by Serena Bell

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The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

“Touching and seductive . . . a perfect blend of romantic sexiness and sweet sentimentality.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .

Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after. This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

“Serena Bell’s books have heat and soul—a potent combination.”—Jenny Holiday, USA Today bestselling author of the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series

Sleepover has everything you want in a romance. It’s achingly sweet, nuclear hot, and so smart. I finished it and immediately wanted to go back to the beginning.”—Karen Booth, author of Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl

“Serena Bell’s stories are real, emotional, and oh so sexy. Sleepover is one of her best. Elle and Sawyer’s relationship warmed my heart.”—Wendy S. Marcus, author of All I Need is You

“Fresh, entertaining, and a story of personal growth. What’s not to like?”—I Love Romantic Fiction

Don’t miss any of Serena Bell’s delightful romances:

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425284308
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 25,396
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author and RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee Serena Bell writes richly emotional stories about big-hearted characters with real troubles and the people who are strong and generous enough to love them. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen closely enough, and she adores hiding in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head. When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of her enormous collection of constantly changing and passionately embraced hobbies, ranging from needlepoint to paddleboarding to meditation.

Read an Excerpt

When I reach the new neighbors’ yard, Jonah and Madden latch on to me like I’m the Pied Piper, even though they already had two cookies each at my house. They know that in all likelihood they’ll be able to sucker Jonah’s dad into giving them two more.

Even though I have Jonah with me, I knock on the front door. The Penske truck is gone—returned, I assume—and there’s a truck parked out front, a Ford F-150 four-door. Trevor used to say he was going to buy a Ford F-150—the two-door model—for his midlife crisis car. Too bad he didn’t buy one instead of sleeping with his ex-girlfriend.
One of these days, I won’t feel sick to my stomach when I think about Trevor’s betrayal. But today is not that day.

I think it hurts so much partly because it wasn’t just “someone else.” It was a very specific someone else, the someone else I’d always been afraid he really loved. It was as if I’d convinced myself the unpleasant events around me were only a bad dream, then realized I was awake after all.

But that was then, and I’m doing everything I can to get past it.

I catch my breath, square my shoulders, and shake it off.

Jonah opens the door and yells over his shoulder, “Dad!”

I can see a narrow wedge of the house, including the staircase, so my first view of my new neighbor is of his bare feet as he descends. Then the hems of his jeans. Then his thighs. Okay, yeah. Mmm. And then—

Even though I really don’t think you can tell that much about what a guy is packing under his jeans—because of the whole bluffer thing—I am staring. And maybe he’s bluffing, but . . .

That’s why it takes me a beat too long to meet his eyes (embarrassing), which is why I hear his intake of breath just a split second before I see his face.

Oh, shit.

My face goes flaming hot, and I’m not sure if it’s from shame or lust.

The guy standing in the doorway is Tall, Dark, and Broody. The Original Tall, Dark, and Broody, as in my rebound sex guy.

Dark eyes. Dark hair. Strong jaw, shadowed with late-day stubble. A body so built he fills my field of vision, a broad chest swelling under a soft cotton T, and those spectacular biceps, which deserve every ounce of Mrs. Wheeling’s praise.

The next set of images are memories, a wash of sensation as vivid as a dream in progress: him looming over me just before his mouth seals mine in a kiss, his body crowding mine against the brick wall of the alley outside the bar, the heat and size and thickness of him like a drug I can’t get enough of. His mouth, tasting of scotch, and his tongue, soft as velvet, stroking all my tender corners so by the end of the first kiss I am already thinking of all the places I want his touch. His callused hand pushing my skirt up, finding and tearing my underpants, his fingers sliding headlong through my slickness, the one he slipped into my core thick enough for me to clench around, but his thumb on my clit still nimble enough to bring me off in the space of ten heartbeats.

It’s possible I make a sound, nowhere near audible enough to be a moan or a whimper, more like a huff of surprise.

“Dad! Dad!” Jonah says. “Can I have a sleepover at Madden’s house?”

Tall, Dark, and Broody’s eyes haven’t left my face.
“Well,” he says. “We meet again.”

Customer Reviews

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The Sleepover 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
UpAllNightBB More than 1 year ago
5 Stars Review by Elizabeth Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Serena Bell is one of my favorite authors out there!! I previously read Head Over Heels and was excited to read her new book, Sleepover. You will not be disappointed picking this one up, I promise. I finished it in the span of three/four hours because it was just that good. Two years ago, Sawyer’s wife, Lucy, passed away. Over the next two years he fills his time working, caring for their son, and having sex. When Sawyer and Jonah move into a new home not far from his parent’s, the last thing he expected to see was a one night stand he hasn’t been able to forget. Elle is trying to piece her life back together after her husband cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend resulting in him leaving Elle and their son, Madden. When Elle meets the new neighbors things get interesting. When Elle and Sawyer had their one night stand -- one time stand -- Sawyer made it clear he did not do repeats. Of course, his resolve is going to be tested when they now live next door to each other. Sawyer hasn’t gotten over the death of his wife, Lucy, and Elle is still dealing with the hurt of her ex-husband, Trevor, leaving. Those two know how to have hot foreplay and sex. Wow. However, they both have some healing to do before they are actually ready to move on. Sawyer needs to deal with the passing of his wife and Elle needs to deal with her husband leaving. I love the fact that they did not sugar coat their intentions at the beginning. They were straightforward and honest. Sleepover is full of so many emotions that I found myself tearing up in places. You will really love reading it, Serena really did a wonderful job writing it.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
What a great and powerful book! I loved Elle and Sawyer individually and together. Elle was an impressive lead female character. She was a great mother, friend, and woman. Her chemistry with Sawyer was through the roof. They blended so well in every aspect of their lives. The friendship their boys had was so easy and sweet. Throw in a smoking hot dad next door which you already know intimately and continues to bring out your inner sex kitten and that is one heck of a journey. There were several scenes where i noticed I was holding my breath as I read. I love when I get lost in a good story. And this one was a great escape. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
mom2crgk More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Serena Bell’s books. I’ve enjoyed every single one that I’ve read. Her characters : have life experience: they often have kids, have gone through a divorce, have lost their spouse. These things are not all that common. Her books have actual conflicts, not stupid misunderstandings, which I see far too often, and is just lazy writing, in my opinion! In Sleepover, Elle is recently divorced. Sawyer is a widower. They each have a 9-year-old son. When Sawyer moves in next door to Elle, they discover that they’ve met before, and ooooo is that a good start to a book. I love a couple with a complicated history. Sleepover is the third book in a series, which includes Do Over and Head Over Heels, but can be read as a stand-alone. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
This book is sooooooo good!! I'm loving these interconnected books that Serena Bell is writing. The characters are fantastic and I'm definitely invested in all of them getting their HEA. I loved the concept of this book. Sexy single-dad widower. Divorced single-mom who was really burned by her ex. The one-night stand who ends up being your next door neighbor and your son's BFF. This book was funny, heartwarming, and had a decent amount of angst. Once I started I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to see which character gets their story next!! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
IrishEyes430 More than 1 year ago
Elle is a recently divorced single mom, her husband having cheated on her. Sawyer is a widower with a son the same age. When he moved in next door to her, they were both shocked to see each other. They had a one night stand a while back with no intentions of getting involved in a relationship. The boys hit it off right away, while Elle and Sawyer do not have the same connection. They both need to face their own past before even thinking about a relationship with anyone. The characters are delightful and have very interesting histories. I enjoyed this book very much!
nku More than 1 year ago
Sleepover (Kindle Edition) by Serena Bell ...This book grabbed from the start and never let go... thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for letting me preview this book. Sawyer and Elle have a lot in common...both single parents of 8 yr old boys...her husband divorced her to marry his ex girlfriend...she is not over the hurt of being second best... his wife died two years ago and he is not over her loss and never wants that hurt again.. Then after a one time hookup he moves next door. There are lots of laughs ..I cried some and it was ugly..then I laughed again...and lets not forget the steamy sex ...all taking us on a journey to a very HEA. Reasons I enjoyed this book: Easy-to-read Entertaining Funny Great world building Happily Ever After Page-turner Romantic Steamy Wonderful characters
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
sawyer paulson had it all, the love of a lifetime, a family he adored, friends he could count on. when his wife dies, his world is shattered even though he needs to stay strong for his young son. as sleepover opens, the one thing he knows is that nothing is certain in life, but he won't risk another relationship. because he's not sure he can stand risking his heart only to have it broken again. elle dunning is learning to deal with life post-divorce. she married young and for the wrong reasons, but can't regret that she has her son. when new neighbors move in, the last person she expects to see is the guy she hooked up with on a post-divorce night out. but avoiding him is impossible, not when it becomes clear that their young sons are instant best friends. elle isn't actually opposed to the idea of being with sawyer, but she can see that he is not okay with their proximity. that he's not quite ready for someone else to be in his life romantically. but the attraction between them sparks wildly. and it's impossible not to give in. even though they try. this story was so deeply emotional and moving, love after loss is one of my favorite themes because it's both super angsty and full of hope. there's something so uplifting about characters finding love when they never expected to come across it again. and it's more vulnerable and fragile and heartwarming because they know it's so precious, that life offers no guarantees about forever. **sleepover will publish on november 13, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/random house publishing group (loveswept) in exchange for my honest review.
ViperSpaulding More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully sexy rom-com with delightful characters! Elle is coming out of a really bad divorce, one that has her questioning her self-worth and ability to trust herself. A one-night stand with a bar pickup seems to be just the confidence-booster she needs. Until he moves in next door. Sawyer lost his beloved wife two years ago, and is convinced he can never love another woman the way he loved Lucy. But when his son's new best friend next door has a deliciously familiar mother, Sawyer is forced to consider that his heart might want a life after Lucy. The humor and heartfelt emotions keep this book from being a typical single-parents romance. The way Sawyer handles Trevor was hilarious and did so much for Elle's sense of self. The way he distracted her during the wedding reception was not just hot and steamy, but showed his deep understanding of the demons she faced. Tucking their sons in together on their many best-friends sleepovers showed more of the potential stability of their relationship than words ever could. As a bonus, this book includes such nuggets of wisdom as: "The way back to life isn't a straight line." and "You aren't really divorced till you own a ......." (You'll have to read the book to fill in the blank.) I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Nicolerko More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I really loved the characters. What happens when a one night stand moves next door? Things are a little awkward between Sawyer and Elle because as much as they deny it the flare of attraction still burns between them. They have a ton of chemistry that burns up the pages. One of my favorite parts of the book is how fast of friends Elle and Sawyer's boys become. That filled my heart right up. This book also had me laughing a lot while reading it. This book had the heart, heat, and humor I love in a romance. It's a great book with two characters who are trying their new normal and if willing to risk their hearts on love.
Vickory More than 1 year ago
Sleepover is a light and fun contemporary romance that I liked quite a bit. The hero and heroine are single parents (the hero is widowed, the heroine divorced) and since I don't often read about single parent main characters this was a nice change of pace for me that I liked very much. Both characters were very likeable - all of their feelings and thoughts were appropriate to their situations and I was very empathetic to both of them throughout the book. I found the fact that the hero was a furniture maker/handy man very attractive (I need one of those!) and loved that he was quiet and a good listener. The heat level fits well and seamlessly into the overall romance of the story. This was my first book by this author but I am going to look to see what else she has written that I can add to my TBR for when I am in the mood for a good contemporary romance.
Jolie More than 1 year ago
Elle is fresh from a divorce that she didn’t see coming. Still reeling and hurt, she decides that the best thing for her to do is to go to a bar and forget her problems. And oh boy, did she. She met Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent at the bar. Before she knew it, they were having sex up against the outside of the bar. The best sex she has ever had. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent leaves right afterward. Fast forward a few months. Elle has gotten new neighbors. Elle is surprised to see that her new neighbor is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent and his 8-year-old son. Sawyer is still grieving the death of his wife from cancer. Selling the business and the house that they built together, he moves into a rental to start over fresh. He has never forgotten the blonde that he picked up at the bar a few months back. The blonde that had sadness in her eyes. The blonde that gave him the best one-night stand he ever had. Sawyer is surprised to see the blonde from that night is his next door neighbor. Even more surprising is that she has an 8-year-old son that immediately bonds with his son. He is surprised that he wants Elle as much as he did that night in the bar. He soon finds out that Elle wants him as bad. But, they are both hesitant. A chance encounter with Elle’s ex-husband draws Elle and Sawyer together. They make a pact. No sex until the wedding. Can they both hold out for the wedding? And is there hope for a lasting relationship. I am going to start this review talking about sex. Or the lack of it. Sleepover did something very rare for a contemporary romance novel. The author had the main characters (Sawyer and Elle) from having actual sex until almost the end of the book. Well, besides the hookup which happened several months earlier. Instead, they kissed, sexted or had oral sex. There was so much build up that when they actually had sex, it was amazing. Put it this way, I needed a fan and a cold shower when the book was over. But, what I liked the most, is that the author had Sawyer and Elle build up a friendship. They might have started off as sex but they became friends. I loved seeing them bond over the boys and their different hurts. Loved it!! The main plotline was Elle and Sawyer’s relationship. Even though the book was told in 1st person, I couldn’t tell what Sawyer felt for Elle for the longest time. I don’t even think he knew what he felt until Brooks pointed out the obvious. I knew everything that Elle felt for Sawyer. She wasn’t as hidden with her feelings…lol. I loved the storyline with the boys. What they did for that transgender girl brought tears to my eyes. I also loved their friendship. Right from the get-go, they were inseparable. The end of Sleepover was what I expected. It was a true HEA. I loved that Elle and Sawyer were able to talk about things and get things straight. What Sawyer wrote in that journal touched my heart. I was crying with Elle. Also, the end of the book made me smile. Loved how it came full circle!! **I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
MaryJoMI More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, sweet, sexy, fun romance. What happens when that night you decided to throw away your inhibitions and embrace a one-night stand moves in next door to you? Sawyer and Elle are new neighbors and realize that they have met before for a crazy, sexy encounter. As these two navigate life as single parents, their boys become inseparable, but they each carry scars from the past. Will they allow themselves to embrace the attraction that they share? The boys, Jonah and Madden, are amazing as they show how easy it is to make friends and stand up for what you believe in. Elle is trying to protect herself after a crappy marriage but Sawyer is different, letting her be herself, can she trust what he shows her? Sawyer, oh, losing the love of his life, he believes that miracle can’t happen again yet Elle grabs him in a new way. Will he stop punishing himself and let love in? I truly enjoyed this journey as this foursome works to build a new family. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book and this is my honest review.
KindleKat64 More than 1 year ago
Serena Bell is quickly becoming a one-click author for me. Her sweet and sexy contemporary romances are just amazing and Sleepover is my favorite so far!! This story definitely sucked me in and I felt like both Sawyer and Elle’s characters were just so likable and realistic given the pasts they were both dealing with. Sawyer is a widower of 2 years now and a father of an amazing 8 year old boy, Jonah. Sawyer is having a hard time moving on from the grief of losing his wife who he will always love. Elle is divorced from an ex who cheated on her and also a mom of another amazing 8 year old boy, Madden. Elle is afraid to trust a man and doesn't ever want to feel like she is less than enough for someone again. They hooked up at a bar months ago, and that was all it was, one quick and dirty hook-up, they didn’t even make it past the outside of the bar. Neither expected to ever see the other again and then Sawyer and his son moved right next door to Elle and her son. Their sons become fast inseparable friends which means they find themselves in each others’ space a lot. They become very good friends too and really enjoy being around each other but there is an insane amount of sexual chemistry there as well that gets harder and harder to ignore. They both have healing to do but maybe, just maybe, they can do it together. This was such a wonderful story that was both sexy and sweet and simply filled my heart up. I loved it!!
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
Elle Dunning is just coming off a divorce after she found her husband, Trevor, in bed with his ex-high school school sweetheart, Helen. Elle had always felt that Trevor was still in love with her, and it turns out she was right. Now, all she wants is to provide a happy life for her 8 year old son, Madden. Elle's best friends convince her that to get her mojo back she needs to find a one night stand so she goes to a bar in search of a guy. Sawyer Paulson is instantly attracted to the hot blonde at the bar. So much so that they get hot and heavy outside of the bar! His normal hookups since his wife had died hadn't affected him as this one did. Imagine his surprise when he is moving into a new house with his 8 year old son, Jonah and who lives next door to him, but Elle! Madden and Jonah instantly hit it off, thus causing Elle and Sawyer to spend more time together. Though both of them are grieving the end of the marriages, they begin to bond and realize the attraction is still there. Elle wants to explore things with Sawyer, but she does not want to compete for his affection with another woman, his deceased wife....she did that once and will not make that same mistake. Sawyer is torn between wanting Elle and still loving his deceased wife. Together these two need to take a huge leap of faith, let some walls crumble down, and finally get to a happy ending. I just loved this story. Both of these characters were hurt from events from their past and were hesitant to move forward, but once they made that leap, everything fell into place.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
When Sawyer Paulson spies his new neighbor he darn near has a panic attack, he never thought he would see her again, and now here she living right next door. She was supposed to be a one night stand, his hidden little secret, never to be heard from again... now here she introducing her eight year old son to his, and he can see a friendship blooming instantly. How did this happen, sure he has thought about her off and on since their night together and often thought he could easily go against his number one rule and repeat their night, but always remembering why that rule is in place. He doesn't do permanent, relationships, or forever, he attempted that once, had the woman of his dreams, and then she passed away and it broke his heart. But now, living right next door is Elle, the only woman who has any effect on him since his wife, and as much as he tries to abide by his rule, the harder it comes to stick to it. He just can't put himself through that again.... or can he? From the very first page Sleepover will pull you in, and command your undivided attention; with it's deeply emotional and captivating story line you can't help but become fully invested in this one. To say that this story will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions is an understatement, it is destined to have you reaching for the Kleenex box one minute, and leave you smiling and swooning the next! I loved these characters, they both had a lot of baggage to work through, and enjoyed watching them sort it out, grow from it, and find a new happiness neither thought was possible. This was one of my favorites from this author, it had an emotional depth that surprised me and left me moved, and characters who felt real to me, and very easy to find a connection to, definitely a can't miss read!! I highly recommend this one, it's good for the heart and soul! I requested an advanced copy of this title from NetGalley, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest opinion.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Loved this one! It sucked me in immediately and I just couldn't put it down. Sawyer and Elle are intriguing characters and I enjoyed getting to know them and watching their walls crumble. Sawyer is a widower who never wants to risk feeling that kind of pain again. Elle's husband left her to go back to his high school sweetheart. She's vowed to never be anyone else's second choice. A year ago these two had one night of passion. Now they find themselves next door neighbors with their sons best friends. This is not how things were supposed to go! Great characters, great writing and great fun. Definitely a book for the must read list. I highly recommend.
Rita Luken More than 1 year ago
I really loved this romance. I couldn't put it down. Sawyer and Elle have a reason not to get into a new relationship. Sawyer lost his wife a few years ago and still loves and misses her. Elle husband divorce her for his high school sweetheart. In a weak moment Elle decides to hook up at a bar just to put herself out there. A few months later, lo and behold guess who moves in next door. Her hook up, and he has a son the same age as hers and they immediately become best buds. It was so fun watching these two pretend they didn't know each other and the sexual tension between is so hot. I love this story because for each it was hard to move on. We never forget our first love and we don't get over the hurt when the one we love leaves us. The attraction between them was so good and I could not wait the end so I could see the couple get heir happy ever after.