This week’s BotW is Sarah Morgan’s latest book – Sunset in Central Park. This is the second book in her new series – about three young women who leave Puffin Island (the location of her previous series) for the bright lights of New York and a career in events management.
This is Frankie’s story – and Frankie is extremely wary of relationships after watching the fallout from her parents’ divorce when she was a teenager. She avoids emotional attachments to anyone except her two closest friends – who she works with – and garden designer Matt, one of her friend’s brothers and the owner of the brownstone where they all have flats in Brooklyn. She’s determined to keep their relationship strictly platonic, even though he makes her insides feel a bit odd, because all relationships end and she wants to keep him in her life. But what she doesn’t know is that Matt’s been crazy about her forever, but has kept quiet because he knows how fragile she is. But as he finds out more about her hidden depths as they work together on a project, the sparks fly. Will he be able to convince her to take a chance on what they have?
This is romantic, fun and satisfying. You know where it’s going, but it’s so much fun watching the characters work through all their issues to come to a happy conclusion. Sarah Morgan has created a great group of strong competent women and is busy pairing them up with the men they deserve – equally strong and competent, and who compliment the girls – who definitely don’t need a man to complete them or fix their lives. They can fix their own lives and problems, but the men will support and help them as they do it. I did want to give Frankie a bit of a slap at times, but I always understood why she was behaving the way that she did. I think I preferred the first book in the series slightly* – but that’s because I’m more of a Paige than I am a Frankie.
If you asked me, I would probably tell you that I don’t like contemporary romances, but that’s because when people say contemporary romance I think of billionaires and secretaries, doctors and nurses, nannies and lonely widowers, secret dukes and princes, secret babies and accidental pregnancies – none of which float my boat. I like smart heroines getting a happy ending – and if the books have a touch of humour, so much the better. Thinking about it – and looking at the downstairs keepers bookshelf – there’s a lot of contemporary romance there – the sort of books that 10 years ago would have been called chick lit. I don’t like chick lit as a term – but women’s fiction is too broad a description – so they probably would fall under the contemporary romance banner.
I only started reading Sarah Morgan because I met her at Sarah MacLean’s London tea-party and got given a free copy of one of the Puffin Island books (although I then went out and bought the first in this series and read that first after hearing Sarah Morgan talk about it on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books at the end of May) but it turns out that her latest books are exactly what floats my boat. There was a sampler for Eva’s book at the end of this one and it left me desperate to read a Christmas-themed book – in July. And you know my feelings on starting to read about Christmas too early.
My copy of Sunset in Central Park came from NetGalley – but you can get a copy from Amazon and Kindle (actually cheaper in book form at the time of writing) and I suspect possibly in supermarkets and other bookstores. Don’t be put off by the Harlequin logo on the spine – if you are, you’ll be missing out. I’m off to mine more of Sarah Morgan’s back catalogue – although I’ll never get through all of it and some of them are medical romances…
*I read Sleepless in Manhattan the same week that I read The Rogue Not Taken or it would probably have been BotW that week.