As a wedding reception winds down at the ritzy Mark Hopkins hotel inSan Francisco, nineteen-year-old Daisy Parker loses her virginity toNick Coltrane, her former stepbrother. Unfortunately, the haze ofpleasure vanishes as Nick casually gets dressed and recants all the love words he fed Daisy, then takes off, leaving her hurt, humiliated, and disillusioned.
Nine years later, it all comes back to haunt her when Nick, now a famous San Francisco photographer, seeks Daisy's services as a security specialist. The former Oakland PD officer wants nothing to do with him, but since her security business is barely off the ground and she can't in good faith, leave Nick's safety up in the air, she reluctantly takes the assignment and moves in with him....
As Daisy struggles to keep Nick in one piece, she becomes part of his world, finding out that the man she's tried to forget for nearly a decade is not the womanizing monster she's made him out to be, while Nick gains more and more respect for the woman who keeps saving his life....
Daisy was a kick to get to know. She is strong and courageous, knows she's damn good at what she does, and lets Nick know it all the time. At the same time, she is so vulnerable where he is concerned that I couldn't help but feel for her. Even when Nick is telling that he loves her (both in and out of bed this time), Daisy can't let herself dream that he means it and vows that he will not break her heart. Which, of course, is just what he does.
Daisy is not the only one who's tried to forget that night nine years ago. Nick, confident that he'd gotten Daisy out of his system, is bowled over by the cocky woman who fires his blood and can flip him over and send him flying across the room. He realizes he should have told her sooner the truth about Douglass and the photographs, and never mind goons or his work. His world really comes crashing down when Daisy leaves him.
The secondary characters, including Nick's sister Maureen and her husband, and Daisy's friends, add to the plot and become integral parts of the story. The only parts of the book where I had to invoke suspension of disbelief were whenever J. Fitzgerald Douglass appeared; he went just a little over the top in his mafia-boss impersonation, and the fact that a lot of circumstances had to align properly in order for the picture in question to be that explosive.
Otherwise, this book is pure Andersen, the chemistry between Nick and Daisy is red-hot, the love scenes even more so, and the language a little raw. Suffice it to say that when Nick and Daisy make comments regarding "the thinker" and "the Big Guy" they're not exactly referring to another person in the book. So far, I have liked all of Susan Andersen's books and this was no exception. And it's set in San Francisco - what more could you ask for? END