January 22, 2016

Review: Surrender at Sunset by Jamie Pope

Review: Surrender at Sunset by Jamie PopeSurrender at Sunset by Jamie Pope
Published by Harlequin on February 1st 2016
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eBook
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three-stars

Passion's hideaway Ever since enduring a possibly career-ending injury, Miami superstar shortstop Carlos Bradley has retreated from the world. His life undergoes a radical makeover when he's convinced to hire a designer to restore his secluded island mansion to its former glory. Completely different from the women Carlos has known, interior decorator Virginia Andersen captivates him with her infectious spirit and the sensuality beneath her coolly professional demeanor.  The owner of a struggling design firm, Virginia can't believe her new employer is a baseball legend. But Carlos wants more than just her expertise. And when he insists she move into his tropical getaway during the renovations, Virginia soon finds herself sharing the irresistible playboy's bed. But when the media descends, she's thrust into the limelight and her past becomes an open book. Is she ready to overcome her doubts to fight for a future with the man of her dreams?

This was another book courtesy of my January’s Harlequin subscription and I almost didn’t read it. I hadn’t heard of this author before and Surrender at Sunset seems to be her first novel. However, she has the same last name as one of my favorite TV characters so I decided to give it a try.

In Surrender at Sunset, we meet Carlos Bradley; a superstar baseball player who’s hiding out on a secluded island near Miami after an injury left him out for the season. Baseball is his whole life so naturally he’s devastated and unsure of when or if he will ever be able to return to the game he loves. The mansion where he lives is empty and unfeeling so he commissions interior designer Virgina Andersen to decorate.

Virgina is an artist though her parents, specifically her mother, would like her to choose a more stable job and move back home. They’ve never quite agreed with her relationship or career choices. After a few failed relationships and starving artist syndrome, she opened her interior design firm to appease both herself and her parents. Designing Carlos’s home is the perfect opportunity for her. It could propel her career to the next level and perhaps finally cause her mother to back off a bit.

Virginia’s assignment requires her to be a live-in interior designer and I’m sure you can guess what happens next.What was initially supposed to be friends with benefits turns into something much more. While they were at ease with each other, they both had their own issues they needed to work out. Virginia has always been accused of falling in love too quickly. While she’s hurt after the relationships, she’s never cut her heart off completely. She realizes that being with Carlos won’t be the same; loving and losing him would devastate her. She tries not to feel too much but that turns out to be a lost cause. Carlos struggles with his emotions; he knows he has feelings for Virginia but he’s not quite willing to admit it’s love. He’s also facing feelings of inadequacy and may lack direction as he’s unsure of what happens after baseball is over; whether it’s because of injury or a few years from now.

When Carlos is healed and baseball comes calling again, they have to leave the seclusion of the island, and Virginia realizes that she may not be ready for what it means to be a superstar’s girlfriend. What will she do? She has to decide whether she’ll revert to her old ways of leaving her job and a country for a man or will she put herself first? Will Carlos realize he’s in love before it’s too late?

I wouldn’t call Surrender at Sunset a show-stopping romance. It didn’t stand out one way or the other but it was a solid book to pass the time. Being an island girl, however, I did like the backdrop of Hideaway Island and I’d definitely like to explore more of the island.

I usually wind down on Sunday afternoons by reading a nice quick romance and Surrender at Sunset fit the bill. I assume this is the beginning of a series as there is potential for at least three additional novels. I liked this one enough to where I’ll keep an eye out for future books from this author.

three-stars

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Natalya

Natalya is an Account Manager by day and an editor and author's assistant to passionate creatives by night. When she is not adding to her enormous book collection or stationery supply, she is catching up on her favorite television shows.

Natalya is the author of All The Things I Never Said, a soul-stirring collection of short stories, prose and love letters for the soulful wanderers, the brokenhearted and the hopeless romantics.

You can follow her rantings and occasional sparks of brilliance on Twitter @NatalyaMuncuff.
Natalya