LOVE AFTER ALL - Jaci Burton
Hope, Book 4
Hope, Oklahoma - Present Day
After watching several of her friends fall in love, Chelsea Gardner has decided it's time to find the perfect man and stop dating losers. She's created a list of all of the attributes her perfect man will have, such as a suit-and-tie, 9-5 job, an appreciation for fine wine and fine dining, and no crazy ex-girlfriends; now she just has to find him. Her friend, bar owner Bash Palmer, sees her list and offers to help Chelsea find her perfect man.
Bash has always found Chelsea attractive, but his divorce proved that relationships aren't his thing, and Chelsea is definitely a relationship-type woman. He finds her list a little ridiculous, but offers to help nonetheless. He's a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy who owns a bar, and an ex-girlfriend just dumped her dog on him because she only got it to impress him anyway, so he's certainly not the guy Chelsea is looking for. But the more time he spends with her, the more he wants to see where the crazy chemistry between them could lead.
While Bash may be a nice – and super-hot – guy, he doesn't meet any of the criteria on Chelsea's list. So why can't she get him and his scorching kisses off her mind? She wants to find the man she'll marry eventually, but is there anything wrong with having a little fun until then?
On the surface, Chelsea and Bash are two friends who have very little in common, but in LOVE AFTER ALL, they find they are more alike than they think. Chelsea and Bash are both part of a group of friends, and lately some of those friends have been pairing up. At times, such as Des and Logan's wedding (from the second book in the series, HOPE IGNITES), Chelsea and Bash are paired up as well, and as they spend time together, it becomes more difficult to ignore the sizzling attraction between them. The couples from the previous three books make several appearances throughout this novel, but the story is really about Chelsea and Bash, so those who haven't read the series in order won't be lost (you may want to go out and buy the rest of the books, though).
Friends-to-lover stories can be fun, and LOVE AFTER ALL definitely is. There is an ease between Chelsea and Bash, as well as a lot of teasing and companionship, which makes it a little confusing for Chelsea when suddenly those little zings she feels around him become raging desire. Bash may have admitted to himself that he's been attracted to Chelsea for a while, but acting on it, knowing he won't offer anything more than a fun, but short-term affair has held him back. In her head, Chelsea knows what she wants, but her body – and her heart – have other ideas in the fun and romantic LOVE AFTER ALL.