two hours later, Sharona curled one hand around the stem of her glass while the other tugged at her too-short hem. What had possessed her to purchase a little black dress instead of a practical outfit she would wear again after tonight, she still couldn't fathom.
She took in the dimly lit bar, the business meetings, vacationing couples, and other hotel guests. It wasn't late, but she felt herself craving a huge, slack-jawed yawn and to inconspicuously lay her head on the mahogany bar and pass out. According to her internal clock, it was the day after tomorrow.
Her travel arrangements had been so sudden that she hadn't figured out the time zone difference.
Let's see ... if it was 10:00 a.m. when I left Miami, and we flew ahead fourteen hours, plus crossed over the International Date Line, and the Bermuda Triangle ... what is the exact Greenwich Mean Time?
Wow. The math was way too exhausting. This might be her one and only free night in Sydney, however, and she refused to spend it crashed out in her hotel room with the blackout shades drawn.
Oh, but how lovely did those blinds sound? And she was pretty sure there might still be some tomato juice in her ear.
Instead of crawling back to her hotel room and crashing, she should have been preparing for tomorrow. She'd scanned the files Garry sent with her on the plane, but when she'd tried to do an additional internet search about the head of the research team she'd been sent to meet, her stomach had decided to do the airsick tap dance. The remainder of the nineteen-hour flight over the ocean had been spent gripping her seat while talking herself out of losing her lunch. And the Bloody Mary incident had done nothing to boost her mood.
A happy-looking couple beside her clinked wineglasses and started in on the "Cheers, darling," "Oh, cheers to you, darling," routine. Maybe hanging at a bar wasn't such a hot idea. Since breaking off her engagement six months ago, she'd spent the appropriate amount of time being bitter. Once that faded, she'd decided she could do very well without the whole relationship thing.
Yet here she was, sitting in a bar attempting to be social instead of working.
"Aw, screw it," she said aloud, already imagining the pleasure of unzipping her dress, kicking it to the floor, and crawling into bed "au naturel," seeing as how she still hadn't received her lost suitcase.
Just as she held up her glass, about to down the rest of her tall Long Island iced tea, her elbow bashed into something rock hard.
"Whoa, there. Careful."
Sharona jerked and swiveled around, in the process, spilling her drink down the front of the person behind her.
"Oh, gosh, damn — I'm sorry!" She grabbed a coaster napkin off the bar and dabbed at the spot on the white button-down shirt that was now soaking wet.
"No worries." The voice was deep, and as she slid her gaze up from the wet chest to the face, she caught a pair of piercing blue eyes.
Hello, gorgeous ...
"Hi," she said, getting that silly, short of breath sensation.
The bright eyes paired with a crooked smile knocked her even more breathless. His grin was an interesting cross between Han Solo and Thor. Wowzers. Straight white teeth flashed behind the smile, and a five-o'clock-shadowed jaw — sharp enough to slice deli meat — made the whole visual package about an inch above Hollywood perfection. Before she could hear "Love is a Many Splendored Thing," the guy glanced down at her hand, which was more or less stroking his damp chest with a mind of its own.
"Sorry." She pulled it back and dropped the napkin. "I can't believe I did that twice in one day."
"Twice?" he said, a single eyebrow arching, again with the Han Solo charisma. "We just met."
She shouldn't have been surprised at his thick Australian accent. She did love an accent. Even the twangy drawls from Texas — that made every man sound like Rhett Butler — made Sharona uncharacteristically swoony.
"I meant that's the second time today I spilled my drink on a stranger," she explained, tucking some of her long dark hair behind an ear, then pushing her mostly empty glass all the way to the back of the bar. It only held a few chunks of ice, but why give karma any ammo? "You're number two, but the first was on an unfortunate passenger on my flight. Tomato juice — tragically. And the glass was full to the rim."
It was easy to laugh off the embarrassing event now, since there was no one in the bar that would know about it.
The guy's big blue eyes held on her for a long moment, and then he chuckled and leaned against the bar. He had broader-than-average shoulders, and with the sleeves of his shirt rolled up, she caught a pair of very impressive, suntanned arms. Her eyes were having a hard time deciding which place to focus.
Arms ... eyes ... shoulders ... eyes ... arms ... eyes ... mouth ... oh, mouth ...
"So ..." He cut into her thoughts. "That was you, eh?"
Sharona blinked. "What?"
He brushed at his collar like he was dusting off lint. "At first I thought I was dreaming, because why would it be raining on an airplane? Unless the tropical weather followed us from Miami."
As his words slowly processed, it felt like the floor was sliding out from under her. And she had nothing to grab onto but his arm. "You're not serious." She held on tight, without thinking. "You're who I ... on the ...?"
He nodded. "And it wasn't just tomato juice. I definitely tasted vodka."
"No ..." Heat of mortification began creeping up her neck, no doubt accompanied by the attractive blotchy, red flush she'd worn like a banner since her awkward adolescence stage. "I can't believe I ..."
He chuckled, then patted her hand that was still death-gripping his arm. A second later, she had the good sense to remove it.
"I heard you apologize," he said, "but by the time I got off my mask, you were gone."
"I'm so sorry. Please let me pay your dry-cleaning bill or ... whatever you want me to do — just name it and I'll do it, I'll ... No, I mean ..." She paused to blow her hair back from her face; now even her ears felt hot.
"Okay, this is officially the most humiliating day of my life."
His crooked smile turned into a laugh, a deep, manly sound. Its vibration registered at the back of Sharona's neck by way of delicate pinpricks, reminding her that she hadn't felt those kinds of pinpricks in a long time.
"You seem all right now. Not a drop of Bloody Mary." He eyed her dress, lingering on the low cut of the neckline.
"That's because the airline lost my bag and this outfit is brand new." She recrossed her legs, a bit more pleased with her wardrobe choice. "They swore it'd be delivered tonight. I grabbed this at the hotel gift shop, the shoes and everything, so I wouldn't mistakenly get arrested for murder. I should've bought jeans instead of" — she waved down at herself — "all this."
"I think you look ... very nice." The way he said it, with a slight pause and that sexy accent, made Sharona forget all about jet lag. Instead, she was on high flirt alert.
"Thanks. I keep expecting to get a phone call any second that my bags are here. Actually ..." She picked up her cell from the bar, reading the calendar event that had just popped up. She needed to remember to call Natalie.
"That the airline then?" His blue gaze darted to her phone.
"Reminder to call my best friend. It's her birthday tomorrow." She bit her lip. "Or today ... I'm not sure of the time difference."
He laughed, sending another shock of pinpricks up her neck.
Hmm, if he keeps holding this kind of close eye contact with me, goodness knows what I'll do. Before her mind had the chance to wander too far, another of her teenage nervous habits took over, and thus commenced a burst of flirt-babble.
"No matter what time it is back home, I could probably call Natalie and she'd be awake. She's always awake when she's busy with work stuff — though I call it obsessed. She just started a new project and she's pretty passionate about it — obsessed, right? Or, you know, it could be all the sugar."
"Sugar?" Blue Eyes asked, shifting a few inches closer. The movement slowed her down, though her heart skipped a beat.
"Yes, she, um, she works at the Hershey factory and gets to be around chocolate all day."
"Ahh, dream job." He gave her a knowing nod, the front of his wavy, dark hair falling across his forehead.
"For Natalie, pretty much. I talked to her a few days ago. She's having, um ... emotional challenges with a new guy on her research team." She bent toward him like they were sharing a secret, twirling a strand of hair. "She had a major crush on him in high school, and now he's got her all" — she caught his eye — "hot and bothered, you know?"
In response, he cocked an eyebrow. "I do know. Though it's not a brilliant move to mix business and pleasure." He stared forward for a moment, then back at her as he ran a finger along the rim of his glass. "But I wonder how long I could resist if I were surrounded by something as tempting as chocolate."
"Agreed." Sharona laughed and set her phone on the bar, drumming her fingers on the face. "It's annoying though, not having my luggage. I've got an early job tomorrow and have to leave first thing. In and out, then back home. "
"You're only here for one night?" he asked, waving to the bartender, then pointing at Sharona's drink to refill. He was suave, this one.
She nodded slowly, wondering what she should read into his question.
"In and out, eh? Your career sounds interesting."
The one thing Sharona did not want to talk about was her job. "It's not really. What about you? Traveling on business" — she paused to shrug — "or pleasure?"
Well, that's not cliché at all.
She'd always been pretty crap at making flirty chitchat with strangers. But something about being halfway around the world made her feel ... unencumbered. Or maybe it was the effects of her Long Island iced tea combined with his dreamy, ocean-blue eyes.
"I grew up not far from Sydney," he said. "But I'm also here just for the night." He lifted his glass and took a drink. Beer. Manly, no flare. She liked that. She also liked how he wasn't forthcoming with his personal info, either. It made the exchange more ... mysterious — dangerous — yet it also felt safe to not know anything.
She'd been meaning to have an adventure, to bust out and get back to living, like Natalie had been begging her to do for the last few months. Hooking up with a tall, dark stranger in a bar wasn't anywhere on her to-do list, but as she eyed those broad shoulders, the thick neck, strong-looking hands, and gorgeous mouth ...
What the hell, maybe he should be on the top of her "to-do" list.
She didn't have a ton of experience with the whole casual-sex thing. Okay, zero experience. But wasn't she due a little excitement after the sucky last few months? She glanced up at him through her lashes and when their eyes met, she giggled at the sexy place her mind had jumped.
"What?" he asked, tipping his head toward her. Man ... he even smelled delicious.
"I was about to say something like, 'What a coincidence we're both here for one night,' but since it's a hotel, it's not coincidental in the slightest."
"Think of it this way," he rubbed a fist under his square jaw, "if we hadn't been on the same flight or at the same hotel, you would've had no one to spill your drinks on."
"Sorry, again," she said, touching his arm. That rock of a bicep. She could squeeze it all day.
When she purposefully didn't remove her hand after the socially acceptable amount of beats, he glanced at it for a moment, then his gaze drifted north to her lips.
Her mouth started to water as heat tiptoed up her spine, tingling at the nape of her neck. Was it the idea of kissing him — a total stranger — or was it the thought of doing something even semireckless after twenty-six years of playing it safe?
She could practically hear Natalie's voice in her head: In the real world, people have one-night stands all the time. Go on, girl. Live a little!
Why had Sharona always been so uptight about that sort of thing? Always needing a committed relationship — or at least the assurance that the commitment was on the horizon — before any fun, naked time. She'd been careful like that in her last relationship, and that had exploded in her face ... an on-going explosion, actually.
Blue Eyes eased onto the bar stool at her side, and his knee pressed against her bare leg, at the same time, he reached for a napkin, brushing her hand. Whether the moves were intentional or not, another excited shiver sizzled at the back of her neck, heat unfolding inch by inch. Up close, he smelled even more amazing — and were those tiny freckles splashed across his nose?
She'd never thought this about a real-life man before, but ... this guy was spectacular. Never had she experienced such intense, instant chemistry, not even with the man she almost freakin' married.
"So," Blue Eyes said, just before Sharona could get angry about Garry all over again, "you're passing through Sydney but you won't tell me why." He leaned one of his toned arms on the bar. "You know that makes you irresistibly mysterious."
Sharona opened her mouth, ready to launch in about her assignment and the stress and terror and baggage that went along with it. But then she wondered if it might be more interesting to play the cryptic card for once. After all, it could be fun pretending to be something she wasn't for one night.
Whether the responsible side of her would have the guts to go through with anything past flirting was another story.
"Mysterious," she echoed, toying with the ends of her hair like she'd seen Natalie do. "You couldn't have described me better, Blue Eyes."
"You're making that up!"
Jeff couldn't help laughing as the woman at his side tossed her head and giggled, shoving him playfully on the shoulder. He hadn't meant to park himself next to the curvy brunette two hours ago, but oh, how revved he was now.
Excerpted from Love Bites by Ophelia London, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2014 Mary A. Smith. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It’s so easy to guess the flow of this book from the get go: Woman accidentally spills a drink on a sleeping passenger on plane; her bag was accidentally unloaded from the plane while stopping over for passengers at another airport, meets guy in bar, dumps her drink on him, insert lots of out-of-character flirting, and then finding out that the scientists she was sent to audit includes the same man from all of the above. Sharona is a likable character who I was able to understand. Her life wasn’t exactly where she wanted it to be and she definitely didn’t want to be in Australia on a boat that was going to track sharks. I can’t say as I blame her because sharks…, well, I would rather be face to face with a bear, thanks. Jeff? Definitely easy to like. Ms. London definitely did her research about tracking sharks and how scientists study why sharks are able to survive in any temperature of water, as well as their mating habits. I found the facts that were interlaced in the story to being absolutely interesting and even found myself eyeing my Netflix account to watch a documentary or two. Though, I do prefer the sharks in Finding Nemo a whole lot better. No matter, Ms. London is a gifted writer whose other sweet romance books I will be one-clicking. I thoroughly enjoyed Love Bites and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Note: This is part of Entangled Publishing’s Bliss line, which are books that are sweet romances, with bedroom activities behind closed doors. There is no sex in this book, just innuendo, steamy kisses, clumsiness, and lots of playful flirting.
Super cute romance, perfect for a summer trip to the beach! There is lots of fun flirtation between the main characters. Ophelia London knows how to heat things up, and when to leave the rest to your imagination.
Well I could tell straightaway that Jeff would be one hell of an awesome guy when he was so sweet despite having drinks spilled on him not once but twice within a day. And it's like Cupid shot that arrow since it was the same woman who spilt those drinks. Sharona would have been more embarrassed if not for those piercing blue eyes and that smile of his. At the bar, they talked, connected, flirted and began a hot make out session only to have Sharona chickening out at the last min and Jeff was left hanging. But fate has a way of intervening sometimes coz on the next day, Jeff met Sharona again who turned out to be the accountant who would be auditing him and his project. Jeff is a famous Great White activist and he has been studying the Great Whites for years. The story has really interesting information and details about how work is done to study those great whites. It seemed as if I was watching a documentary. I really enjoyed knowing those info. The interaction between Jeff and Sharona was just hot, the chemistry sizzling. This story is relatively short but by no means short on romance, sweet and funny moments and storyline. While I would have loved to have more time with them, the ending was sweet and filled with warm fuzzies. Perfect relaxing read. Huge thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review.
A cute, fun, fluffy read! (Can a book with sharks in it be fluffy? Apparently so ;)) I loved Sharona (though the song is stuck in my head now; thanks, Ophelia London!)--except for her inexplicable love of accounting, she's a heroine after my own heart. Between her wandering into first class in search of cookies, and spilling her drink on the hero not once but twice, I have found my kindred spirit. :) As for the hero, as soon as Jeff was described as "Dr. Great White Han Solo Jeff Cruz" I was a goner. Really! Han Solo! As if anyone could resist that! Certainly Sharona can't...;) Jeff's actually a much nicer guy all-around (black moment craziness aside) than Han--it's mostly his crooked smile that Sharona compares to that of my original favorite on-screen boyfriend. But once the comparison was made--I was sold! ;) It's a novella, so it's a quick read though it doesn't feel too rushed or at all incomplete. Altogether, this was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a summer afternoon. It almost made me forget about the bad cold my daughter passed my way. Looking forward to more from this series! Rating: 4 stars / B I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Love Bites by Ophelia London is a quick read with a plot that progresses even quicker. The overall story was entertaining. Sharona and Jeff met during her trip to Australia. After a spontaneous, passionate kiss they couldn’t stop thinking about each other. And as indicated in the book summary, she happens to be auditing his business. They shared some lighthearted moments during this short period of time and experienced an emotional roller-coaster. But it’s a novella that simply needs a little more time to make the affinity that Jeff and Sharona have for one another seem more realistic. Rating 3.5/5 I received an e-arc of Love Bites from the publisher for this review.
Bliss books always deliver a sweet love story. This one sure does. I need to just start with the title. It's brilliant. I so love when the title has meaning in the story and this one plays a fun role. Oh, no...I will not tell. But you're sure to enjoy it as much as I did. Hehe. An almost one-night stand has these two avoiding each other the next day when they discover they are going to be working together - what could be more fun. It's novella length and a fast read but it's a complete story. Told in 3rd person, it was still from a POV. I prefer that kind of 3rd person. It changed back and forth between Jeff and Sharona's POV. I preferred Jeff's POV but I loved listening to his voice through Sharona's POV. Oh yes, he has an Australian accent. I could just hear it. Woven between the fun location of Australia and the exciting shark observations is a lot of chemistry, some interesting methods of dealing with shock, and some great characters. I enjoyed getting to know these two. It was great not dealing with chapters of angst but just a few pages before things resolved. The relationship did take on an insta-love thing but a lot was packed into the one day they spend with each other so I was good with it. If you need a few hours of distraction in a great, sweet love story, then one-click this one for sure.
4.5 stars Love Bites was such a fun and entertaining read. I'm a huge fan of Ophelia London's writing and once again she's given us a great story with lovable and relatable characters. From the first page I knew I was going to enjoy this short story, once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Loved the chemistry between Sharona and Jeff! Also it was an added bonus that Jeff was a fellow Aussie ;) Great writing, great story, what a great way to spend my afternoon, thank you Ophelia London.
Love bites was a fun read! As soon as I read the description, I knew this was going to be a good one! :) I love Ms London's writing style and her books always make me smile! I loved the chemistry between Sharona and Jeff! And this was just one of those feel good books that I'm glad I got to read!
Sharks & Romance! "I don't spill my drinks on just any man, you know." She touched his cheek. "only dashing shark lovers with panty dropping accents." LOVE BITES by Ophelia London is the first book in her new Entangled Bliss series, Sugar City. I was in shark week withdrawal until I discovered LOVE BITES. I found it to be the perfect beach read and the answer to my shark obsession. It's a quick read at just 117 pages. It grabbed my attention from the first page and I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. This is the fourth book I've read by Ophelia and each one has been a fun and sexy treat. My full review has been posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club.
So I have a little mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was something different and interesting to read and of course with Shark Week (and being a huge shark week fan) it only added to the fun factor of this book. My biggest issue with this book is that everything between Sharona and Jeff was super quick for the feelings that they had and that led to their actions and by the end of the book I loved their interactions and everything that happened, but on a side note I just wasn't as convinced, because it was really really quick. I know that people can have instant chemistry and these two definitely had that, but again I just can't point my finger on it, part of me just wasn't completely convinced. Outside of that I really did enjoy this book and their "relationship." So Sharona has been having a terrible day. She keeps spilling things on strangers and nothing is working out in her favor. However, she decides to go down into the hotel bar and runs into a very attractive stranger. They sit at the bar and have an instant attraction to one another and while thinking and slightly acting on taking it further at the last minute Sharona decides she isn't read for a one night stand. The next day she has work to do anyway and ends up stranding the sexy stranger for the night. On the flip side of this the sexy stranger happens to be Jeff, the guy that Sharona spilled her drink on the plane and ohhh he's the guy she has to do an audit on the next day for work. At first this is really awkward between the two of them, but by mid day and carrying on these two definitely have some chemistry and it shows. But Jeff has trouble trusting people because of his past. She becomes a little more involved in his work and more curious about what he's trying to do. And that tends to complicate things a little for Jeff. However there are people who would like to steal what Jeff is working on and this becomes an issue. Trust issues come up and blame is thrown at the wrong people. Will Jeff and Sharona be able to figure things out or will their "interaction" be like the night before, over before it began.
If you’re looking for a quick piece of fluff, this book is for you! If you like sharks… even if you don’t like sharks… you’ll like this book. Sharona & Jeff click from the first moment that she spills her drink on him (the first time… and more so when she does it the second time). They have a cute, quirky relationship that blossoms over the course of 48 hours and still doesn’t somehow feel rushed. And, beyond the romance, there are some amazing ideas and information about gathering information on Great Whites, their behaviors and habits that I will be checking to see if they’re correct. Ophelia London has a gift. I noticed it back when I first reviewed “Abby Road” and I like her smooth, visual writing style. I also am a fan of her appreciation for classic rock (“Abby Road” and a heroine named “Sharona”? Good stuff.) I will continue to read her books. I apologize for a short review, but it is a short, sweet book. I didn’t take any notes, or see any glaring editorial or grammar issues. There were no great quotes that stuck out. It’s not the next great American novel, but it’s sweet, fun and can be read in one sitting. So you should read it. ** It should be noted that I loved reading this during Shark Week.
This book was such a fun, sexy read. I read it in one sitting not wanting to put it down. I was smiling and laughing right along with all the wit and sarcasm. I really enjoyed the characters and LOVED that both points of view were covered. Loved to hear his thoughts and hers! And Chapter 8 was so steamy hot! What I love about London is that you get all the sexy kissing without all the gross body part descriptions! Loved. Will definitely continue the series.
A fun sexy read. The perfect read for beach, unless you are afraid of sharks. I devoured this book in one afternoon, could not put it down. Loved the characters of Sharona and Jeff. This book had me laughing out loud, two drinks spilled on Jeff. Ok, so I will admit I did sing My Sharona, in my head a few times while reading. Highly recommend for a fun summer read.
This is a story of 2 people once bitten and twice shy, so to speak! Sharona and Jeff both have been burned and are skittish with relationships. They are both passionate about what they do; which is that Sharona is an accountant who has passion in what she does and genuinely wants to help people. Jeff is a Discovery Channel shark man with passion for learning more about sharks. He comes complete with real life shark bite scars. When Sharona drops her tomato juice laden drink on Jeff while in the airplane to Australia, she is mortified. When she does it again on land by accident (again), she is humiliated. Then she finds herself kissing him first at the hotel they both happen to be at and then she almost makes it to his room but tells him she will be right back. She then gets cold feet and never returns. So when she sees that he is the same man who she is here for auditing the next morning again she is mortified. She owes him an explanation. Jeff is trying to get back his trackers for his research project. Sharona only hears that they harpoon tags in the sharks. She learns later that he has found a way to put on the tracker without physically penetrating the shark. This is his secret for now; he isn’t ready to share it with the world. He also isn’t ready for the overwhelming chemistry that Sharona and he share. While learning about sharks, Sharona finds that there is little information about some of the sharks mating rituals. They give what he called love bites. They are very rough and physical and scars are left from it. So in a moment of passion on the ship, she gives him a “love bite”. Then at the end of the day trip and returning to shore, Jeff believes something a reporter said about Sharona and sends her on her way without even asking if what he heard was true. Sharona and Jeff are left heartbroken. So if you want to know how that misunderstanding gets fixed you will have to read it yourself. The only thing that I didn’t like was that it took a while for me to get into the book. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to give my husband a love bite
Love Bites by Ophelia London is the perfect bite of romance for an afternoon of reading pleasure. Coincidence or not, I loved that I was reading this while also watching Shark Week. ;) Sharona and Jeff are both characters that I really liked right from the beginning. I spent a lot of the book in angst over when they would be together. This novella is the perfect start to a series. I loved the interaction and the backdrop of the sharks. It is a perfect pick-me-up with palpable chemistry making me want more. 4 1/2 stars I received an eARC for review purposes.
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim First of all, I love these characters. Sharona is a klutz after my own heart. Jeff is funny, smart, and caring. Jeff Cruz is a hometown Aussie boy turned hero. He’s a marine biologist specializing in Great White Sharks. Jeff has dedicated his life to learning about them. Sharona Blake is an auditor for SED Independent Auditors of Miami-Dade County. She’s contracted by the University of Miami to perform an audit on how Jeff and his team allocates the money he receives from sponsors. Fate has a way of intervening in your life, just when you least expect it and need it. And fate definitely played a big rule with these two getting together. I found Love Bites to be sweet and entertainly funny. I also found myself having to look up what love bites actually were. Yeah, I’m not sure I will ever get #sharkporn out of my head. My only complaint is that some issues were left unresolved and the ending left me wanting more. Source: Publisher
Super fun sexy read. If you are looking for a light quick read this one is perfect. The characters and writing are great and you will be able to consume this one in an afternoon. Perfect relaxing book. I highly recommend it!
Love Bites is a short, sweet cute read that leaves you with a good case of the warm and fuzzies. Jeff and Sharona (yes, in my head I was singing the song) were completely endearing loveable characters and Ophelia London brought this novella to life with her descriptions, detail and the fun and sexiness she injected. Before I started reading, one of my loveliest friends explained she may have watched some 'sharkporn' for research purposes as she read it. Intrigued, I proceeded to do the same and it not only helped visualise what Jeff was describing but I also discovered sharks are the Christian Grey of the ocean. So not only is Love Bites romantic, it's educational. I could have happily read a full length book based on the subject matter, the characters and the romance, and despite wanting more of Jeff 'Great White' Cruz, his piercingly sexy blue eyes and Aussie accent, it was a great start to the Sugar City series. Copy received courtesy of Entangled Publishing for an honest and unbiased opinion.