First Reviewed on The Romance Reviews
Now was a time to finally be there for her children. Could she be the catalyst to help them find the love that she had experienced? Would she be able to help them to realize that meeting of their one true soul mate, that passion that burns for a lifetime? There was little time, and with five of them, time was of the essence. How would she gain back their trust? There was so little time. And Bull, her bullheaded man, would there be enough time to heal the damage? Her heart, damaged beyond repair, was a viper, ready to strike her down without warning.
Bella is a very strong and determined woman. She has experienced so many difficulties in her life, and appears to be very misunderstood. There is a story there, one that is not fleshed out in this book, but will keep me reading the rest of this series because I really feel her pain. While she has earned much of what comes her way, she is human and has made many mistakes. While it takes the fear of her death to make her realize that there must be some closure for her children, but also for her own marriage, she had every intention of making amends. She just really felt there would be more time. She is afraid and lonely; there is much to do, to make it right.
In this book of the series we meet her son Max, who unknown to her is also a British secret agent. She knows a great deal about a woman that Max had been involved with as a teenager, and she knows that this is the woman for him. With her connections and her money she vows to bring them together.
Kristin Lassiter is a mom, and a FBI agent. As a teen she was a serious contender in tennis. In the last ten years her life as revolved around her daughter, Flick. Kristin is serious and smart, but has had some difficulties in her life, as well as her current job. She had been under review recently for using her gun, and was now under review again for a similar situation. Because she is on suspension from the FBI, her boss is loaning her to the British for an investigation of a possible murder plot against the United States president. The information is that the rumors are coming through a possible connection with tennis and that they need someone on the inside to ferret out the possible culprits. Kristin is a shoo-in due to her background. Her only problem is that she will be paired up with Max Benedict, a British undercover operative, and also the young man that broke her heart years ago on the tennis circuit. He is also unknowingly Flicks father. She has never quite forgotten that love, or even the friendship that preceded it. His betrayal as left a scar that will be hard to heal.
Max is a strong and resilient person. He grew up in a splintered home, with parents that were too involved with each other to pay attention to their children. He does not believe in marriage because of what he has had to endure. He has some very deep hurts that make him so very much human. He loves tennis, but left and moved on to his current job. He was cut very deeply as a teen, when he fell in love with another young tennis player years ago. They began as friends, and they were strong friends, but that all ended in one night of passion. The next day, all was as though it never happened, Kristin left for home, and he had never seen or heard from her again. He tried for some time but she would neither take his calls nor even respond to him in anyway. When he realizes that he needs her expertise to find a murderer, he is cautious but curious. Will there still be sparks. While he feels that he lost that love, he is still extremely attracted to her, for all the same reasons from the first time around. Just being near her still sets his heart aflame and the heat is thick with tension whenever they get together. The fires kindles, but he vows that love does not enter the picture; the passion is inevitable, pulling them, no regrets, no excuses, just plain uninhibited sex. But then what is that knot he is feeling, deep in his heart, dull and constant, hard to ignore?
Flick, a beautiful and precocious child, she will be the one to bring them together or tear them apart. She is Kristin’s secret, her joy and her connection to Max. But Flick is not an easy child. She is strong willed and extremely smart. She too has learned to play tennis from the time she was old enough and is better then both of her parents. She is so funny and sweet, but also just says it like it is. She is enamored of big words and throws them out in sentences, confusing and wowing her audience. She is a fun and strong cement for this wonderful cast of characters. Though her unselfconscious honesty we begin to see in Bella, a vulnerability, making you just wans to help her reach her goals, and it is also through Flick that we realize that one-Love is not just a tennis score.
Bella, the Countess of Blackthorne is dying. In an effort to make amends she has decided to use the time left to her, to help her five children find love. She also wants to rekindle her love with her estranged husband. The children are not very receptive to her invitation, but she is finally able to communicate with her son Max. Because of her status and wealth, she has hired private detectives and knows almost everything about him and his first real love. She also knows that he has a daughter and is determined to bring her into the fold. Now she just needs to create the perfect plan to make the puzzle pieces all fall into place. Just as in tennis, the winner takes it all.
This book was received as a free e-book from Net Galley. All opinions are my own based off my independent reading and understanding of the material.