ROMANCE

Hearts on Hold

Carina: Harlequin. Feb. 2020. ebk. ISBN 9781488055157. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Dr. Victoria Reese thrives on always having a plan. As a black woman, she stands out among the English professors at the prestigious Pembroke University. The department chair may not respect or support her, but she’s confident about her new idea for a program that partners students with work experience at the public library. What she didn’t plan for was that the head children’s librarian helping her create the program would be a laid-back, gorgeous man with long hair and tattoos. John Donovan is extra busy right now as the caretaker of his 12-year-old niece while her mom is in Europe for a few months for work, but he knows that finding time for the professor is worth it, especially time in a nonprofessional capacity. He proposes an affair. Victoria craves the physical release with him, but she isn’t ready when her heart gets involved.
VERDICT The sex is exciting and sometimes risqué (getting it on in a public greenhouse!), but the more satisfying and well-developed elements are the examination of identity and the importance of supportive friends. Reid’s latest (The Write Escape) is a win for readers who desire steam and substance.

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