START ME UP – Nicole Michaels
St. Martin's Paperbacks
At first glance, you would never put Anne Edmond and Mike Everett together. She's a single mom devoted to her six year-old daughter, Claire, with a party-planning business and a popular and profitable blog about all things warmly domestic that she shares with two friends. Anne was divorced two years ago, and has not dated in all that time. Mike is a slightly younger, very hot bachelor who lives in his workplace. He restores old and classic cars, and enjoys women…and they enjoy him. His only blood kin is a sister and her daughter, Bailey, whom he adores. One day, Anne is giving her daughter a birthday party, a child's delight in pink and blue fantasy. Claire's best friend happens to be Mike's niece, and Mike is asked for a favor by his sister. Would Uncle Mike please take Bailey to the party?
Mike is overwhelmed by all that pink girly stuff, but he somehow, instead of dropping Bailey off, stays. There is something about the lovely lady and her homey place that speaks to him. Not that he thinks it's anything but her sweet face and lush figure…
I really liked START ME UP for its great love story between two such unlikely characters. There's a lot of hot sex, but there is also tenderness and blossoming growth of both hero and heroine. Mike discovers he's capable of strong feelings for a woman for the first time; Anne needs to learn to value herself as a woman. Is Mike the man to teach her?
The two little girls are delightful, and Anne's friends: her fellow blogger, Callie, the creative bakery owner, and Callie's assistant, Eric, are well-drawn, distinct personalities who add much to the whole. The highly engaging plot of START ME UP makes this book difficult to put down. Beside the absorbing relationships, Anne's businesses are most interesting. We'll hopefully see more of Anne's other blogging partner, Lindsey, who “repurposes” discards.
Ms. Michaels has two more full length novels coming, most likely starring Callie and Lindsey. As far as I can tell, her only earlier book is an e-novella called Blame It On The Mistletoe . For more information, you might want to check out http://nicolemichaelsbooks.com/ .