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4.3 out of 5
(18)
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    Warm and Fuzzy

    Vanessa is having a hard time keeping her dead husbands contracting business together. She has competition from her rival, the guy who tried to seduce her to get her company. Joe didn't handle it well, when he tried to seduce Vanessa for a partnership. He regrets it now, even though he still wants the partnership. This was a short read, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy! Sometimes I got a little fed up with Vanessa her excuses. Looking forward to the next books!
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    Sweet of him to wait for her for 3 years

    Even if Joe Coleman's intentions on getting close with Vanessa Frank wasn't decent at first, at least he realized his stupid mistake and patient waited for
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    sexy and sweet enemies to lovers romance!

    This is the first novella in Noelle Adams new Eden Manor series, a spin off from her Beaufort Brides series, which ended with Kelly and Peter's story Accidental Bride (an oops - best friends accidentally get married in Vegas! romance). At the end of that story Kelly and Peter had bought a mansion, Eden Manor, and were working at restoring it to its former glory to make it into a successful bed and breakfast retreat. That sets the stage for this story, in which Vanessa, whose husband passed away a few years ago, is struggling to continue the renovation business he started. She's got a plum job working on the mansion, but so does one of her rivals, Joe. When she was first widowed, Joe showed an interest in Vanessa, but she quickly came to realize that what he really wanted was for her to sell him the business, resulting in a messy breakup, and a continued rivalry. To her annoyance though, she still feels a flare of attraction whenever Joe is in the vicinity, and he still gets under her skin. Joe and her have fallen into the habit of trying to one-up the other, something Joe has always taken as the 'game' that they play (a way to not openly acknowledge that there is something still between them). But for Vanessa, it's serious - her livelihood is in jeopardy and it's not a game to her. Stuck working together on the mansion renovations, can Joe convince Vanessa that he's truly sorry for what happened in the past and get her to give him a second chance? I really enjoyed this story! Vanessa struck me as a woman with high expectations of herself, and the character flaw (familiar to many) of being reluctant to ask for help. She's put a lot of pressure on herself to continue her deceased husband's business, not really taking into account how much of herself she's been pouring into it and how that has affected her. Her relationship with Joe is fraught with tension, after discovering his deceit three years earlier. Being attracted to him definitely doesn't help! Joe comes across as a confident, hard working man. Yes, he made a mistake, by initially dating Vanessa and thinking that she'd be happy to sell him her inherited business. They are both in the same line of work, competing for the same jobs and the services of special contractors, and his idea was partially born out of the egotistical masculine intention that she wouldn't be able to handle the business on her own. But a funny thing happened, and he found himself falling for her. Too late though, as Vanessa discovered his real intentions and wouldn't listen to any apology at that time. it's been a rivalry that Joe has really wanted to put behind them, but that Vanessa has been determined to continue, all the while fighting her attraction to him. Joe came across as sincerely apologetic, willing Vanessa to forgive him his mistakes and to see that she is more important to him than any company. As they work together, the chemistry between them leads to some steamy scenes, and a cautious but workable friendship. It's going to take a lot of work for Joe to repair the damage he caused, but he shows time and again that he's willing to put in the effort. I loved how the story progressed, the struggle to forgive and the eventual happy ending for the couple. I found it quite emotional at times, sympathizing with Vanessa and even found myself shedding some tears ( a sign to me that the author has succeeded in pulling me into the story). It was a surprisingly sexy and ultimately satisfying enemies to lovers romance. 4.5 stars.
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