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    Vulnerable and realistic characters

    This emotional romance is the story of Marc and Tess. They are both dealing with the fallout from difficult childhoods and have learned that the only person they can rely on is themselves. Now working together and living in the same apartment building, the walls start to come down and a relationship develops - but if it's going to lead to something permanent they're both going to have to learn to bend before someone breaks. I loved this story! Tess is a strong, independent, no nonsense woman, working in a mostly male environment as a female police officer and supervisor in her department. She works hard to project an air of seriousness and competence meanwhile dealing with issues with her father that leave her internally (and sometimes externally) bruised. She is able to hide her vulnerability from everyone - except Marc. Marc is the strong, silent type, always doing what's right and trying to be a helping hand in any situation. Because of this he's used to putting himself second to others. But Tess's need for him, whether it's as a co-worker, a friend, or a lover makes him realize that second place isn't enough for him anymore. I really liked the character growth over the course of the story, the imperfectness of both of them as they navigate their hidden affair, and the realities of their family situations. There is no sugar coating of the hard truths they both face. In this regard their relationship felt very real - they are falling in love with each other but this doesn't magically fix everything. The sexual attraction between them starts right from their first meeting and doesn't let up, such that their love scenes are steamy and emotional. I had a hard time putting this one down once I started it, the best kind of story! 5 stars.

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