Looking for a passionate read? Don't miss Indulgence's latest romance...
will change their friendship forever...
Widow Isobel Sinclair knows it's time to move on, and she believes the next chapter in her life involves a baby. All she needs is a man to help her with the finer details. Unfortunately, right now the only man in her life is her husband's best friend, Rafael Sanchez. And an incredibly wealthy, super-hot player is not exactly family material.
That's okay since she wants a baby sans the husband part.
Billionaire playboy Rafael has carefully hidden his longing for Isobel over the years. He's wanted her from the moment they met. When desire sparks between them, Rafael faces a choice beyond imagining: give Isobel what she wants...or lose her forever. He has a good reason why a child can't be in his future, but telling Isobel the truth could destroy everything.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of paranormal and science fiction.
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She's since then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary), and has settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Read an Excerpt
The Spaniard's Kiss
By Nina Croft, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Nina Croft
All rights reserved.
Six months later
A pair of legs and an ass.
That was all Rafe could see, but it was enough to grab his attention, because the legs were long and slender and the ass full and curvaceous and barely covered by a pair of skimpy denim cutoffs. It was also pointed straight up at him where he stood at the first-floor window of his grandfather's villa. Rafe recognized her immediately, despite never having seen her from quite this angle before.
The rest of her vanished into a dense green bush swathed in crimson flowers.
What the hell was she doing?
Her legs were golden brown, and her feet covered in thick woolen socks and heavy work boots. He didn't think work boots had ever entered into his sexual fantasies before. Scarlet stilettos were more his thing. An image flashed in his mind — a pair of four-inch heels on the end of those endless legs — and a wave of unwelcome heat washed over him, settling low in his gut. It had been a long time since a woman had affected him in this way. Six months, to be precise. Back then, it had been the very same woman, and the sensation had been just as unwelcome.
He still couldn't believe he'd kissed her. Something he'd sworn never to do. Bella was a friend; that's all she was, that's all she could ever be. He'd made the decision a long time ago, and Gary's death didn't change that.
The kiss had been a mistake of gargantuan proportions. But God help him, she'd been naked! Totally, gloriously naked. He'd spent most of the last six months trying to purge the memory from his mind. And failing.
A light tap at the door brought him back to the present. He shook his head and glanced around. Peter North, his assistant, stood in the doorway.
"How is he?" Rafe asked. His grandfather had been asleep when he'd arrived, and Rafe hadn't wanted to disturb him. He was awake now, but the doctor was with him.
"He's fine. As I told you on the phone — it was a minor attack."
Rafe had been in Hong Kong at the time and had headed straight back despite Peter's assurance that his grandfather was in no immediate danger. Probably his mad rush was due to guilt. He shouldn't have stayed away so long.
He worried about the old man; he was getting frail, and this place was too remote. Situated in the mountains between the Sierra Nevada range and the Mediterranean, the villa was a long way from the nearest hospital. Rafe had tried to get him to move to London where he'd be close to the best medical facilities, but his attempts were futile. His grandfather had lived here all his life and loved these mountains. God knows why — Rafe had never understood the attraction.
"Is the doctor finished?" he asked.
"He'll be done in five minutes."
He turned back to the window and stood, hands in his pockets, observing the scene below. Peter came up beside him and whistled softly. "Nice."
Rafe stiffened. It was nice, but for some reason, he didn't like Peter sharing the view. Bella was hardly his property, but he still felt protective of her.
Protective. Yes. That was how he felt — he just had to keep reminding himself of that.
"What's she doing?" he asked.
"Pruning, I would think. She must be the new gardener your grandfather employed."
Rafe frowned. Why the hell would she be working as a gardener? He'd asked his grandfather to keep an eye on her, not to employ her. The old man would have looked out for her anyway. He'd been fond of Gary since he started coming here on holidays with Rafe when they were boys.
They watched in silence as she wriggled backward. It was a slow process, hindered by bits of bush that caught in her clothes and long, dark red ponytail. By the time she'd completely extracted herself, Rafe felt like some sort of voyeur, and Peter shifted uncomfortably beside him.
Scrambling to her feet, she brushed herself off, plucking broken twigs and crimson petals out of her hair. She still faced away from the window, and Rafe silently willed her to turn around. Finally, she turned so she stood in profile, and he ran his eyes hungrily over her. The skimpy shorts were topped by an equally skimpy khaki tank top that clung to the full curves of her breasts, leaving zero to the imagination and making it obvious that she wore nothing underneath.
Not that he needed imagination. He'd seen the real thing. Dios, why couldn't he delete that image from his head?
His eyes shifted to her face. Her hair had grown since their last meeting, long enough to touch her ass, and she'd lost weight, but otherwise she looked the same — gorgeous.
"Her name's Isabel Sinclair," Peter offered from beside him.
"I know who she is — what's she doing working here?" Pete did security checks on all the new employees. He'd know the details.
"She's English — a widow with a small farm across the valley." Peter sounded nervous now, as though he wasn't sure what was going on. But then he'd only been with the company a year and would be unaware of Rafe's history with Bella. "I gather she's struggling to make ends meet. Your grandfather probably felt sorry for her."
Why was she struggling? He'd presumed Gary must have left her well off, but obviously not. And if she needed money, why the hell hadn't she come to him? That was something he could legitimately do for her, within the bounds of his protective role. Perhaps she hadn't wanted to ask him for help after that kiss. Maybe she thought he would demand something in return.
Not for the first time, guilt prodded him in the gut. Lately the emotion seemed to be a regular companion. Oh, she'd kissed him back — for all of about ten seconds — but probably because he'd taken her by surprise. She'd never shown any sign she saw him as anything other than her husband's friend, her friend. As far as he was aware, she'd never looked at any man other than Gary.
God, he was a bastard for kissing her.
The first time he'd seen her, eight years ago, was like being hit over the head with a blunt object. Hard. He'd wanted her from that moment. She was seventeen. Half tomboy, half siren. Rafe had been twenty-two, and he'd felt like a total pervert. She'd also been about to lose her virginity to the best friend Rafe had ever had. He remembered wishing that Gary hadn't confided in him quite so much.
Spending time with Bella had felt the same ever since — an almost painful blend of desire and guilt. He'd hidden his reactions and made sure he treated her like his kid sister. Lusting after his best friend's girlfriend, then wife, was not on his list of acceptable behavior.
But even if she hadn't been Gary's girl, no way would he get involved with her. Gary had told him all Bella wanted from life was a home and a family, and Rafe could give her neither. He'd grown up knowing those things would never be an option for him, and despite the money he poured into medical research, nothing had changed since then. He'd thought he was reconciled. He'd been wrong. Rolling his shoulders, he tried to ease the tension as an echo of remembered pain ran through him.
It had been easier when Bella was totally off-limits. He'd found the one woman he could imagine making a life with, and he couldn't have her. She belonged to Gary.
Except now, Gary was gone.
He'd done a good job of being Bella's "friend." Until that night at the thermal spring, when like a total moron — or more probably like a horny teenager who couldn't keep his dick in his pants — he'd kissed her. The memory still had the power to make him hot and hard.
The following morning, he'd discovered some urgent business demanding his immediate attention back in London. Okay — he was deluding himself. The truth was, he'd run away. And stayed away. Waiting for the memory of that kiss to fade. It hadn't happened. Then his grandfather fell ill and he'd hurried back.
He could get through this. As long as he didn't mention the kiss, they could return to the relationship they'd always had.
* * *
He'd been gone six months. Six months and no word.
She cut the head off a perfectly innocent geranium.
How dare he kiss her and then disappear for six months? Not that the kiss hadn't been nice — okay maybe "nice" was an understatement — but that was beside the point. He was supposed to be her friend. That's not how friends behaved. And he was only back because of his grandfather's heart attack. Who knew when he would have honored them with his presence otherwise? She'd missed him — hadn't realized how much she had come to rely on his sporadic visits.
Bella kept busy through the long morning, but by two o'clock, she'd pruned everything that could possibly be pruned. He wouldn't dare leave without seeing her, would he? She contemplated marching up to the house and demanding a confrontation, or tying herself to his helicopter so he couldn't leave without seeing her.
She wanted her friend back. That meant they had to face up to that kiss, show that it meant nothing, and get back to normal.
In the end, she convinced herself to wait until he approached her. But he'd better come quickly, or he'd be sorry.
Lifting her damp ponytail off her neck, she fanned herself.
She'd always loved the sun, but she didn't think she'd ever get used to the heat of a Spanish summer. Even sprawled under the dappled shade of a huge fig tree, where she could keep an eye on the main house, it was too hot to eat. Besides, her appetite was nonexistent, so she split the crusty bread between Sam and Joe, the two Doberman guard dogs sharing her shady siesta spot.
She'd done a lot of thinking since that night. Obviously, the whole naked thing had prompted the kiss. Rafe was a total player; she'd always known that. It was probably like Pavlov's dogs — the sight of a naked woman just triggered him to a sexual response. It was nothing personal.
And totally irrelevant that it had done all sorts of weird things to her insides. She was probably hormonal, and he'd had a lot of practice. He probably kissed all his women like his life depended on it, like he never wanted to stop.
And when she'd finally done the sensible thing and stopped it, he'd promptly vanished. She'd gotten up the next morning, determined to reassure him it meant absolutely nothing. But he'd already gone.
As the weeks turned into months, she came to suspect something — Rafe was avoiding her. But why?
Maybe he was worried she'd read too much into that kiss. Gary once told her that Rafe would never marry. He hadn't known why exactly, but it had something to do with Rafe's parents splitting when he was a boy. If he'd stuck around she could have put his mind at rest.
The kiss meant nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Yeah, she'd reacted, but he was a man, and she was a woman who hadn't been kissed in over two years. What did he expect?
And she could have used a friend to talk to. She'd thought about phoning him so many times, but something had always stopped her.
Sam raised his head from the ground, his growl quickly turning into a yip of greeting. Bella sat up abruptly.
"Crap," she muttered, as something hot and needy twisted low down in her belly. Had he always been that gorgeous? Or had that damn kiss rewired her brain?
Rafe strolled toward her across the vast expanse of green lawn, moving with the controlled arrogance of someone who owned the place. Which, of course, he did.
He was heading straight for her. At last.
She'd first met him when she was seventeen, but she'd known about him for a lot longer. Rafe's and Gary's mothers had been best friends, and they'd grown up together.
Gary was three years younger than Rafe and had hero-worshipped him, talked about him incessantly. He'd been twenty-two and the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, with an air of raw sexuality she'd never encountered before ... or since. All the same, it had never occurred to her to think of him as anything but Gary's friend and later hers. Maybe because he'd always treated her like an irritating kid sister. Besides, she'd known even then that one day she was going to marry Gary. She'd proposed to him when she was twelve and he was fourteen, and she'd never let him forget that he'd said yes.
As always, Rafe appeared cool and elegant in a pale gray suit and white shirt open at the throat. And as usual, Bella had to fight the urge to go over and muss him up, ruffle his hair, maybe leave some muddy fingerprints over his spotless silk shirt.
She scrambled to her feet and glanced down, taking in her bare legs, scratched and marked by mosquito bites, the tank top stuck to her damp skin. She'd also taken off her boots and was barefoot. She couldn't begin to imagine what she must look like, but she was 100 percent convinced "cool and elegant" didn't come close.
Rafe halted a few feet away, leaned one shoulder against the tree beside him, folded his arms over his chest, and regarded her from behind designer shades. "Bella, you look" — a slight smile curved his lips, and his gaze raked her from head to foot — "a mess."
What did he expect? She'd been working, it was hot, and, oh yeah, she hadn't been near a hairdresser in over two years. She didn't need Mr. Perfect, not a hair out of place, tall, dark, and handsome, to tell her that.
He was so unbelievably stunning. Well over six feet, broad at the shoulders but lean everywhere else. Immaculately cut black hair was brushed back from his face, his skin tinted with gold and drawn taut over todie-for cheekbones. He reached up and took off his glasses, revealing the most sinfully erotic blue eyes she had ever seen. His lips were full with a sensual curve, and she had a flashback to the feel of his mouth on hers, his tongue —
"Earth to Bella ... you can remember how to talk, can't you?"
Great. He was back to the old teasing Rafe. Did he honestly think he could pretend he hadn't kissed her?
Not in this lifetime.
They were getting this out in the open. Otherwise it would fester and ruin their relationship. She wanted her friend back. Unless he'd forgotten all about the kiss. Maybe he kissed so many women, and she was just one more.
She took a step closer, put her hands on her hips, and narrowed her eyes. "You kissed me."
Shock flashed across his features. No doubt he'd expected her to go along with him and not mention that night.
He pursed his lips. "It was a momentary aberration."
Her shoulders stiffened, her hands fisting at her sides.
How dare he call kissing her an aberration?
When she remained silent, he gave a casual shrug. "You were naked, I was distracted. It won't happen again."
That's right — put the blame on me.
She ground her teeth together. She'd see about that. "You kissed me, and then you ran away."
"I did not run away. I had to return to London."
"And you didn't come back."
"I've been busy."
"I can't believe you kissed me and ran away. Now you're trying to act like it never happened."
He took a step closer, picked up her left hand, and rubbed the gold wedding band she still wore. "It never should have happened."
"Gary is dead," she said. She could actually speak of her husband now without pain. That had taken a long time.
"I know. And I once promised him that if anything ever happened to him, I would look after you, make sure you're okay."
She frowned. "I'm quite capable of taking care of myself." But that wasn't the point. "How exactly would kissing me again make me not okay?" She didn't know why she was pushing this. Isn't that what she wanted? To get past the stupid kiss and move on?
"Right now, we're friends, Bella. Do you want to lose that?"
"Friends don't run away and hide for six months. And anyway, why would I?"
He ran a hand through his hair. "My relationships last about three months. I like variety. I'm never in one place for long, and I value my personal space. I'm not going to change."
"Jeez. Did I ask you to change? As it happens, I don't want a relationship."
She turned away for a moment to get her thoughts together, work out how to make this right. He was obviously putting way more importance on that kiss than she was. When she glanced back, she caught the first real expression on his face.
She clamped her lips closed before he noticed her shock.
Excerpted from The Spaniard's Kiss by Nina Croft, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2015 Nina Croft. 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
Isobel Sinclair emerges from mourning her husband's death with a plan: she wants to create her own family by having a baby. Her husband's best friend, the wealthy and influential Rafael Sanchez, is the only available man in her life, and attraction between them isn't a problem. Besides, her heart will always belong to Gary, so it's not like she wants a commitment. Meanwhile, Rafe isn't a settle-down-with-a-family type. He has new women in and out of his life every few weeks. He's had his eye on his best friend's wife for a long time, but loyalty to Gary meant never laying a finger on Bella. Now, even with Gary gone, Rafe can't bring himself to bridge that gap. He also can't imagine letting Bella have a baby with any random stranger. But there's more to Rafe's carefree, no-strings lifestyle than he can share with Bella. Reasons that prevent him from ever giving her children. If he doesn't, though, he'll lose her forever. Entangled Publishing's Indulgence imprint presents THE SPANIARD'S KISS, a smoky contemporary romance by gifted author Nina Croft, debuting this month. It's probably happened to you before: your best friend or sibling or close colleague introduces you to their significant other, and you're struck by your own attraction to that significant other. Friendship, and peace of mind, demand that you stand down. But what happens when the obstacle between you vanishes? That kind of psychological and relational tension is what drives Croft's novel for both main characters. Bella and Rafe, respectively, battle the fear that being together is disloyal to the memory of the man they both loved and respected. For Bella, desperation to build her own family and have the kind of stability she dreamed about and then lost with Gary's death drives her past her fears first. She's loved Rafe for a long time, and something about him sparks a heat inside her that Gary's steady, patient love --- while wonderful --- didn't. Rafe, on the other hand, remains determined not to give in to what Bella wants, since he knows that to have children with her would only be to invite heartbreak, given his own family history. Still, terrified of losing her and the friendship he so carefully cultivated with her, he deceives her into believing he'll give her a baby. Deception can't be condoned in ninety-five percent of circumstances, of course, but readers will understand Rafe's uncertainty and feel for his situation. He's obligated to protect Bella, even from herself and even from him, for Gary's sake. He desperately wants Bella but can't give her a baby. That kind of psychological chaos is ripe with tension and makes for a really compelling character. The heat level in this contemporary romance is somewhere between smoky and singed. Readers will find the attraction between Bella and Rafe, and their subsequent ventures in bed, one of the most satisfying parts of the book. I urge you to pick up a copy of THE SPANIARD'S KISS for your library. Nothing sexier than forbidden love! # # # Author: Nina Croft Title: THE SPANIARD'S KISS Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Indulgence) ISBN: 978-1-62266-701-7 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Rating: 4.5/5 The Spaniard's Kiss was such an interesting story to read that had me guessing until the very end, it was a complete page-turner that is going to leave you wanting for more. For widow Isabel Sinclair everything changed after the death of her husband, her life has taken her to a little farm in Spain, yet she feels alone. She knows that it's time to move to the next chapter of her life and to do that she wants to have a baby. With not enough males in her radar to make the perfect baby with, she turns to her husband's friend, Rafael Sanchez, the playboy billionaire who has been open about not wanting a family. Yet she is determined to convince him no matter what. Soon he gives in only to have her postpone everything until she truly is ready to make the next step, in the meantime they both flirt freely as the sparks between them make it impossible for them to deny the attraction that they have for one another. What started as a simple proposition, to Isabel has become so much more as the two embark in a new adventure that could lead to second chances at happiness. For Rafael protecting his family has been his number one priority, yet when Isabel asks for his help it's hard to say no to her, but telling her the truth will only make things worse. Having carried a big burden for a very long time, he wants to let go of his past and be able to take a chance at happiness. But he knows that it's going to be impossible, and that leaves him with his only goal and that is to chance Isabel's mind to have a baby. Little did he know that was going to be the impossible task of the century, especially when he is starting to fall for her. I really liked the beginning of the book, Isabel makes quite the impression on Rafael that has them both unable to keep their hands to themselves. It's an instant chemistry that they have, and their friendship makes it easier to be with each other, and a bit awkward since they are attracted to each other beyond their friendship. Rafael is a caring character that cares about Isabel, yet his secret could damage his relationship with her and that is the opposite of what he wants. On the other hand, Isabel just wants what she always wanted to have with her husband, and now that Rafael is going to help her is turning their relationship to a whole new level that neither of them expected. I did not know what the big secret was going to be and when I found out, it was a bit shocking. Overall the author does a very good job at keeping you guessing until the very end, and that alone made it that much more interesting to read. I highly recommend it, and I will most definitely keep reading more from the author. :) ***ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.***
4 stars The Spaniard's Kiss was such a good read, I was drawn into the story from the first page. I enjoyed reading Isobel/Bella and Rafael/Rafe love story, it was heartwarming and emotional seeing them give into their feelings and move from friends to lovers. Overall an enjoyable afternoon's read, highly recommend The Spaniard's Kiss.
I did enjoy reading this book with Rafe and Bella. Although there were a few times I was completely frustrated with Rafe, all this hot and cold mixed messages. But once he gave in, momma mia, he did it correctly. I loved the passion between them and that it started as friendship. It was very sweet reading how much they cared and thought about the other. The scenes with Mark were very loving and tear provoking. I am glad Bella and Mark had those conversations. I totally loved the ending, so full of heart and intense emotion, beautifully written. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
*** This ARC was received from Entangled Publishing via Net Galley in exchange for a honest review*** I love that this is a story about learning to love and make concessions with out all the drama. I also like that they don't think too much about her dead husband being mad about thier releationship. I don't beleive any deceased spouse who really loved someone would ever get mad about them finding new happiness.
The Spaniard's Kiss, Nina Croft Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance. I’ve enjoyed many of Nina’s paranormal novels so wondered how I’d take to this contemporary romance. It was a fun read, light but with real feeling. Isobel, she’s a lovely lady, still only in her twenties but a widow for the past two years. Her husbands best friend was Rafael, and he’s been attracted to Isobel since he first saw her when she was only 17. When he comes across her swimming naked he can’t resist a kiss, and it sparks an idea in her head. Now she knows he finds her attractive why not ask him to father a child for her. She’s always dreamed of a family, so at least this way she can have part of what he wants. she won’t ask him to be a hands on parent, she knows he’s no plans to settle down yet, but as he’s attracted to her then fathering a child would give her a chance at part of her dreams. Rafael is horrified, he wants her, he’s always wanted her but for his own reasons children are not in his future, not now and possibly not ever! If he doesn’t give in though will she just go off and ask someone else? He comes up with his plan to bring her closer to him for a few months, hoping that she’ll drop the baby idea when it doesn’t happen. It means deceiving her but its for the good he thinks. Maybe, just maybe she’ll come to feel more for him too along the way. Its a fun story, no great surprises, an easy to read novel, that's got some sensuality and a great lead couple. I did puzzle over what Isobel planned to do with Toby ( the dog) when she took the new job, and there were a few other minor points like that but overall it was a fun escapist one off read. Stars: four, a fun summer read. ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
This was an amazing story. I love that he had always wanted her bit was an honorable man and never thought about hurting his friend. So many obstacles stood in their way of finding happiness, and I love that they weren't afraid to fight for it.
The Spaniard's Kiss by Nina Croft is an enjoyable contemporary romance. It is about the relationship that evolves between Isobel Sinclair, a widow, and Rafael Sanchez, a billionaire who was also Isobel's late husband's best friend. Isobel is finally able to move on with her life and Rafe enthusiastically agrees to help her do just that. Moving forward in Isobel's mind also means having a baby, with Rafe as the potential father. While Isobel was very happily married and enjoyed a mediocre sex life, Rafe was playing the field. He dated a lot, but never had a relationship that lasted for longer than three months. Isobel and Rafe share an attraction that is hotter than either of them have ever experienced before. When they finally give in to their desires, they internally realize that they are in love. Rafe has a huge secret that could change both of their lives forever, and he is pleasantly surprised by Isobel's reaction once he shares it with her. Overall, this was an engaging read, although I found the pace to be extremely slow for my tastes. It took a really long time for Isobel and Rafe to get together, even after they shared a few mind-numbing kisses. Their individual lives were interesting and Ms. Croft did a wonderful job with setting the story in both Spain and England. I absorbed the European ambiance wholeheartedly. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
There are so many facets to this story. It's obvious that Isobel and Rafe have a strong connection to each other. What muddies the water is that Isobel is the widow of Rafe's best friend. The deeper that I became engrossed in the story I realized just how complicated their relationship actually was. Each has always secretly had feelings for each other that they never acted on. Now free to pursue those feelings they have to decide if facing the unexpected, guilt, secrets and more heartbreak is worth the battle. The Spaniard's Kiss is emotional, romantic, captivating and thought provoking. A beautifully written story. I received an ARC for an honest review.
Excellent read that pulled me in from the first page. Isobel Sinclair was widowed young but now it's time for her move forward and enjoy the next phase of her life. That phase she hopes will include a baby. Rafael Sanchez was her husband's best friend but right now he seems to be the only man around. Rafael has always longed for Isobel but he knows he is not the right man for her. Children are not and can not be a part of his future. But he can't stand the idea of Isobel going to another man with her crazy idea of having a baby now. This one was very well done. The characters connected beautifully and Rafael's secret kept things very interesting! I highly recommend this one.
The Spaniard’s Kiss is another of those middle of the road reads for me. I absolutely enjoyed the book, it just didn’t overwhelm or underwhelm me. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s more going off of how engaging I found the story. What I did notice most is that the writing is very well done. I liked that the author took a different sort of spin an a somewhat normal trope. Rafe has been in love with Bella for years, but has done such a good job of hiding it (from her) that she is genuinely oblivious to it. As much as he wants her, he doesn’t think she looks at him that way either, she’s also newly widowed and was married to his best friend. Those would seemingly be his main reasons, save for the one huge secret one that he never talks about. Bella is trying to move on with her life, not only did she lose a husband, but her child too. So now, she’s determined to jump this hurdle in her life and she wants a baby to love. She hasn’t exactly planned out how to go about getting it though and who better to father the baby than her husband’s best friend. One problem though, she doesn’t take into account that she might actually need to sleep with him. The thought of artificial insemination is abhorrent to her and lets face it, she really -is- attracted to Rafe. These two clash together with a kiss that sets Bella on her head, and sends Rafe running for the hills (London). Rafe feels as if he’s betraying his best friend, but also there are things he cannot let Bella know. He can’t give her a baby like she’s asking. He wants her, and makes no qualms about that, but a baby? No, not even on the table. Bella is confused when Rafe runs off, and when he finally does come back, oh she’s saucy. She pushes all his buttons in any which way she can. I found that part amusing, because sometimes she does it and you know it’s not intentional. Open mouth, insert foot, Bella… you just bite off more than you can handle (or that you thought about handling.). :D Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. Again, I enjoyed it. I sat in my living room, curled up next to the window with a cup of coffee, the rain outside and fell into it. To quote Goldilocks, this book is, “Just right.”. For more reviews visit: www.wildheartreviews.com
The Kiss overall is a good story. ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review**** This book wasn’t the best for me in terms of my reading it. It just didn’t hold my interest. It seemed to drag and the characters didn’t seem to really connect half the time. Rafe has been in love with Bella for years but he hides it from her and she doesn’t seem to know because he has done such a good job; also she is recently widowed. Bella was married to Rafe’s best friend and now her life one of such chaos right now. She is trying to start her life over but she isn’t sure how to do this. She lost not only her husband but her child. So now she realizes she wants a baby- a baby to love and to replace the one she lost. Bella is one who isn’t thinking or planning on how to go about getting that baby. She is just one for emotions and all she wants is a baby. She jumps feet first into baby thoughts. And she thinks the best candidate to father her baby is Rafe. Have I mentioned she is not one for thinking things through? She does not think how she is going to get pregnant- she is not thinking about IVF because when that thought does filter through, Bella realizes that is nasty and she starts to come to the realization that Rafe is very attractive to her. Rafe and Bella started clashing and that clash ends with a kiss that sends Bella flying on her head. Because of that, Rafe runs away, thinking he has betrayed his best friend with his wife and there are things he cannot tell Bella, things he is afraid that would make her turn away from him. He wants her so bad but he will not give her a baby. When Rafe finally returns, Bella is cheeky with Rafe; she is playful. I see that she is going to fight for him. Bella realizes she is going to get Rafe to admit they have something worth fighting for . There are some real emotional scenes in this book – Be prepared to cry so have some tissues handy. What bothered me was at times it seemed like the author was forcing the MC together. At the beginning the book was so slow and at the middle it was slow. I kept hoping the pace would pick up. And at the end it was seemed rushed. I did like Bella and Rafe , only it seemed like I didn’t get a chance to really picture them together. I would have thrown in an extra.5 * if I could have gotten a better glimpse of the MC together but instead they seemed forced together at times but I can say I will still try this author again in the future. My rating: 3.5 stars ***
4 - "One look and I was lost." Stars! I love me some Nina Croft, whatever the genre and tropes being used, she manages to deliver up a storyline that I get involved in and a couple that I want to see get the ’happily Ever After’ they deserve. The Spaniard's Kiss is no exception, and I loved every minute of the time I spent reading it. ”Are you real or just my imagination?” Isobel Sinclair has decided it’s time to move on with her life, losing her husband unexpectedly two years ago has left her living day-to-day with no particular purpose or direction anymore, and it’s time to make changes. Rafael Sanchez, her husband’s best friend throws all those plans out the window initially in one sexy-hot kiss, unless she can persuade him to be the man to father the child she so desperately wants. I loved Rafe, he was sexy, honorable and held his secrets close to his chest, but when it came to Isobel and him together, the build-up between them and the sexual tension was off the charts, and it gave the story a real depth. ”I don’t want to be your ducking friend.” I don’t think anyone reading The Spaniards Kiss will be surprised with the storyline or the direction it goes, but as usual Nina has managed to write it all so well, and with such development and depth that it really is the perfect couple of hours of romantic reading escapism. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.