Olivia, Livvy, Andrews did not expect to meet her new neighbor, John Murphy over returning a sexy red bra but that’s what happened. Apparently, one of her bras came loose from the clothes line and drifted into John’s backyard. Livvy is past embarrassed as John is to drool for but his flirty lines aren’t going to do anything for her. Livvy wants marriage and kids, not a one night stand with someone she lives next to!
Livvy’s sister, Andrea immediately put Olivia and John together, like the characters in Grease. This had Livvy calling John, Murphy. Andrea also had to invite John to their neighborhood 4th of July picnic. He accepts but informs Livvy that there is no wife, children or girlfriend to bring.
John Murphy is 39 and has bought his first house. Up until a year ago, he worked in construction. A year ago, he quit work to write full time. He has a children’s series that is extremely popular based on stories he told his younger sister when they were young. He has no desire to get married and have children of his own which is why he wonders why he’s going after Livvy when she is obviously a fall in love and get married type of woman.
Livvy is able to ignore Murphy’s attempts to get her in his bed until she sees a softer side, the side that calls to her heart. She doesn’t want a meaningless fling, she wants to be a soccer mom! Can she take a chance on Murphy? Andrea says go for the fling.
This romance starts as any other romance, boy meets girl, boy asks girl out, after a while she accepts and there the similarities end. This romance becomes so much more and becomes extremely complex due to Livvy and Murphy’s family histories.
Livvy’s father cheated on his mother most of their marriage. Livvy knew she never wanted a marriage like that and she won’t put up with cheating. If you’re with her, don’t’ be seeing any other women! Saying you’ll be back in an hour and then not coming home until later has her response questioning everything and she can become irrational.
Murphy was abused by his step-father for years. Though social services investigated several times, nothing happened because his step-father was a minister and well-respected in the community. Murphy was willing to put up with it until his step-father started with his sister. Then, seeing no other way to stop him, Murphy killed him. Even years later, Murphy has flash backs and nightmares of his youth. There is no way that he is going to love anyone because he’s afraid.
These pasts make Livvy and Murphy extremely complex characters but the are done exceptionally well. Though they are hurting, you feel no pity but more like awe of how far they have come. Their love for each other becomes a living thing and as they stumble working on figuring something out, you want to hold them tight until everything is alright. Livvy and Murphy each have friends and family who play a large role in their lives. As all the characters interact with each other, you begin to grasp the depth of their pain and sorrow but also how much love they have to share.
Murphy’s characters or monsters are part of him. They were his escape mechanism as a child and now they are so much a part of him that he has difficultly separating him from them. So it makes sense to have the current book he is writing show up as part of his and Livvy’s story as he is writing about his life, feelings and desire through his monsters. Sharing this part of himself with Livvy is something he has never done before and he’s hoping that she doesn’t destroy that trust.
Livvy owns a bakery and she’s struggling to keep as far in the black as she wants. Finding a discarded notebook of Murphy’s scribbles has given her an idea for a new line in her bakery. She’s sure she has gotten Murphy’s permission to use them, but did she really?
Intense and wonderful and spellbinding and fantastic are some of the words to describe this absolutely awesome romance. I couldn’t believe how quickly I became wrapped up in these characters, their problems and their lives. I cringed every time things would seem to fail and want to cheer when they slowly came back together. Issues weren’t quickly solved and resolved but lingered and festered until some kind of fix was started. Things were believable which is why this story becomes real. I don’t think I can express how much I enjoyed this wonderful and heart felt story.
John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he's driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.
Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won't lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she's as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?